Basford win a battle royal against Leek Town (VIDEO NOW UPLOADED)
By Match reporter
Basford & Leek were involved in an absorbing contest last night at Greenwich Avenue as the unbeaten run for Basford in 2016 was maintained.
Video of last nights great game can be viewed at https://youtu.be/VOZObfSlMX8
In a game that had everything goals/action drama/sending offs and an unsavoury end of game incident, then it should be the football that drew the headlines, as it was a great game for those in attendance last night.
The drama of the day got off to the worst start possible as a Flu virus swept though the Basford camp on the morning of the game. This resulted in the loss of 3 important starters in top goal scorer Ruben Wiggins-Thomas, centre half Mason Rowley, and attacking midfielder Anthony Griffiths- Junior. The severity of the bug saw Mason Rowley admitted to hospital. The virus swept though the backroom as well, with manager and assistant Martin Carruthers and Mark Clarke affected. Carruthers was in attendance but in quarantine from the remainder of the group. With absentees to secretary Tracie Witton for the same reason, then to say down to bare bones was an understatement both on and off the pitch. With the absentees Dion Miekle and Eugene Bopp were brought back from injuries earlier than anticipated ,and a bench of 3 17 year olds and 2 lads under 20 years old showed the virtues of our academy system.
Again a team who haven’t conceded let alone a goal or a defeat in 5 games, it was Basfrod who set off at a blistering pace which the visitors back line couldn’t handle. Ex Forest midfielder Eugene Bopp marked his return with the opener on 10 minutes as he picked home a weak clearance, to pick his spot from the edge with a great well placed strike. With Basford dominating 1-0 should have quickly become 3-0, as visiting keeper Chris Martin made two brilliant stops to deny Stuart Hendrie, and then somehow keep out Eugene Bopp’s point blank header, with somehow the rebound clearing the bar from 3 yards. Basford would not be denied though and the 2nd goal duly arrived as Stuart Hendrie kept up his fine run of goal scoring with a fine composed finished low past Martin on 24 minutes. Leek showed nothing so far and Basford’s 1st concern at the other end was fashioned by a defensive back header that almost caught out Saul Deeney, who recovered splendidly to deny Leek a fortune goal. Still more from Basford as on 35 minutes another incisive move opened up the visitors, and needed Martin to deny Kyle Dixon via a 1 on 1. With a Rob Darkin header also denied by the keeper then 2-0 at HT flattered Leek. The frenetic pace on show from Basford was even more staggering given the game 48 hours earlier on the 3G v Romulus so all in all a fabulous effort.
Leek came out 2nd period with more vigour and looked a little more up for the challenge after no doubt a HT tongue lashing. There was not a chance Basford could keep up the blistering pace of the 1st half given the game 48 hours earlier so would it be a different game? Going up the slope it was United Ex County and Burton Albion Keeper Saul Deeney to turn on the magic. Producing a blinding save from a header,Saul Deeney then had the presence of mind to save the follow up from 3 yards out for a splendid double save. Basford still asked questions and Courey Grantham fired across goal when cutting in from the angle. A big blow for Basford on 60 minutes losing playmaker Kyle Dixon who like quite a few Basford players received some rough treatment on the night, the injury whilst not deemed serious forced his exit and the entry into the game of youngster Jack Duffy. With one 17 year old Robbie McNicholas replaced by another in 17 year old Myron Duffy, then a great experience for the youngsters to enter a game of this magnitude. Saul Deeney continued to show his brilliance as he clawed a great strike from Lee Cropper round the post on 74 minutes. With the visitors continuing a resurgent 2nd period, it looked like Saul Deeney would preserve the clean sheet with another stunning save on 87 minutes. As the game entered added time that was when the fun and games started firstly, a brilliant strike on 93 min from Leek sub Theo Stair gave them a smidge of a lifeline at 1-2. This was quickly followed by an unfortunate fracas involving most of the players from both sides. A challenge from Eugene Bopp was a yellow card but with 3 Leek Players choosing to remonstrate and surround the United midfielder the situation turned concerning, but no punches were thrown and a lot of handbags. With no clear instigator then may be a couple of yellows would have sufficed but the match official deemed a red card for Bopp that Basford expect to appeal against with & only a yellow for a Leek player. Moments later Leek sent the ball forward and Saul Deeney bravely saved at the feet of James Curley who caught him on the head in the follow through leaving a 6inch stud scrap wound on the Basford keepers throat. A real shame that a good game resulted in 2 dismissals, and possibly led to the tensions that played a big part in an unsavoury return to the dressing room at the conclusion moments later of the game. With CCTV in the dressing room area then United officials will review this too see why this occurred. Back on the football Basford held out for the 2-1 victory that was a fabulous achievement on a trying day that consolidates a playoff place for Basford. Next in action Saturday the squad travel the short distance to Belper Town for another very tough game. Officials of the club will have fingers crossed that the flu bug has run its course, as opposed to spreading any further.
Finally, once again big thanks to our following that is continuing to grow and continuing to appreciate the value and entertainment on offer at our games. Your support has proved crucial to the success of the group. With ticket prices the lowest in the Evo-Stik then next week United will hope for a similar following for the next home game next Tueday 1st Mar in the semi-final of the Nottinghamshire Senior cup, when our former Notts Alliance Rainworth MW visit Greenwich Avenue for a 7.45pm kick off.