FOOTBALL: Bassett find class gap too wide to breach
SKIPPER Steve Yeardley admitted Wootton Bassett could not match the class of Dorchester after the Wiltshire side were beaten 4-0 in the FA Cup.
Competing in the second qualifying round for the first time in their history, the Rylands Way outfit were sunk by goals from Jamie Reid (2), Ben Watson and Nathan Walker in Dorset.
And Yeardley said: "Our performance was good, we let ourselves down in the first 20 minutes but we battled hard and got closer to them in the second half and did ourselves justice.
"We let them have the ball in their own half and only shut them down in the final third, and they struggled to break us down.
"We tried to match their work rate and their desire all over the pitch throughout, but at the end of the day their quality shone through."
Sam Malsom gave the visitors an early indication of what they were up against with 45 seconds gone, when he fired just over from 16 yards.
Bassett keeper James Domm blocked from Exeter loanee Reid, but the deadlock was broken after 12 minutes as Mark Jermyn's neat through-ball was half-volleyed home by striker Watson.
Almost immediately, Bassett fashioned their best chance of the game and it took something special to carve open their opponents.
Matty Bown played a beautifully measured through-ball for Lee Bowen, and the Bassett front man slammed a first-time strike a yard past the left post.
Unfortunately for the visitors, that was as good as it got in the first period. Reid unleashed an absolute cracker from 25 yards to double the lead, and the visiting goal led a charmed life after that as Watson twice and Charlie Clough went close.
The third goal was the simplest of the lot, Neil Martin's 35th-minute corner being headed into the net from six yards by centre-back Walker.
It was only thanks to the heroics of Domm that Bassett didn't find themselves further behind at the break.
The goalkeeper first launched himself into the air to palm away a powerful Reid header, and moments later he got a hand to Malsom's top corner-bound strike.
Watson grazed the upright with a poked effort two minutes before the break, but Domm had earned his side a shade of good fortune.
After the resumption, the game became more processional as the hosts appeared to take their foot off the pedal.
Bowen even tried his luck from 30 yards, but stopper Jason Matthews was able to get down to the ball fairly comfortably.
Martin's long-range drive was the home support had to shout about until the final 10 minutes, when they were spurred into action by restless Magpies fans.
Debutant Jon Garcia, who has played in the second tier of Spanish football, should have done better with a volley that he struck well over.
Reid missed a couple of gilt-edged chances to double his tally, the second seeing the Grecians man slice horribly wide of the near post.
He did finally complete his brace in the second minute of added time, placing the ball in the bottom-right corner from the edge of the box.
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