Phanuel Asenso (3), Summer Jones, Sonny Parmaku, William Smith
Another sunny Sunday saw Bassett looking to extend their unbeaten start to the season as they entertained Lydiard Youth Irons at Gerard Buxton. The Blues were keen to exact some revenge for last season's defeat which saw the Irons narrowly nick a 3-2 victory in horrendous conditions.
Whilst the day was dry, the wind was high and it seemed to blow all the pre game plans out the window as the Blues got sucked into a scrappy encounter. Bassett seemed to lose their composure and throw football out the window with the match resembling a rugby league game at times with players running headlong into the opposition.
Despite the chaotic game play though, the Blues were first to trouble the scoreboard. Following a couple of dogged tackles from Liam Lye-Owens, Theo Slade pounced onto a loose ball on the edge of the box, slipped it left to Sonny Parmaku who set himself, picked his spot and drove the ball across the keeper into the bottom right corner.
Josh Griffiths was doing an excellent job of patrolling his box and rushed out on numerous occasions to collect dangerous looking through balls. Rhys Poulton was also looking calm in defence as he plucked the oppositions' long forward passes from the sky with sublime control, before playing into midfield. On the rare occasions when the long pass cleared Poulton, defensive partner Austin Tanner was well positioned to clear up and protect the Blues slender lead.
Bassett soon extended the lead with an emphatic strike from in form Phanuel Asenso. Again Slade was involved as he and Asenso launched a high press and forced the turnover on the edge of the box, before Asenso swivelled and unleashed a thunderbolt of a strike which scorched into the top left corner, nearly breaking the net in the process.
Parmaku thought he had made it 3-0 to Bassett following a wonderful bit of skill that saw him control a long pass before volleying across goal and in off the post. However, as Parmaku was mid somersault of his low key goal celebration, the goal was ruled out by the opposition linesman who had spotted an infringement in the build up.
This turn of events seemed to galvanise the opposition and they soon pulled one back as an Irons midfielder ran from deep and cut through the heart of the Bassett team, all the way to the edge of the box where they slid it past Griffiths as he rushed out to shut the chance down.
Despite this set back though Bassett showed their growing resilience and extended their lead when Lucas Burberry stole in to make an interception in midfield before launching an early ball forward. Asenso took advantage of some indecision in the Irons defence and dribbled past the defence, rounded the keeper and stroked the ball home. 3-1 soon became 4-1 with Asenso at it again. Bassett were defending a freekick which was expertly cleared, helped on by Indy Iles-Jones and Asenso raced clear, bore down on the keeper and calmly lifted the ball over him to complete a magical hattrick.
The Irons showed their steel though and once again pulled a goal back as a long pass up the middle took a nasty bounce and cleared the Bassett defence, leaving the Irons forward to race clear and tuck the ball into the bottom corner.
Unshaken though, the Blues added a 5th when Slade picked out Summer Jones in the final third and she drove clear of three defenders and smashed a laser beam of a shot into the bottom left corner from outside the box.
Elliott Tew who had been a calming influence throughout Sunday's chaos with his precision passing and strong communication, dropped back into a defensive midfield position to tighten things up at the back for Bassett. Winning tackles and quickly moving the ball on, Tew was providing some much needed stability and was helped by William Smith who had been excellent throughout. Smith was a constant menace to the Irons when attacking and retrieved possession on numerous occasions. It was fitting then that Smith, whose performance secured him the "Legendary Leader" award got himself on the scoresheet to complete the scoring and what a goal it was. Picking the ball up from deep, Smith drove at the heart of the Irons midfield and skipped past four players before smashing the ball across the keeper and in off the right hand post.
Griffiths collected the "Pass Master" award for his superb distribution throughout the game, not to mention some very timely interventions and saves when the game was in the balance. Asenso's stunning performance saw him collect the "Player of the Match" accolade for his incredible goal scoring prowess and relentless forward running that caused the opposition a headache all afternoon.
While this was not a footballing spectacle to be remembered, the Blues will be thrilled that their growing team spirit is fostering the determination and fight that is sometimes needed to grind out results in games like these. A fixture that the Blues lost last season has been converted into another 3 points this year and will give them confidence to face the challenges ahead.
Credit: Nick Lye-Owens
Last modified on Sunday 4th October 2020 at 20:20