Market Drayton No Match For Four-Goal Basford (VIDEO NOW ONLINE)
By Simon Ball-McQueen
Basford moved up into seventh place in the Evo-Stik League Division One South standings, with a superb 4-1 win at Market Drayton Town on Saturday.
A Reuben Wiggins-Thomas hat-trick and a 40-yard stunner from Eugen Bopp saw United dominate the encounter from start to finish, ending their hosts’ six game unbeaten run in the process.
Martin Carruthers made two changes to his starting eleven, which were defeated by Warrington Town in The FA Trophy last weekend, with Stuart Hendrie making further steps to recovery, coming in for his first league start for two months, replacing Cory Grantham, who was dropped to the bench. Blair Anderson was also brought in on the left flank, coming in for the absent Kimani Smith.
Youngsters Jheryl Pickbourne and Jack Duffy retained their place amongst the substitutes, with only three players named on the bench due to injury and absence.
A generally unsettled, scrappy opening saw both teams struggle to keep possession in the opening 10 minutes but Basford did force three early corners, as they looked the brighter going forward early on.
On 16 minutes, a good kick from Saul Deeney set Wiggins-Thomas off on a run and the striker’s lay-off led to a blocked shot by Bopp but the rebound fell to Hendrie, who just curled his shot the wrong side of the host’s crossbar.
United continued to hustle, win the loose balls and put pressure on the home defence and this paid dividends on 26 minutes, when Wiggins-Thomas rose above the Market Drayton defence to head home from a well-placed Anderson corner, netting his thirteenth goal of the season in all competitions.
Six minutes later the Basford hitman made it fourteen, when after taking control of a pin-point Hendrie pass, Wiggins-Thomas showed excellent skill and close control to see off his marker and then comfortably slot past the home keeper.
Anderson almost made it 3-1 on 35 minutes after beating two defenders inside the box but the winger will have been disappointed with his finish, which was scooped well over the bar.
Market Drayton found a way back into the game two minutes later, when Scott Ryan got on the end of long ball, which looped over the Basford backline and his low shot found its way into the net, giving the hosts a much-needed boost after a slow start to the game.
However, it was United who showed an immediate response on 39 minutes, when Eugen Bopp’s powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area produced a superb flying save by the Market Drayton custodian.
After the break Basford’s first chance came three minutes in, when Anderson’s free kick from 30 yards out looked to have been clipped over the bar by the hand of the goalkeeper but a corner decision was not forthcoming from the officials.
Wiggins-Thomas then completed his hat-trick on 54 minutes, when after a surging run into the box from Bopp, the marksman picked up the loose ball and dribbled around two hapless home defenders to fire into the net from close range to claim United’s first hat-trick of the season.
Three minutes later, Wiggins-Thomas turned provider, when he set up his attacking partner Hendrie with a chance at goal but the former Morcambe and Tamworth forward’s shot was directed straight at the keeper.
Hendrie then put another effort just wide minutes later before on 68 minutes but Bopp then completed the scoring, after the ex-Forest man showed great vision by capitalising on a poor kick from the Market Drayton keeper, promptly chesting the ball down and quickly placing it in the home net from 40 yards out.
Now brimming with confidence Basford continued to push forward with Jermaine Hollis and Anderson both dangerously attacking the home goal in the following minutes.
Market Drayton’s best chance of the half was denied by a brilliant reaction save from Deeney, launching himself through the air to redirect a goal-bound attacking header on 75 minutes.
Wiggins-Thomas almost claimed his fourth of the game, with four minutes left, when his outstretched leg made a good connection on a defence-splitting pass from Hendrie, only for the ball to strike the post and roll back out to a grateful home defender.
Basford ended the game with ten men, having already used their three substitutes, Billy Bennett limped off the field in stoppage time, having previously lost Robbie McNicholas to injury earlier in the game but this was really the only negative point from a very successful day, which saw United hit four goals for the first time this season.
Carruthers’ players will now look to replicate that performance in their first home game in three weeks, as they host Kidsgrove Athletic next Saturday, with a 3pm kick-off.
BUFC Radio post-game interview with Martin Carruthers – https://audioboom.com/boos/3839728-post-game-interview-with-martin-carruthers-market-drayton-town-1-basford-united-4-21-11-15
BUFC Radio post-game interview with Reuben Wiggins-Thomas - https://audioboom.com/boos/3839734-post-game-interview-with-reuben-wiggins-thomas-market-drayton-town-1-basford-united-4-21-11-15
For video highlights of the game, click the following link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aSTGUyFALc