Royal Wootton Bassett Town's Over 35s Veterans team started off their preseason with a visit from a well organised Goring Vets team and succumbed to a defeat over two halves of 40 minutes.
With the Blues and Yellows of last season having now amalgamated, there was a certain amount of 'Getting to know you' as well as rolling subs for new manager PD to navigate, fellow boss Bryan Watson being on holiday.
Goring had the benefit of a strong wind in the first half and were comfortable on the ball, monopolising play and moving a rusty Bassett around. However, the wind seemed to hamper them as there was a lack of chances on offer as final balls were overhit and Warren and Badman marshalled fullbacks Gibson and Jefferies strictly.
In fact, it was Bassett who had the clearer chances. Playing on the right of midfield, Steve Shaw was easily the best outlet and twice broke free only to see one good chance saved and the other blazed over. His fellow midfield of Wilson, Ohrland and Gould battled manfully against skilful, nimble opponents.
Towards the end of the half, Goring finally set their young forward free and as he entered the area he was just clipped by Andy Gibson and a penalty was awarded, which was duly despatched to give Goring the lead. Although there were no complaints on that decision, the home side were beginning to be on the wrong end of some eccentric refereeing, being pinged for innocuous moments but on the end of consistent niggle from the away side. Cooper went close with a free-kick from 25 but it was small pickings for him and Howse up front.
A reshuffle at half time and a bit more fight saw a well contested first twenty minutes, much to the referee's chagrin who seemed upset at Bassett's efforts but let a lot of late challenges go without censor for the opposition. Hyde looked calm at centre back which allowed Badman to move into midfield and exert some pressure. It was from his free-kick delivery wide on the left that Bassett found an equaliser, the goalkeeper fumbling the ball and Andy Huggins on hand to poke it past him.
Minutes later the man in black again haunted Bassett. Having been fooled by some "He touched me ref" whining, he was more than ready to award a penalty when Warren and the Goring No.6 went head to head for the ball. Warren came away with the ball but the official saw some sort of fault in his easing the oppo' off the ball. Boys-Stones was unable to bring about justice and Wozza did well not to talk himself off.
-1 down and Goring realising they could break up any play with no other action than a free-kick meant Bassett struggled to get any flow to their game, apart from Dan Badman rattling the bar with one effort from distance. It became 3-1 when a mix up between Boys-Stones and Warren from a cross saw the latter glance a header gracefully into his own net.
As a contest the game was over, and Bassett were off to an inauspicious start to the season.
Next up on Friday the Vets take on the Club's Development side- another testing run out!
Pink Pony - Not usually one to moan but a truly baffling performance from The Referee!
Credit: Junior Striker
Last modified on Friday 28th August 2020 at 10:33