Tim Lewis (2), Tony Gleed
Brilliant Bassett were on course for a memorable first victory in their maiden league season. The Over 50s led courtesy of a brace from Tim Lewis and a third from the evergreen Tony Gleed. But Bassett's hearts were ripped out by Headington Butchers who equalized in the dying moments of this topsy turvy encounter.
Bassett lined up in a 3-5-2 formation as in their previous heavy defeat to Hazlemere a fortnight ago. This time however the home side opted initially to go long more often up to Lewis and Hayes allowing Bassett to get further up the pitch in the opening minutes.
Bassett's promising start and some good passing moves often involving the industrious Steve Lynch in midfield was rewarded with the lead. Striker Tim Lewis found space on the left edge of the Headington penalty area and curled a pearler over the stranded 'keeper into the top corner.
The Over 50s' joy was soon cut short however. Bassett conceded a free kick in a central area just outside the box. A Headington midfielder whipped a powerful wind assisted shot over the wall and above Stephens who touched it but could not prevent the ball from going into the roof of the net for the equalizer.
The contest continued to be end-to-end stuff but it was the visitors who scored next to move ahead 2-1. It was another long-range effort as a Headington player bent a shot into the top left- hand corner from outside the area beyond the Bassett 'keeper who once more got a hand to it but was unable to stop it.
Bassett did not drop their heads and were soon back on level terms. Tim Lewis slipped past the Headington defence to fire a low shot beyond the visiting 'keeper to restore parity at 2-2.
Both sides had a decent chance to take a lead into half-time. A cross ball into the Headington penalty area was met by Jason Parr beyond the far post and his powerful drive came back off the post. At the other end the Headington number 14 burst through on goal only for Stephens to claim bravely at his feet.
Bassett rang the changes at half time and were quickly rewarded. Stephens' long kick out was nodded on by Steve Lynch into the path of Tony Gleed who steadied himself before slotting his shot low past the on-rushing goalie to put Bassett 3-2 up.
Bassett failed to really kick on once they took the lead and as they tired Headington gained something of a stranglehold on the game as Bassett dropped deeper and hung on bravely to their advantage. They did threaten sporadically. First, Kenny Campbell slipped Steve Lynch through on goal until a dubious offside decision intervened. Tim Lewis also had a penalty claim turned down and Rob Mitchell got in late on from the right but his firm drive was straight into the midriff of the Headington stopper.
Fortunately for Bassett's overworked defence most of Headington's efforts in the final quarter of the game were either off target or close enough to Stephens to enable him to save relatively comfortably.
Indeed, the nearest the visitors came to levelling was self-inflicted. Centre half Paul Jack's misdirected defensive header required Stephens to acrobatically claw the ball out from under his bar at the second attempt to preserve Bassett's slender advantage into the closing minutes.
However, Headington would not be denied and in the final minute they picked their way through some weary Bassett tackling into the area. The ball broke kindly to a striker who buried the ball into the bottom left- hand corner for 3-3.
The peep of the ref's final whistle was met with a mixture of disappointment, relief, but above all immense pride from all in royal blue. Bassett had bounced back admirably from their first game mauling and showed that they do not intend to be pushovers in this league.
Man of the Match: Tim Lewis for his superb two goal salvo and his determination to keep on playing despite painfully rolling his ankle early in proceedings.
Credit: Ceri Stephens
Last modified on Sunday 20th September 2020 at 13:16
Tim Lewis (2), Tony Gleed