Isuzu FA Vase second round: Wellington 2, Royal Wootton Bassett Town 2 (RWBT win 5-4 on penalties)
We bowed out of the Isuzu FA Vase at the second round stage with a penalty shootout defeat at home to our Wiltshire visitors yesterday (Saturday, November 12th).
The two sides were locked together at 2-2 when the final whistle blew and Bassett, from the Hellenic League premier division, converted all of their kicks to go through.
It also gave them revenge for a 4-0 defeat at the Playing Field when the two sides last met in the competition 18 years earlier.
Bassett were quicker out of the blocks as the game got under way and went ahead after only ten minutes. Home keeper Harley Wilkinson pulled off a good block but, when the ball was only cleared as far as visiting skipper Tommy Ouldridge, he produced a perfectly-placed chip into the net.
Wellington’s starting 11 included five teenagers and two of them were involved in the equaliser after 25 minutes. A fierce shot from Kelson Pollard smashed into the face of Bassett’s Dave Bampton and Henry Woodward marked his full debut by driving low into the net.
Bassett had a great chance to regain the lead eight minutes later when Rhys Talmash was sent racing clear but Wilkinson, who has proved a great acquisition for Wellington, again saved well.
Wellington then hit back to take the lead on the stroke of half-time. A long throw by skipper Jack Bown-Porter dropped to Jake Quick in the box and the striker turned in an instant to hook the ball into the roof of the net.
The second half saw Bassett pressing for an equaliser with the Tangerines struggling to get out of their half but it looked like some stubborn defending would keep the score at 2-1 until a late tactical switch by the visitors.
They threw defender Landon Golding into attack and, with nine minutes left on the clock, he lunged at a low cross alongside his marker Jason Quick and the ball ended up in the net.
With no further goals, the tie moved straight to penalties with Wellington taking first and sub Stefan Phillips seeing his effort thump against the foot of the post. Both sides then converted the rest of their kicks to see Bassett home 5-4.
Wellington had the consolation of picking up £250 in prizemoney to go with the £825 they won for beating Barnstaple Town in the first round.
They now face a challenging Les Phillips Cup tie away to holders Bridgwater United on Tuesday night (November 15th) although they will take heart from having already drawn twice in the league with the early pacesetters.
Wellington: Harley Wilkinson, Callum Chivers, Mark Cornish, Jason Quick, Jack Bown-Porter, Jamie Nicholson, Eli Collins, Miles Quick, Henry Woodward, Kelson Pollard, Jake Quick. Subs: Stefan Phillips, Heon Jin and Sam Towler (all used); Michael Murphy (not used).