WOOTTON Bassett’s promotion hopes may have taken a dent at home to Cricklade on Saturday but manager Dave Turner firmly believes his side are destined to return to the Hellenic Premier.
The Rylands Way outfit were demoted following the 2010/11 season but with 10 games to play they sit in the second automatic promotion spot and have a seven-point cushion over nearest rivals Tytherington.
Following the weekend’s 1-1 draw with Cricklade, Turner outlined his faith in his talented squad and stated that they would continue to give their all to close down table-toppers Brimscombe & Thrupp.
“I genuinely believe we will get promoted. There comes a point where you have to stand up and say it,” he revealed.
“I think we will cross the line and if I’m wrong then I will take the flak that comes my way.
“We’re still on course and if we do it, which I believe we will, we will have earned it.
“At the start of the season the number one aim was to win the league, I can’t say it wasn’t. In the changing room that was what we said.
“We haven’t given up and there will be twists and turns. Brimscombe are in the driving seat and we are second, but until it’s numerically impossible we will keep chipping away.”
Saturday’s Division One West clash saw both goals scored within a matter of minutes.
First Jack Allan opened the scoring for Cricklade three minutes into the second half when he directed home Ben Carter’s cross from the flank.
But moments later the hosts were level when James Turner sent Mark Barnes through one-on-one and the striker finished confidently.
“I actually think the pitch played a massive part in the result, it was difficult for both teams to play their natural games,” said Turner.
“But if you can’t win games, draw them. It’s second-best but on reflection it was probably a fair result.
“We probably created more clear-cut chances than them but they defended really well, you have to give them credit for that.”
The only major negative from the game from Bassett’s point of view came when Richie Saunders sustained a gash to the head following a challenge.
But Turner absolved the opposing player of any wrongdoing, saying: “I don’t believe it was nasty. I think the player was genuinely going for the ball and wasn’t aiming an elbow at him.
“It was just unfortunate. They both went into the challenge and Richie came off worse.
“He’s going to be out for a couple of weeks and will be a big miss, but he will have a big part to play in the run-in. We just need to get him fit again.”
Cricklade chairman Alisdair Ross said of the display: “Bassett are a good side, but I think against Brimscombe and Bassett we have shown that we should be performing better than we are.
“Hopefully the players can push on from our recent wins and move us up the table. We have a lot of games in hand and we need to start picking up the three points that our performances deserve.”