HELLENIC LEAGUE: Allison saves Bassett draw with penalty stop
DEBUTANT keeper Steve Allison gained the approval of skipper Steve Yeardley after saving the penalty that allowed Wootton Bassett to cling on for a 1-1 draw at Flackwell Heath.
Adam Dickens had put Flackwell in front in the first half of the Hellenic Premier fixture, but Lee Stevens teed up Rory Worthington to sidefoot home the leveller in the second period.
But in the last minute Allison brought down Gavin James as he attempted to claim a loose ball and a spot kick was awarded.
Needing to pull off heroics in order to avoid an infamous debut, Allison did just that, parrying Dickens’ crisply struck effort before jumping up to tip James’ follow-up round the post.
Bassett might have held on for a point, but prior to Dickens’ penalty, Yeardley admitted that defeat seemed the most likely outcome.
“I think we all felt it wasn’t going to be our day, it wasn’t a good position to be in at that stage,” he said.
“But with Stevie in goal, I’m not saying I knew he was going to save it, but I thought we had a chance.
“He made three or four great saves in the game and the penalty was one of those. He seems like a really good keeper and I was impressed with him.”
Yeardley was pleased with a point but admitted his side needed to sharpen up in attacking areas in future.
“Bearing in mind it was backs to the wall for the last 10 or 15 minutes, it was a good result,” he said.
“We battled hard and went back to basics. We won our 50-50s and tried to pick up as many second balls as we could.
“When we got the ball down we were playing them off the park, but maybe we didn’t create enough chances.
“I think we need to take a few more risks getting into the box which will give us more of a cutting edge in the final third.
Bassett take on Brimscombe at the Corinium tomorrow in a re-run of second against first in Division One West last season.
“Phil Baker is a great manager and Brimscombe are a very similar club to Bassett, very good off the pitch,” continued Yeardley.
“They are organised and have got a fit, strong team. I think they have just lost their striker Mike Beckingham, but they will still be a good side.”
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