Despite an excellent effort, Royal Wootton Bassett Town's hopes of writing club FA Vase history were narrowly dashed as Sam Collier's fell to a 2-1 second round defeat away against Bridgwater Town.
In an otherwise even contest, Bassett found themselves 2-0 having conceded goals early in both halves.
That sparked a relentless drive in the second period in which Bassett played their Western League Premier Division hosts off the park. Ultimately, however, the best Bassett could muster was a TJ Bohane penalty with just over quarter of an hour to ago.
It was an agonising way to exit the competition, with Bassett's performance one not worthy of defeat.
Indeed, it was the visitors who had the first real opening of the game when Sam Ockwell's 25-yard free kick grazed the post in the tenth minute.
The hosts soon capitalised on that let off though, taking the lead when Tom Ellis was on hand to steer in Tom Fry's set piece delivery at the far post.
After George Painter headed over from a Fry corner, Bassett were denied an equaliser courtesy of an acrobatic Jake Viney save, the Bridgwater 'keeper doing superbly to divert Adam Corcoran's hooked effort over the bar.
In an open contest, it was next Bridgwater's turn to find the woodwork as Jack Taylor's cross-cum-shot clipped the crossbar five minutes before the break.
Come the interval, despite the hosts being in front, the game appeared there for the taking.
Yet Bassett's task was made that much harder four minutes after the restart when a Taylor through ball was clipped in behind the visitors' split defence. Mike Duffy latched onto the pass, rounded the onrushing Harrison Ellis and was impressively able to guide the ball into the top corner from an acute angle while off balance to double the hosts' advantage.
Bassett subsequently threw everything they had at Bridgwater.
They should have been within just one goal on the hour when an unmarked Bohane headed off target from close range.
The forward then atoned for that miss when he blasted down the middle from the spot.
But, although placing the hosts under considerable late pressure, an equaliser was not forthcoming.
The Vase second round therefore continues to be a stumbling block, with Bassett having now exited at that stage of the national competition three times.
Still, plenty of positives can be taken from a record-matching which goes alongside that in the FA Cup earlier in the season.
Now focus turns solely to the matter of the Hellenic League Premier Division.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Sunday 6th December 2020 at 21:53