Basford edge ever nearer the playoffs (VIDEO NOW UPLOADED)
A hard fought game against a Goole FC side scrapping to avoid relegation, saw United break the hearts of the gallant visitors 15 minutes from time.
Stuart Hendrie registered the all-important goal after finding space to clinically finish.
Basford hard fought victory can now be viewed on line by clicking on the Basford TV Link https://youtu.be/qfDIRQ90gkE
On a blustery day and with a watered but bobbly surface, then Basford had to dig deep and grind this victory out with a hard scrapping performance. Based on a solid rear-guard then it only needed 1 clear cut opening to win the game.
Manager Martin Carruthers slightly tinkered with his starting line-up for the game, with consideration that the team are back in action in less than 48 hours. One of our best players in current form Cory Grantham started on the bench, and with Dion Miekle missing United welcomed back Billy Bennett who returned to the starting line-up after an 8 week absence. Eugen Bopp returned after a 3 game suspension. New permanent signing from Boston United Kyle Dixon was fit enough to return to the squad to start on the bench.
Going down the slope 1st period with a strong wind behind Basford failed to take that 1st half advantage despite the lion’s share of possession. Two glimpses of quality saw Eugen Bopp bring a fine stop for Goole keeper Nicholson, and then right on the stroke of HT Anthony Griffiths-Junior saw a free kick tipped over by Nicholson. Apart from this it was a tough tackling midfield battle with United led by a fine all action performance from Ashley Grayson. Mixing it well with AFC Goole who showed a level of commitment and desire that will surely serve them well in their relegation scrap, then it wasn’t a game for the faint hearted with lots of tough although very fair tackling. Going in level at the break 0-0 United faced tough task going up the slope 2nd period against a howling gale picking up steam.
A HT change saw Martin Carruthers bring back Kyle Dixon for Anthony Griffiths-Junior who for the 2nd game didn’t get past HT due to a knock. Almost instantaneous the United faithful who know why Basford have committed a 15-month deal for Kyle Dixon, saw the midfielder almost open the scoring on 46 minutes. Picking up a low cross Kyle Dixon did so well to keep his effort down and bring a brilliant save from Nicholson.
AFC Goole then had a good spell and a wind assisted effort from Bobby Johnson beat Saul Deeney but denied by the cross bar. This was followed by more joy for the visitors and Nicholas Guest should have opened the scoring on 58 minutes. A sharp chance saw Guest sweep a low cross to be denied by a fine stop with his legs by Saul Deeney. With the wind picking up a wind assisted cross looked to have beat Saul Deeney, but Billy Bennett was in the right place to head off the line. It was pretty clear that this was either heading for a 0-0 draw or an odd goal victory for either side. Martin Carruthers though played his ace on 72 minutes bringing the pace outlet of Cory Grantham into the game. Cory Grantham like on so many occasions this season is too quick for defenders in this league as demonstrated in the move that won the game on 76 minutes. Receiving a ball wide right Cory Grantham skipped past two defenders with pace to get to the bye line and perfectly pick out Stuart Hendrie, who for once lost his close marker. The striker showed quick feet to fashion a fine strike on goal that beat Nicholson off the underside of cross bar. Great scenes of jubilation not only from United players and staff, but also our ever increasing following who greeted the goal with great jubilation. United almost killed off the game but Reuben Wiggins-Thomas as again denied by a sharp save from Nicholson at his near post. The visitors kept going and Bobby Johnson could have done better but skied an effort over the cross bar . This was the final action all be it from Keeper Nicholson going up for a succession of corners, but United rear-guard was excellent on the day and dealt brilliantly with a lot of aerial balls into the box assisted by the wind.
FT 1-0 and Basford move ever closer to securing a playoff spot via a tough victory. Credit to all involved for grinding this out, likely a game Basford would have lost earlier this campaign, but not now as Martin Carruthers has a hard working unit that can adapt to all types of game situations. A great asset that will definitely be needed if United make the tense end of season playoffs. MOM Ashley Grayson, he does a lot of the unseen hard work in the engine area alongside the revitalised Fabian Smith and yesterday it as a fine showing from Ashley Grayson pivotal in the win. Many positives on the day for United with Billy Bennett coming through a 90 minutes and Kyle Dixon likewise coming through 45 minutes. Finally, a big thank you to yesterday’s Basford ever growing following who made a big difference and the vocal support is encouraging the lads to reward this fan base with hard working performances. Back in action on Bank Holiday Monday then United will hope a few of our fans make the short journey to Carlton Town for the Easter Monday local derby 3pm in another big game for local bragging rights. Just as important for Basford avoiding defeat will ensure that no team this campaign in this tough Evo-Stik South division will have done the double over Basford in our debut season in this league.