Basford fall to local rivals
In a dress rehearsal of what could be a likely title decider it was Long Eaton who prevailed last night to book a place in the League Semi final.
A tight game was settled moments before the interval via a low strike from Long Eaton defender Burton but Basford contrived to miss two spot kicks 2nd period.
Given Basford reaching a cup final the previous week and an already heavy league schedule for the remainder of the season then manager Martin Carruthers turned to a youthful 11 for this cup quarter final, after weighing up the prospect of a two leg semi final. Therefore Top scorer Ruben Wiggins-Thomas, Capt Aaron Webster, Dan Fletcher, Ryan Whitehurst & both the Hendries Lee & Stuart all were rested with United travelling for a difficult away game Sat at Coventry Spinx. In came youngster Jahred Russell, Jamie McNicholas to start and Kamal Assumg Hayles for the bench. Sam Craven returned and the manager went with an ambitious strike force of new signings Tyrelle Shannon, Courey Grantham & Lavelle White. Shame injury deprived us of Academy youngster Joe Coxon but at least he is on the mend.
In truth little to mention from a pretty tame 1st period apart from a couple of decent efforts from the visitors that should have been converted by Kieran Wells. Basford took a little while to settle into the game but youngster Jahred Russell started really well. Tyrelle Shannon saw a dangerous looking free kick take a deflection that meant the save from Long Eaton keeper Scott Low was probably better than it looked. The 1st half should have ended level at 0-0 until a needless free kick given away just outside the box saw Long Eaton take the advantage. Renowned for good set play delivery & conversion this season Jermaine Hollis bent in a dangerous ball that fell for defender Burton to finish from close range. With the official immediately blowing for the half a tough time to concede.
2nd period with Basford now needing to open up to get back in the tie, then it was a far better half by the home side. On 57 min United had a golden chance to level as Lavelle White was brought down in the box via a clumsy challenge from Kieran Wells. With all our normal regular penalty takers Wiggins-Thomas, Whitehurst & Webster keeping warm on the side line the responsibility fell on Tyrelle Shannon to get us back in the game. Unfortunately the penalty was tame and saved comfortably by Low. The resulting corner saw Dion Miekle powerfully head inches over. With Basford pushing on the visitors could have made the game save via a decent counter attack that saw Saul Deeney forced to make a fine one on one stop on 63 minutes. With the game opening up this began to suit the pace of United forwards and all of a sudden the 3 outlets were beginning to ask questions. Courey Grantham on 73 min fashioned himself a fine opportunity. After skipping past a full back and clipping a deft effort against the join of the far crossbar and post the effort stayed out. Basford continued to press and Long Eaton to get a little more nervy defensively as the visitors conceded the 2nd penalty of the night on 76 min. The award was for a handball that looked a little harsh. This time it was Courey Grantham who picked up the ball with confidence, but his effort was skied and so that was the 2nd penalty miss of the game. After this despite a lot of effort it became pretty clear not our night and Long Eaton comfortably played out the remaining time for the victory.
Far from discouraged a very pleasing display from our standpoint and two of our youngsters McNicholas and Jahred Russell gave manager Martin Carruthers food for thought with excellent displays. Of the regulars Josh Thornton and Dion Miekle gave typically assured performances.
For Basford the attention now turns to Sat and a difficult game at Coventry Spinx. With the visitors already defeating Lye, Coleshill and drawing with Long Eaton on there home patch, then this one looks a difficult game and totally justifying the selections last night.
Long Eaton join Coleshill, Westfield & Rocester in the semi finals which are played over a two legged semi final game .