United Pipped At The Post By Young Stags Side
Basford United were narrowly beaten by their Football League neighbours Mansfield Town, losing 2-1 at Greenwich Avenue on Tuesday evening.
A crowd of 189 came to see Basford take on a Stags side, which mainly consisted of first-year professionals and youth team players but nevertheless, provided strong, well-drilled opposition for Martin Carruthers’ team.
Carruthers was still unable to call upon Stuart Hendrie, Jahred Russell and last-season’s top-scorer Reuben Wiggins-Thomas and named a youthful looking bench including the likes of Jack Wood, Ryan Oates, Kirmani Smith and keeper Jake Wood.
Despite a slow start, the game came to life on the 20 minute mark, when Conor Green brought down Tyrell Shannon in the box but the United striker could not covert the penalty he had just earned, with Mansfield goalie Sam Wilson making a good save down to his left.
Five minutes later, Saul Deeney kept the scores level saving well from visiting striker Dan Fletcher, 60 seconds before Basford were awarded another penalty. This time Fabian Smith was given the task of beating Wilson, which he did with ease, coolly slotting the ball in the bottom corner of the net and sending the Stags custodian in the opposite direction.
Just after the half-hour, Mansfield found an equaliser courtesy of Fletcher, as the promising forward broke through the home back line, sliding the ball under Deeney.
The second half bore little fruit for either side, with chances coming at a premium.
Deeney made another excellent stop on 49 minutes, this time denying Anthony Dwyer’s effort, turning it over the angle of post and crossbar.
Fabian Smith’s failed to connect properly with Shannon’s well-placed cross, as his shot was blasted over the bar on 60 minutes and five minutes later, Blair Anderson’s fierce shot forced Wilson into action once again.
A flurry of substitutions from both sides then largely took any previous rhythm from the game and the visitors were able to capitalise on this with four minutes remaining, as sub Kane Baldwin was able to pounce on a rebound to score the winner, after sub goalkeeper Jake Wood had made an excellent initial stop.
United’s thoughts now turn to their final away friendly game at Gedling Miners Welfare on Saturday 1st August (3pm kick-off) before they host Ilkeston FC at Greenwich Avenue, on Tuesday 4th August (7.45pm).