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HELLENIC LEAGUE: Bassett's spot of good fortune
WOOTTON Bassett boss Dave Turner admitted his side may not have deserved the penalty that led to Matt Bown’s late winner, but was more than happy to come away with a 4-3 victory over North Leigh Reserves.
The home side led three times through top scorer Mark Barnes, teenager Scott Walduck and Bown’s first of the afternoon, but each time they saw their lead pegged back and it looked as though Bassett were going to have to settle for a draw as the game reached the second minute of injury time.
But the referee pointed to the spot in the dying seconds following a clumsy challenge by a Leigh defender, and while he was delighted to see Bown slot the ball home, Turner admitted he had doubts over the penalty decision and conceded a draw would have been a fair result.
“It was a great game to watch and I said to their manager afterwards that a draw was probably a fair result, but in the same breath I said I would take the win because I have been on the other end of these sorts of games too,” he said.
“The two teams tried to play the right way, and they are one of the best teams we have played this season, but they are very young and that probably cost them in the end because one of their players dived in right at the end to give away the penalty.
“It is a massive win for us, and we are all over the moon for it even if it wasn’t one of our best performances.
“If their defender didn’t challenge he would have been berated by his manager, and our player maybe made the most of it, but they had a penalty in the first half which our players were adamant wasn’t one, so it sort of evens itself out. But it can’t be easy for them to lose like that in the 92nd minute.
“Barnesy got the first one which is good for him, but it is two good back to back wins for us at an important stage of the season, and it keeps us in touch with Briscombe.”
Turner was also pleased to see 16-year-old Walduck get his first goal for the club, and believes the youngster has a big future ahead of him.
“Scott started and got himself on the scoresheet which is great for him,” he said.
“He played right midfield for us and looked great, and he put in 60 minutes which is a big ask stepping up from the development team.
“He is one for the future and I like him a lot, and it is great to have young guys like him around.
“He is small and tenacious, a good tackler, and technically very good on the ball.
“You might look at him and think he is a bit lightweight, but what he lacks in stature he more than makes up for in heart and determination."
Elsewhere in the division, Fairford endured a torrid afternoon as they crashed to a 9-1 defeat away at leaders Brimscombe & Thrupp, while New College lost 3-0 at Tytherington Rocks.
Malmesbury’s visit to Clanfield was postponed, and Purton lost by the odd goal in seven as they lost 4-3 at home to Lydney Town.
- MANAGER John Fisher believes his Highworth team never recovered from conceding twice inside the first 10 minutes as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat at Oxford City Nomads.
The Elms side went into the game hopeful of picking up points to get their run of winnable Christmas games off to a promising start, but despite creating a number of good chances they couldn’t force their way back into the contest.
Fisher was reasonably pleased with his side’s response to going behind in the Hellenic Premier clash, but admitted his players couldn’t afford to give their opposition the advantage so early on.
“We were two down after 10 minutes and from then on it was always an uphill task,” he said.
“We had chances to score, and some good chances, but giving them two goals straightaway made it very hard for us, and there was some poor defending for those goals too.
“But I don’t blame the defence, not just the back four, I blame the whole side because we defend as an 11 and attack as an 11.
“Defence is where we let ourselves down and we switch off and don’t pick up the man, and in this game we made it really hard for ourselves.
“We matched them and it was end to end stuff on a really good pitch.
“I don’t think they really beat us, we beat ourselves, and that is the disappointing thing because we switched off.”
Highworth face Highmoor Ibis and bottom side Shrivenham in their next two games, and Fisher knows they need to start picking up points from those matches.
“We have two really big games now where we play Highmoor Ibis and then Shrivenham, and we really need to be looking to take some points from those games,” he said.
“Fortunately the sides around us lost on Saturday, so it wasn’t such a bad day, but we need to help ourselves by picking up some points.”
Elsewhere in the division, it was another tough afternoon for recently appointed Shrivenham boss Les Gill as his side slipped to a 4-0 defeat away at Thame.
The loss sees them remain bottom of the table on seven points, while Highworth sit only three places above them on 13.