In an eagerly anticipated top of the table clash, Bassett hosted Ramsbury as the leagues only unbeaten teams clashed in a battle for top spot in the division.
After a string of poor performances this season, Bassett seemed to have turned a corner as they settle quickly against Ramsbury and looked to pile on the pressure in the early stages. Bassett were controlling possession and playing some good passing football, which has been absent in most games this season.
This start soon led to chances as first Sonny Parmaku was picked out on the left side of the box by the creative Theo Slade, Parmaku controlled brilliantly and flashed a left foot drive across goal only to see the ball turned away by the Ramsbury stopper. At this early stage, nobody realised that this was to be the pattern of the game.
Phanuel Asenso was causing chaos down the Bassett right, constantly driving into space and delivering cross after cross, only to see attackers just missing the connection, or the keepers gloves coming to the rescue. One such Asenso burst saw him clip a delightful pass over the defence to Liam Lye-Owens who had burst forward from midfield, Lye-Owens collected the ball with a wonderful touch, but saw his low drive to the bottom left corner expertly stopped again.
Bassett remained calm though and stuck to their game plan. When Ramsbury did look to launch counter attacks, Bryan Willson and Indy Iles-Jones were there to mop up the danger, intercepting through balls and making a number of recovering tackles throughout the game. Supported by Josh Griffiths who had another strong game between the sticks for the Blues, Bassett were looking very comfortable. Possibly too comfortable for the coaching staff and fans on one occasion where Griffiths showcased his silky Samba foot work when controlling a back pass, dancing past a pressing forward and then distributing beautifully into midfield. This is a sign of the evolving role of keepers in the game as trusted outfield players, not just there to make saves when needed.
Bassett were boosted by the returning Stanley Perry who has been sidelined through injury since the first game of the season, but he was back to his busy best in this game, constantly harrying the opposition in midfield and joining it with good passing decisions as he combined with midfield partner Elliott Tew throughout. Tew made a number of important tackles throughout and did a fantastic job of providing Iles-Jones and Willson with protection.
The Blues kept launching attacks and Finley Marchment nearly broke the deadlock when he raced down the left wing, battled his way through two tackles before driving towards the area and firing a great shot low to the keepers left, only to see it saved and the follow up rebound also tipped away for a Bassett corner. Bassett kept knocking on the door but just couldn't get the goal that their play warranted. Bassett kept sending the ball across the Ramsbury box, with Summer Jones just missing out on connecting with the ball to give the Blues the edge.
Ramsbury continued to look dangerous on the break but Willson who was the Bassett captain for the day was playing like a man mountain, not allowing anything to get past. Karol Czekanski also seemed to be growing in confidence in his second game for the Blues and put in a fabulous midfield display that saw him win all of his personal battles. Added to this Czekanski also showcased some wonderful passing as he delivered a number of cutting through balls after winning possession for the Blues.
Bassett continued to press forward in search of the elusive first goal, helped by the midfield class of Rhys Poulton. Poulton was a calming presence in the chaotic midfield battle, constantly controlling the high ball, finding space and picking out team mates to set Bassett on their way forward.
The Blues seemed to be growing in confidence as they had more and more of the ball as the second half went on and sure enough, the deadlock was soon broken. Unfortunately for the Blues, it was Ramsbury who got their noses in front. Following some good build up play through midfield, the ball dropped to a midfielder and as it bounced up, he smashed it towards goal and saw his effort go screaming over Griffiths and nestle in the top corner.
After playing with a degree of control for large parts of the game, this goal shocked the Blues into an energetic response as they poured forward looking for an equaliser. Chances came and went as Bassett just could not take the decisive action in the final third and get the goals that their play deserved.
The Blues were thrown a lifeline with eight minutes to go as Lye-Owens chased a long ball from Griffiths, broke clear of the Ramsbury defence only to be denied by the Ramsbury keeper who got to the ball first, but whose follow through clattered Lye-Owens in the box, which the referee deemed was a penalty.
As Bassett subbed off the injured Lye-Owens, Asenso took responsibility for the penalty but again, as had happened so often during the game, the Ramsbury stopper came to the rescue with a great stop low to his left and even managed to react quick enough to stop Parmaku from tucking in the rebound.
As Bassett threw more players forward, Ramsbury took advantage and scored a fabulous second as their midfielder found a bit of space and lobbed it over Griffiths to seal the victory. While Bassett will be pleased with the improved performance, they will be disappointed with the result, but look to put it right next week.
Indy Iles-Jones followed up his "Player of the Match" performance against Lydiard Youth Tigers with a brilliant defensive display that saw him collect one of the "Legendary Leader" awards handed out, whilst Finley Marchment's superb battling, high energy performance saw him collect the other.
Rhys Poulton's fantastic midfield creativity and distribution saw him collect the "Pass Master" award for the second time this season following a performance that showed Poultons growing confidence.
It was Bryan Willson's performance in defence though that caught the eye of parents and coaches from both teams in a magnificent "Player of the Match" performance. Willson showcased all of his talents but particularly impressed with his decision making, tackling and superb passing from the first minute to the last.
Credit: Nick Lye-owens
Last modified on Wednesday 21st October 2020 at 22:06