Report by John Bryson
The visitors were the first to threaten when, in the fifth minute, Basford goalkeeper Saul Deeney had to come out of his area to kick clear from the oncoming Rob Hopley.
Four minutes later Witton took the lead when a shot was blocked and spun into the air. Will Jones met the ball as it came down with a fine right foot volley which went low beyond Deeney’s right hand.
Basford had a chance for a quick equaliser. A mistake in the twelfth minute in the Witton defence let Nat Watson in one on one with Witton goalkeeper Greg Hall, but both stumbled and the ball was eventually cleared by supporting defenders.
In the sixteenth minute a long ball by Jones found Tom Owens just outside the home penalty area, but the pressure was eventually cleared due to a foul being awarded for Basford. A minute later Shaun Harrad met a ball in from the Basford right but his header failed to hit the target.
The twenty-first minute Hopley got onto a centre from the Witton right but failed to find the target with his header. Three minutes later Will Booth saw his shot direct from a free kick on the edge of the Basford penalty area go just over the Deeney’s crossbar.
Watson had a chance to equalise in the twenty-eighth minute but from close in saw his header go wide. Two minutes later, however, Watson did find the target when he cut in from the Basford left and fired a fine right foot shot wide of Hall for an equaliser.
In the thirty-fourth minute a long ball was headed on to Owens but Deeney got down well to save the Witton number eight’s low shot and keep the scores level. From this point Basford had territorial advantage for the rest of the first half. The fortieth minute saw Matt Thornhill’s header come back off Hall’s right hand post and was cleared, ensuring the half time score was 1-1.
After the restart Basford gradually gained the upper hand. The fifty-seventh minute saw Hall race out of his area to clear the ball, but he sliced his kick and skied the ball, the danger being eventually cleared from the visitors’ defence. Two minutes later down the other end of the pitch Jones picked up a flicked-on header but put his shot well wide.
The sixty-second minute saw a good run by Jack Thomas, but the home number 11 was eventually crowded out. Two minutes later Watson was on the end of a through ball, tried to take it around Hall but the goalkeeper was able to save at Watson’s feet.
The pressure was starting to build on the Witton goal and a good ball in the sixty-seventh minute from substitute James Reid just eluded Harrad. Two minutes later Harrad was on the end of a centre but headed wide.
The seventy-fourth minute saw Hall drop a cross, Thornhill picked up the ball and saw his shot blocked on the line by one of the two covering defenders.
But Basford were not to be deprived of a second goal, and this duly arrived in the eightieth minute. An inswinging corner from Reid saw another dropped ball by Hall, Captain Lewis Carr heading home from two yards out.
A centre by Cesaire Lingouba from the Witton right in the eighty-fifth minute eluded both attackers and defenders.
This was the last threat on the home goal and a third Basford goal arrived in the eighty-eighth minute. A long ball beat the Witton defence and left Watson clear and Basford with a 2 to 1 man advantage. Watson turned inside and fired home to secure all three points for Basford.
Basford: Saul Deeney, Liam Bateman, Dom Roma (Liam Hearn 65), Jerry Nash, Lewis Carr (capt), Stef Galinski, Fernanado Bell-Toxtle (James Reid 53), Matt Thornhill, Nat Watson, Shaun Harrad (Zak Goodson 83), Jack Thomas.
Subs not used: Louis Tomlinson, Dennell Stokes.
Updated 19:26 - 19 Feb 2019 by Neil McGowan