Saturday, 25 August 2012

Wootton Bassett Hound Hamworthy Out of the Cup

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Friday 24 August 2012 at The Gerard Buxton Sports Ground, Rylands Way
Wootton Bassett Town 1 Hamworthy United 0
FA Cup Preliminary Round
I am here for ground #469 on the lifetime list having had to resort to an online random number generator after the garden's wildlife turned up its collective nose at all five piles of strategically placed peanuts.  This is one of five ties at "new grounds" this evening and I had to choose somehow.  All this is documented for posterity in the previous post on this blog.  A bunch of magpies eventually pitched up at about 3pm and ate the lot, but by then the call had been made.
Pre-match preparation
The home side play at step 6 in the Hellenic League Division One West and are undefeated with three wins and a draw, and a 4-2 home FA Cup victory over Calne Town.  Mark Barnes has scored seven of their sixteen goals.  Their last win took them top of their league.  The visitors are from the step 5 Wessex Premier and had a good 2-1 away win at Bemerton Heath Harlequins of the same division in the previous round.  In their league they are also undefeated with a win and two draws.  All set up for a close encounter, it would seem.  On the hopping front, I must add Wootton Bassett Town to the list of teams hoping to move to a new ground soon.
This match in one sentence
A valiant win for the home side who managed to defend their early goal for a memorable win.
So what?
£1750 for club funds and a home tie against either Highworth Town or Shortwood United in the next round - they play on Sunday.
The drama unfolds
Wootton Bassett scored the crucial goal before I even filmed my scene-setter clip.  A punt from the right towards the edge of the area was more in hope than expectation.  Goalkeeper Shane Murphy lost the ball in a challenge from Mark Barnes, who then had an easy finish to score for the fifth game in a row. Eight minutes on the watch.  1-0

These two clips show the pattern that the game settled into - Hamworthy pressing for the equaliser but looking vulnerable on the break, but neither goalkeeper was really tested.

Sam Pekun caught the eye up front for the visitors, but Hamworthy were starting to look rattled.  The next clip is from 38 minutes, shortly after there had been a yellow card for each side in quick succession as tackles started to fly in.  Hamworthy have a free-kick in a dangerous position.

As you see, it could have been 1-1 or 2-0.  On balance, I think that Wootton Bassett would have been very happy to get to the interval with the lead intact.  This game may well have had a different outcome otherwise.  1-0 at half-time

Both sides gave their all in the second half.  The home team started well and missed one pretty good chance.  Perhaps the manager had got the message through that attack is a good form of defence.  The game continued to be even and end-to-end although again the keepers were only called to make routine saves.  Hamworthy started to get significant territorial advantage as the time went on, and my final clip is a compilation of their efforts in the last few minutes of the game.  Heroic defending from the hosts, a lack of composure perhaps from the visitors.  Barnes might have had a second himself, though, as Murphy fumbled another one on the edge of the area.  Great stuff for the passing neutral.  The body language of the Hamworthy strike force in the last seconds sums it all up.  Final score 1-0

The programme

Something random

The title and patronage for the town of Royal Wootton Bassett was conferred fairly recently by HM the Queen, in 2011, in recognition of the town's response to a significant number of military formalities.  The local airbase RAF Lyneham was the point of return for the bodies of war casualties from abroad, and the people of the town frequently recognised these processions in a dignified manner that drew national attention.
Hopping for Moorfields Update
No Dutchmen, no farm animals, no keepers scoring, no bicycle kick goals, no somersault celebrations, no abandonment due to snow - but one goal, so a running total of seventeen from four games.  Estimated value of final pot is now over £500 - you can make a pledge at any time.  See previous posts for more detail - I'm looking for LOTS of people to give a small amount.  A penny-a-goal, for example, would be something between £2 and £3 at the end of the season.
What Next?
My delayed visit to Sleaford Town on Saturday afternoon for their FA Cup match against Rainworth Miners Welfare.  Undecided about Sunday.  Provisionally a triple of Horley Town, Crawley Down and Henley Town on Bank Holiday Monday, assuming those fixtures are not disrupted by FA Cup replays.

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