Goalscorer Bassett unlikely to get central attacking role back despite equaliser that keeps Tooting & Mitcham in play-off mix


Tooting & Mitcham United will probably resist the temptation to restore Saturday’s goal hero Danny Bassett to a central strikers’ role, despite missing his early-season goal exploits.

Top scorer Bassett, who has bagged 13 in this campaign, fired in a 90th minute equaliser against Westfield to earn Tooting a 1-1 draw, which keeps the Terrors in the play-off mix.

But it was only his second goal since early December, whereas he netted 11 times in the first four months of the campaign.

That is explained by a switch to playing on the wing in recent weeks, and joint-boss Ashley Bosah believes that using him in that position is still the best option.

“He’s been playing out wide and is now more of a creator than an out-and-out goalscorer for us,” Bosah told the South London Press. “We are using his pace out wide to good effect and he’s got the most assists. He causes a lot a damage from that position and that is better for the balance of the team.

“We are not ruling out putting him back in the middle at some stage, but overall we think our goal threat is greater than it was at the start of the season and the move has resulted in our great run of form.”

The last-gasp goal against Westfield kept the gap between the two teams at six points in the Isthmian League South Central Division. Tooting have a game in hand and the draw extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches in all competitions. The manner of the point was particularly pleasing to the Tooting boss.

“It wasn’t the result we wanted, of course, as we were looking to close the gap on the top five,” he said. “But it shows we’ve got the character to keep going. We were piling on the pressure at the end and nothing was going for us, but we didn’t give up and always believe we can get something out of games.

We are a side that’s very hard to beat. We are very proud of that. You can’t coach that into players.”

That resilience will be put to the test again at the weekend at second-placed Bracknell Town, who are unbeaten at home this season.

“We won’t change how we play because of their record,” Bosah said.

“We will keep doing what we’ve been doing, but hopefully convert more of the chances we’ve been creating.

“We have not set a points target to reach the play-offs, but know we probably need a win against one of the teams above us because we’ve been drawing quite a few games and you need those three-pointers.”

Isaiah Jones, who is second on the list of goalscorers for the Terrors, with nine, is available again after suspension. Bosah and fellow manager Cornelius Nwadialor have a fully fit squad to choose from this weekend.

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