HELLENIC LEAGUE: Bassett close in on promotion
WOOTTON Bassett closed in on automatic promotion from Division One West with a last-gasp 2-1 victory over struggling Letcombe.
Matty Bown had put the visitors ahead from the spot in the lead-up to the break after Mark Barnes had been tripped in the box.
However, midfielder Richie Saunders was dismissed for an ill-advised lunge in the second period and Letcombe pulled themselves level soon after.
But in the final minute, Barnes again went down after being felled in the area and Bown delivered from the spot.
It was a victory that left Bassett boss Dave Turner purring.
“What a great bunch of players I’ve got, their character is unbelievable and they don’t know when they are beaten,” he said.
“The players that stayed on the pitch were magnificent to a man. I knew we had some grit but they took it to another level on Saturday.
“With 10 men we were holding our own, but Adam Corcoran still put his body on the line with one of the best saving tackles I’ve seen this season.”
On Saunders’ dismissal, Turner said the referee had made the right decision.
“I can’t defend him,” said the boss.
“It was a bad tackle and he deserved to go. He apologised and that’s great, that’s all I want from my players.
“I was angry at the time but it’s done and dusted now and we move on.”
Bassett are now just five points away from automatic promotion and Turner is convinced his side won’t let their bid slip up.
“We’re almost there now,” he said.”We need two or three wins out of the last seven and that’s assuming everyone else wins their games, so we’re in the driving seat.
“With the character we’ve got I don’t worry about us closing the season out. To play 40 minutes with 10 men and win I thought was immense.”
Elsewhere in the division, a Brad Gill goal gave Fairford a 1-0 win at Cricklade as the Cinder Lane side strengthened their case for a third-placed finish.
Rock-bottom Malmesbury managed a shock draw at home to in-form Clanfield while Purton were beaten 3-1 by Carterton at the Red House.