ROYAL Wootton Bassett Men secured promotion to the Conference North with a 4-3 win over third placed Bridgwater last weekend.

The result left Bassett 13 points clear of third-place Bridgwater and five points behind the league leaders with a game in hand over many of the sides below them.

Goals from Kyle Barnes, Mark Turner, and two from drag-flicker Matt Daniel provided the goals needed to thwart Bridgwater.

Bassett took an early lead in the match, going 2-1 ahead in the final stages of the first half, before some spectacular goal line saves from Matt Daniel and Craig McLauchlin kept Bassett in the lead at the half-time interval.

In the second half, the Royals started strongly, scoring two early goals to give them a 4-1 lead.

However, a number of cards left Bassett with ten men for large periods of the second half, giving the opposition the advantage and building pressure on the hosts’ defence.

Bridgwater managed to claw back two goals, leaving the tie at 4-3 and in the balance for the closing stages.

A nervy finish ensued but Bassett’s defence stood resolute in the closing minutes to secure the three points and promotion from Central 1.

This season, the Royals have amassed an impressive 15 wins from 17 games, losing only to top-placed side Bristol Uni in two closely matched games, the latter of those finishing in an agonising 6-5 defeat.

The current campaign has certainly been impressive from the North Wiltshire side, their second season in the division, having finished fourth last year.

Only seven years ago Bassett were relegated to their lowest ever division, but now face promotion to the highest league in the club’s history.

The promotion to Conference North will see Bassett compete against local rivals Chippenham, Marlborough and Cirencester.

Captain Tom Ponting said: “It’s an incredible achievement for the club, two promotions in three seasons taking the men’s section to its highest ever standard.

“I am immensely proud of all the squad, especially having done so with three games to spare.”

With promotion now secured, Bassett turn their attention to the league title, only five points behind leaders Bristol Uni and with a game in hand, this deficit could soon be reduced to only two points.