Cup road closed for un-streetwise Bassett

Wootton Bassett boss Paul Braithwaite

Wootton Bassett boss Paul Braithwaite

First published in Sport by , Sports reporter

WOOTTON Bassett Town boss Paul Braithwaite thinks that if his players had been slightly more streetwise, they could now find themselves in the mix in the FA Cup first qualifying round.

Bassett’s involvement in the country’s most famous cup competition came to an end as they were beaten 2-1 at Western League county rivals Bradford Town in the preliminary round on Saturday.

Braithwaite reckons that a second Bradford goal, minutes before half-time – a second of the afternoon for the hosts’ Mark Wall – proved decisive in his team’s downfall.

“We were a little naive and if we hadn’t been, I think we could have got something from the tie,” said the Bassett manager.

“We were trying to play football the right way but if we’d kept things tight and been wary of conceding at the end of athe half, it could have been a very different game with us only losing 1-0.

“We knew that Bradford would be a good side and they were what you’d expect from a team that is doing well in their own league and are healthy in terms of budget.”

Wall’s curled effort put Bradford ahead midway through the first period and the home side pounced on the counter-attack just minutes before the break.

After Dan Bailey was caught in possession, Wall drove forward and slalomed past Richie Carter before firing home to make it 2-0.

Bassett didn’t manage to hit back until the final minute of the game, with James Skinner finding the bottom corner of the net with a powerful effort from around 30 yards.

Midfielder Henry Traas is in line for his debut in Tuesday night’s Floodlit Cup first round tie at Reading Town whilst Tyler Sheppard could return from injury.

Braithwaite added: “When I was at Fairford, we got to the semi-finals and the quarter-finals of the Floodlit Cup, so we’re going to be taking it seriously.”

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