On what looked a good surface but was extremely heavy, the tone of the day would be lump if forward to avoid difficulties. Sheffield mastered this very well 1st period and put United under a lot of pressure getting the ball forward to big strikers as soon as possible, and were good value for the HT lead. 2nd period though it was a different story as United bossed the game and won it at the death.
Earlier in the day United's injury wretched campaign kicked in again as Robbie McNicholas and Eugene Bopp were the latest to be missing through injury. Added to what is already missing then it was a young bench including 17 yr olds Harry Wakefield, Jake Wood and Jerrell Pickbourne recalled from the U21s. Saul Deeney returned after his recent hand injury. Indeed it was Saul Deeney who made the notable contribution of the early stages with a fine save to tip over from Sheffield flanker Gregory's rising effort. The home side though set the tempo and opened the scoring on 24 minutes. Brian Cusworth planted a goalbound header in the bottom corner for 1-0 from a corner. Despite the bulk of the 1st half possession for the home side and a lot of aerial balls pumped into the Basford box the score was 0-1 at the interval with Basford not coming to terms with the difficult conditions. Sheffield keeper Robertson was a virtual on looker in the 1st period.
Whatever was said in the United dressing room at half time brought an instant reaction as Basford came out looking like the team currently on a great run and pushing for the playoffs. All of a sudden Sheffield were in a game and on the back foot. United drew level on 58 minutes. Fabian Smith delivered a fine cross that Dion Miekle smashed through a crowd and into the net via a deflection for 1-1. Home veteran keeper Robertson made 2 fine saves on 63 minutes to deny Anthony Griffiths-Junior. The 1st was a fine stop with his legs, and then from 20 yards Griffiths-Juniors effort needed to be clawed round the post via the keeper. Sheffield 2nd half chances were limited to breakaways on the counter, on one such Saul Deeney had to be alert to keep hold of a low effort with strikers ready if spilled. With the game heading towards its conclusion a great chance saw Robertson make another brilliant save on 86 minutes to deny Ruben Wiggins-Thomas point blank header. The top striker though would not be denied and netted the winner on 89 minutes. Latching onto a cross ball the striker showed great desire to turn and spin and net despite getting clattered in the process. United saw out time to send our travelling band of supporter’s home in high spirits after a fine come from behind victory.
Manager Martin Carruthers will be delighted today that his team showed the ability to grind out a win from a losing position after not playing well 1st period. It says a lot about a team’s character to win like this in the oppositions back yard and it bodes well for the future.
Mom today Dion Miekle who was assured all day and brought United level at a key point in the game.
Next up for Basford is a rarity of a Sunday game as the team travel to Sutton Coldfield next Sunday 2pm ko for a visit to Romulus. This is followed 2 days later by the arrival of Leek Town to Greenwich Avenue for a 7.45pm ko.