Basford take a point at Snowy Stocksbridge Park Steels (VIDEO NOW ON LINE)
By Chris Munroe
A game played in unbelievable weather conditions ended all square as Basford came away from Stocksbridge with a decent point to maintain a fine run.
Game video can be viewed at the following Basford TV Link https://youtu.be/uq9tpD2HM0A
To say the conditions were trying and difficult for the players was an understatement as players and supporters endured sun, wind, snow showers, hail showers and thunder and lightning in this one.
Despite the adverse conditions both sets of players produced a great game for the brave hard supporters of both teams including Basford supporters who made the journey to North Sheffield.
Manager Martin Carruthers was again absent 1st choice keeper Saul Deeney, but youngster Jake Wood after his fine showing Tuesday was a very able replacement. With another tough game on the horizon this Tuesday at home to Kidsgrove, leading scorer Ruben Wiggins-Thomas and Courey Grantham started on the bench Stuart Hendrie & Eugene Bopp were restored to the starting line-up.
Great start for Basford as in front inside 3 minutes, a fine move saw Eugene Bopp’s effort charged down, but fell perfectly for midfielder Ash Grayson to pick his spot low past the home keeper David Reay.
The home side drew level on 23 minutes with United defenders struggling with the underfoot conditions, and after failing to deal with a through ball conceding a clear penalty. Coleman picked his spot for 1-1. Young keeper Jake Wood earned the plaudits on 30 minutes with a fine low block to keep United level. Basford though had a good response and Kyle Dixon went close on 34 minutes just clearing the bar before being instrumental in the move that saw Basford back in front. This time an intelligent run and low ball was touched into his own net by Matt Reay for 2-1. Basford had chances to take a 2 goal cushion into the interval as the home keeper David Reay made fine saves from Eugene Bopp & Stuart Hendrie.
With intermittent snow falling the need for the orange ball was growing as the light began to fade and the showers became more prolonged. The home keeper David Reay continued to do really well, and without question his save from a Eugene Bopp header was brilliant and kept the deficit to 1 goal. It continued to be end to end though & United keeper Jake Wood was called into action on many occasions, with his low save on 60 minutes the pick of the bunch. Stocksbridge drew level on 66 minutes through Brodie Litchfield, who was in the right place to turn home after United failed to deal with a corner. After this the elements well and truly took over. After the official took the teams off the pitch for a 7-minute delay due to a hail storm of significant magnitude that once again left the pitch white over, the teams returned to play out the final 20 minutes under difficult under foot conditions. Basford had 3 big chances to win the game as Stuart Hendrie on the counter forced a low save from the keeper. Hendrie was again involved on 72 minutes when firing wide when he should have scored. 78 minutes and the best chance not converted, a suicidal back pass on the white put the home keeper David Reay in horrendous problems, and after taking the ball off him Ruben Wiggins-Thomas rolled wide of the empty goal for a crucial miss. The home side then could have won it on 82 minuted as this time it was United keeper Jake Wood who made a hash of a clearance that required a brilliant headed clearance off the line by Dion Miekle from a goalbound chip. This proved the end of a pulsating game and It was fitting it should end all square, as both teams gave a magnificent effort and this should be viewed as a good point.
United will hope for a little more settled weather when Basford entertain Kidsgrove Athletic Tuesday night 7.45pm ko at Greenwich Avenue which again is a very big game between two sides who continue to harbour playoff aspirations.