Thu, 18 Jan 2018
Thatcham go on the attack against Royal Wootton Bassett
Thatcham Town 6 Royal Wootton Bassett 0
Thatcham kept up the pressure on Hellenic Premier Division leaders Highworth at the head of the Hellenic Premier with this six-goal mauling of Royal Wootton Bassett at Waterside Park on Saturday.
The Kingfishers – the Premier Division’s Team of the Month for December – are just six points behind with a game in hand, and the two meet at Highworth next Wednesday.
Liam Ferdinand led the way with four goals, taking his tally for the season to 17, and he was ably supported by Shane Cooper-Clarke and Harrison Bayley.
The first half was a tight affair and stubborn resistance by the visitors kept the score to just a single strike, while Wootton’s former English schoolboys keeper Dan Lawrence performed heroics with a string of first-class saves.
The opening 20 minutes saw the Kingfishers have almost total possession with shots from Ferdinand, twice, and Curtis Angell thwarted by Lawrence.
But Bassett could have taken a shock lead on a rare break, and Dave Richards was denied at the far post by Thatcham keeper Chris Rackley.
On 29 minutes, a tremendous strike from distance by skipper Tom Melledew hit the post and rebounded out to Cooper-Clark, who headed over the bar.
Bassett suffered a blow on 36 minutes, when former Thatcham defender Sam Collier went off with an injury and was replaced by Ben Lodge.
The deadlock was finally broken on 43 minutes, Cooper-Clark setting up Ferdinand for the first of his four.
On 49 minutes, Bassett substituted Jake Johns for Josh Coombs, before Thatcham notched their second, Cooper-Clark’s strike rebounded off Lawrence and Ferdinand was on hand to head home.
Three minutes later Ferdinand set up Cooper-Clark for number three and 60 seconds later Bayley was tripped in the area and Ferdinand powered in the spot kick.
Manager Danny Robinson introduced Jordan Brown and Ekow Elliott for Rapley and Grant as the Kingfishers looked for more goals.
Tom Browne delivering the perfect cross for Bayley to score his fourth of the season and the final nail was hammered home by Ferdinand in the closing minutes.