United Begin Cup Defence With Wollaton Win (Video Now Online)
By Simon Ball-McQueen
A January quarter–final clash at Carlton Town now awaits Martin Carruthers’ side.
Video highlights are now available via the following link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIKlyTw9tvo
Two second half strikes from top-scorer Reuben Wiggins-Thomas was enough to despatch of Basford’s NSL Premier Division neighbours Wollaton FC at Greenwich Avenue on Tuesday night, in the Third Round of the Notts Senior Cup, as United won the game 2-1.
Carruthers made just one change from the starting eleven that beat Coalville Town the previous Saturday, with Kofi Hellewell coming in for Robbie McNicholas at right back.
Once again, a very youthful-looking bench was selected, with all five subs coming from the Under-21 squad and Tom Harrison and Derek Ubah both receiving their first senior call-ups.
Wollaton looked the livelier of the two sides in the opening exchanges and created two or three good half-chances but they failed to trouble Saul Deeney’s goal.
United did have their own chances to open the scoring, when on 20 minutes, the visiting keeper pulled off a fine save to deny Wiggins-Thomas.
It was an impressive first-half performance from the NSL side, who for large parts of the half, looked the more dangerous in front of goal, as firstly Deeney did well to turn a low shot around his post before having to tip a curling free kick over his crossbar.
Basford then started to find the attacking flair that had seen them claim some important, recent victories in the league and although they couldn’t break the stalemate before half time, Blair Anderson turned and fired a decent effort just wide, Stuart Hendrie then had a shot saved with Wiggins-Thomas not finding the target with the rebound.
Finally, Eugene Bopp was played through on goal but the Wollaton keeper stood big to save the German’s effort.
Two Wiggins-Thomas strikes early in the second half on 53 and 61 minutes ensured there was only ever going to be one result in the tie.
The marksman netted his sixteenth and seventeenth goals of the campaign, with virtually identical strikes from opposite sides of the pitch. On both occasions Wiggins-Thomas beat his markers to find space on the edge of the penalty area and slotted the ball into the bottom, far corner of the Wollaton net.
However, to their credit, the visitors refused to throw in the towel and continued to push for a way back into the game. They forced a superb, close-range stop from Deeney on 80 minutes before winning a penalty in the last minute of play, which was duly despatched by Jay Smedley.
The penalty proved to be too little too late for Wollaton, as United held onto the majority of possession in injury time, seeing out the game and securing a quarter final tie at Carlton Town on Wednesday 13th January (7.45pm kick-off).
Basford now look forward to their first home league game in over a month as Chasetown visit the Avenue this Saturday (3pm kick-off).
A BUFC Radio post-game interview with Mark Clifford can be heard via the following link - https://audioboom.com/boos/3921856-post-game-interview-with-mark-clifford-basford-united-2-wollaton-fc-1-08-12-15-notts-senior-cup