Wiggins-Thomas & Meikle Send United Up To Fifth After 2-0 Win At Daventry
By Simon Ball-McQueen
A brilliant team performance saw Basford collect a second win and clean sheet in a row, to go five games unbeaten.
Martin Carruthers stuck with the same starting eleven that had earned an excellent 3-0 home win over Belper Town the previous Saturday. This included recent signing Eugen Bopp, who last weekend, looked to be the missing link in helping Basford’s potent attacking line reach its full potential, as the former Forest man linked up well with the likes of Reuben Wiggins-Thomas, Cory Grantham and Blair Anderson.
Striker Ben Hutchinson and midfielder Jermaine Hollis were added to the bench, after missing out on last weekend’s victory. Sat alongside them were Gino Kelleher and Rob McCormick, who both kept their places amongst the substitutes, whilst youngsters Rhys Myers, Umar Ismael and Harry Wakefield were left out of the squad.
A flurry of corners in the opening 15 minutes led to a number of United chances, the first after 5 minutes, when Deon Meikle’s shot from the edge of the box just cleared the home crossbar.
A penalty claim was waived away by the referee six minutes later, as Wiggins-Thomas looked to have been brought down by the Daventry keeper, after hit hitman’s pace saw him race away from his markers.
Despite the boggy conditions, Basford continued to play fast, flowing football on the deck and numerous balls were sent down each flank to Grantham and Anderson, who time and time again, bamboozled the home defence and delivered some excellent balls into the danger areas.
Perhaps the best chance of the half fell to Grantham on 8 minutes, when after some great ball control and passing work from Bopp and then Wiggins-Thomas, the winger skied his effort from just 8 yards out.
Josh Thornton’s bullet of a shot from 30 yards out, then forced a good save from the keeper just a minute later, whilst at the back, United looked untroubled, with even Bopp coming back to help with defensive duties, after his fine headed clearance kept Daventry at bay on 28 minutes.
The home side’s only real chance of the entire game came on thirty minutes, when Saul Deeney made a spectacular reaction save to push away a goal-bound shot from the centre forward, whilst the rebound was blasted over the crossbar by Daventry’s #7, who really should have done better.
More chances came and went for Basford, as a close-range header from Wiggins-Thomas went disappointingly wide, after some good skill on the left from Anderson and a pinpoint cross from Billy Bennett.
Despite their dominance United were unable to cement this with a goal in the first half, as the final chance of the half fell to Grantham, who was sent clear through on goal but just ran out of room as the keeper came out to block the ball before the winger could pull the trigger.
The second half continued much like the first, with Basford firmly in the driving seat and just 60 seconds after the restart United finally had their game opener, when Meikle threw his heel out at Bennett’s in-swinging free kick, clipping the ball and directing it into the Daventry net.
The hosts could offer little in the way of a comeback as United continued to tighten the screw. Grantham shot just wide from 20 yards out five minutes later before current top-scorer Wiggins-Thomas netted his eleventh of the season on 64 minutes, after Bopp’s excellent skill and close control saw him waltz into the box and tee-up the marksman for a simple tap-in.
A similar set of circumstances almost bagged Wiggins-Thomas a second goal four minutes later, as another good ball from Bopp saw the striker do well to head the ball from the keeper’s grasp but just sneaking the wrong side of the upright.
Having caused massive problems for the home defence all afternoon, Wiggins-Thomas had one last chance to double his tally with fourteen minutes remaining. Having been sent clear through on goal, the Daventry keeper did well to come out of his box and stab the ball away with a tackle worthy of any good centre half.
United then saw out the remainder of game comfortably, retaining possession and preventing their opponents from finding a way back into the game, thanks some solid defending and some commanding goalkeeping from Deeney.
Basford now look to prepare for the visit of Newcastle Town to Greenwich Avenue on Tuesday night (7.45pm kick-off).
BUFC Radio post-game interview with Deon Meikle - https://audioboom.com/boos/3730362-post-game-interview-with-deon-meikle-daventry-town-0-basford-united-2-24-10-15
BUFC Radio post-game interview with Martin Carruthers - https://audioboom.com/boos/3730383-post-game-interview-with-martin-carruthers-daventry-town-0-basford-united-2-24-10-15