TAYLOR Gill marked his Wootton Bassett debut with a goal inside the first 30 seconds as the Rylands Way side kept alive their Division One West title hopes with a 3-0 victory over 10-man Lydney.
With league leaders Brimscombe & Thrupp not in action, Bassett closed the gap at the top to just three points and ensured pressure remained on the shoulders of their rivals.
Dave Turner’s side got off to the ideal start when Gill, a recent recruit from Shrivenham, headed in Matty Bown’s cross inside the opening moments of Saturday’s clash in Gloucestershire.
Further chances were spurned but after the break the visitors were handed a further boost when a Lydney player was red-carded for lunging in late on Liam Edmondson.
Striker Mark Barnes volleyed in number two shortly after and Edmondson nodded in the third to make absolutely sure of victory.
Boss Turner said: “Taylor’s goal meant we couldn’t have got off to a better start.
“The sides were vying for possession for 20 minutes after that but as the first half went on, we created three or four very good chances and should have gone in at least 2-0 up.
“Barnesy missed a one-on-one and it’s not very often you can say that, and their keeper made a couple of good saves.
“We warned them at half-time that it wasn’t over and then five minutes into the second half Lydney had a player sent off. He could have snapped my centre-half’s leg but I’m confident there wasn’t any intent in it.
“We domiinated the second half and 3-0 was a fair reflection.
“The new signings, Taylor and James Blake were very good and everyone was a seven out of 10.
“Everything I wanted from my players was there in abundance, they worked hard for the win and deserved it.”
Turner reiterated his belief that there were plenty of twists and turns to come in the race for the title.
“I genuinely believe everyone will take points off everyone,” he said.
“We lost to Brimscombe two weeks ago and we needed to get back on a little run, and we’ve drawn one and won one.
“That’s what good teams do and we are a good team, I make no apologies for saying that.
“We just have to keep doing what we have for another nine games.”
Purton’s hopes of a first league win since November 16 did not come to fruition as they drew 3-3 with Letcombe at the Red House.
Malmesbury had a triumph of sorts as they staged their first home league game since December 8.
However, Simon Winstone’s men were on the end of a 2-0 defeat to Lambourn.
Cricklade’s clash with New College at Stones Lane was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.