Brad Pagliaroli (2), Spencer Bowen
A Brad Pagliaroli double helped Royal Wootton Bassett Town to a comfortable 3-0 win against Swindon Supermarine Development in the Wiseman Lighting Floodlit Cup.
A competition which for most Hellenic League teams is typically down the pecking order in terms of priorities, Bassett boss Sam Collier used the occasion to shuffle his pack. With a few faces rested ahead of another busy few weeks, Collier gave debuts to new signing Kyle Gibbs and impressive Development team forward Ackeem Stewart, as well as starting Pagliaroli - a familiar face who has began this season with Isthmian League South Central Division side Uxbridge.
As with his one appearance last season against Roman Glass St George, Pagliaroli's latest cameo was a successful one.
Both of his goals were trademark Pagliaroli finishes.
The first, shortly before half time, saw him dispatch a finely struck curled effort from the edge of the area into the top right corner.
His second - and Bassett's third - then saw Pagliaroli cut inside from the right, fashion enough room to shoot and arrow a laser beyond a helpless Matthew Goldfinch in the Supermarine goal with the wand of a left foot that he possesses.
Sandwiched in between those two strikes, youngster Spencer Bowen scored his maiden Men's First Team goal early in the second half with another impressive finish.
Overall, Bassett progressed in a relatively untroubled manner against their Hellenic League Division Two Central opponents.
Bassett had to be patient for their opener though in a half in which they created a number of chances.
Pagliaroli dragged across the face of goal early on following a neat move involving Jowan Partridge, Tommy Ouldridge and Stewart. After Kai Robinson flashed wide, Pagliaroli then saw a stabbed effort that caught a deflection tipped over by Goldfinch.
The Supermarine 'keeper then parried from an Ouldridge close range shot, with Waldon steering the deflection narrowly over.
It wasn't all Bassett though. A rare lapse from Harry Pickering saw his attempted pass out to the right fall short of its target. Sam White was the fortunate recipient of the pass and he quickly squared inside to an unmarked Ben Cleary who could only fire over.
Goldfinch palmed another Pagliaroli attempt over, but he could do little to prevent the Bassett dangerman's next attempt after neat interplay between Robinson and Stewart and some fancy footwork for the scorer to make space for the shot.
It could have then been two before the break, but the post was on hand to deny Waldon.
Early in the second period Goldfinch stooped low to fist away another Pagliaroli drive, but there was again little he could to do to prevent Bassett's delightful second. Receiving a pass from Adam Corcoran on the left wing, Bowen played a neat one-two with Stewart, whose backheel set the youngster free. And Bowen proceeded to confidently round Goldfinch and coolly slot in.
After Stewart curled narrowly over, Pickering had to be at his best to preserve Bassett's advantage. Sam Sanger broke forward after intercepting a pass before feeding Cleary with a through ball that left him goalside of Corcoran. But Pickering swatted away Cleary's shot before having to recover quickly to parry from Sanger's rebound effort.
Having survived that scare, Pagliaroli soon banished any faint hopes Supermarine had of staying in the match with his excellent second that made it 3-0.
As unloved as the Floodlit Cup may be, it does offer a good opportunity to win a trophy - something Bassett have not done since the 2000-01 season.
Collier and his team now find themselves in the last sixteen - with the question now being whether to give serious effort to going as far as possible.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Friday 15th September 2023 at 08:27
Brad Pagliaroli (2), Spencer Bowen