Newcastle Draw Keeps Basford In Fifth (Video Now Online)
It was another strong all-round performance against Newcastle Town on Tuesday but United’s finishing let them down, coming away with a 1-1 draw.
Video highlights of the match are now available to view via the following link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjQ1qZpfvtc
With one eye on Saturday’s big home debut in FA Trophy against Grantham Town, Martin Carruthers made a handful of changes to his starting eleven, which achieved comfortable and comprehensive victories over Belper Town and Daventry Town.
Rob Darkin dropped back to right-back to replace the missing David Boafo, whilst Rob McCormick was promoted from the bench to slot into the centre of defence. In central midfield Jermaine Hollis came in for the rested Thornton and Ben Hutchinson started ahead of Eugen Bopp up-front, with the former Forest man named amongst the substitutes alongside Gino Kelleher, twins Jake and Jack Wood and youngster Robbie McNicholas, who was called-up to the squad for the first time this season.
Hutchinson’s speculative half-chance, which flew well wide of the visitors’ post on seven minutes, then signalled a good spell of possession for United, with Reuben Wiggins-Thomas, Cory Grantham and Blair Anderson both causing the Newcastle defence problems with their pace and footwork skills.
At the other end Basford’s formidable backline continued to look solid, having not conceded in their previous two games and Darkin, who was filling in on the right-hand side, certainly looked the part, as he made a couple of excellent tackles in the opening 30 minutes of the game.
However, United were lucky to still be on level terms just after the half-hour mark, when a long-range effort struck the crossbar and bounced away, with Keeper Saul Deeney getting a vital touch on the shot, to help steer it onto the woodwork.
Seconds later, it was Basford who took then the lead via Grantham, after the flanker’s low shot from 25 yards clipped a defender and fooling the away keeper, as it then hit the post before rolling into the net. That 34th minute strike gave United a deserved 1-0 lead at half-time.
The first chance of the second half fell to Basford on 56 minutes, after a Grantham blocked cross fell to the feet of Hutchinson, who placed his side-footed shot just wide of the left-hand post but just when United were looking comfortable, Newcastle found an equaliser, after a free-kick was whipped in from the left and Ben Mills rose to flick the ball on with his head and on 59 minutes and the ball was helped into the net by the same post that had helped Grantham in the first half.
Shocked back into action, Basford immediately sprang back into attack mode, contuning to play great passing football in the Newcastle half but just lacking that vital final pass and finish to make the pressure count.
On 63 minutes, Grantham showed fantastic ball control to skip past two defenders on the edge of the box only to be let down by a poor finish, which rolled into the keeper’s body. The winger then had another chance two minutes later but ran out of space and time as his close range effort was blocked by the out-rushing Newcastle custodian.
Wiggins-Thomas’ header from 8 yards out, was frustratingly directed straight at the keeper on 75 minutes, this was followed by a good run down the middle by Hutchinson, only for the forward’s shot to fly agonisingly over the crossbar, three minutes later.
But despite their best efforts and the visitors not having troubled Deeney since their equaliser, United could not find a winning goal, having to settle for a point, which kept them in fifth place in the league standings.
Still unbeaten in their last six games, Basford now look forward to a big, local derby, FA Trophy tie against Lincolnshire neighbours Grantham Town on Saturday afternoon. Kick-off at the Avenue is at 3pm.
A BUFC Radio post-game interview with Mark Clarke can be heard via the following link - https://audioboom.com/boos/3742055-post-game-interview-with-mark-clarke-basford-united-1-newcastle-town-1-27-10-15