United Use Their Heads To Mastermind FA Trophy Win Over Grantham (Video Now Online)
Three Basford headed goals made it seven games unbeaten with a 3-1 derby win over Grantham Town on Saturday.
Video highlights are now available to view via the following link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HhoIkVicbQ
Martin Carruthers made just one change to his starting eleven, which earned a hard-fought point at home to Newcastle Town the previous Tuesday, with former Forest star Eugen Bopp exchanging places with Cory Grantham in the United attack, with the winger dropping to the bench, after being struck down with a minor illness.
Amongst the substitutes, Gino Kelleher, Jake Wood and Jack Wood all kept their places on the bench, whilst centre half Rhys Myers also made a welcome return to the squad after a few weeks out through illness.
The first chance of the game fell to Basford after 5 minutes but Ashley Grayson’s powerful low shot from 30 yards out was unfortunately directed straight at the visiting keeper.
Two minutes later, an in-form Rob Darkin continued to impress at the back, when his last-ditch tackle prevented Grantham from getting off a shot from deep inside the box.
On 14 minutes, a lunge from Rob McCormick in his own box resulted in a Grantham penalty and a yellow card for the defender, with the resulting spot-kick finding the net, to give the Lincolnshire side an early advantage.
United came close to the equaliser on 20 minutes, as Grayson powered through the opposition defence to bring a brilliant point-blank save from the visiting keeper.
On 22 minutes, McCormick then made amends for giving away the earlier penalty, when, unmarked at the far-post, the defender headed home the equalising goal, from a Blair Anderson’s searching corner.
A handful of wild, wide efforts from the Premier Division visitors were then to follow, as Basford perhaps understandably, struggled to take control of the game against their higher-level opponents and an excellent tackle from McCormick then held-up a dangerous 3-on-3 Grantham breakaway on 37 minutes.
There were also some stern tackles being dished out from both sides, with the referee issuing a number of cards to each team before the end of the half, which ended with the spoils being shared at 1-1.
United came out with renewed vigour in the second half and began to take a stranglehold on the game right from the off and had penalty shout on 51 minutes, when Reuben Wiggins-Thomas looked to have been brought down on the edge of the box, as the marksman was winding his way to goal, but all appeals were waved away by the referee.
Three minutes later, Wiggins-Thomas’ almost put Basford in front but the top-scorer’s out-stretched foot just poked the ball the wrong side of the crossbar, under pressure from a visiting defender.
United continued to grow into the game and were having more luck down both flanks, which resulting in a number of panicked and reckless challenges from Grantham players, as they struggled to keep up with Basford’s skill and pace going forward.
United began to sense that it was only a matter of time before they moved in front and Hutchinson’s speculative shot from the right hand side of the box, sent further warning, but kept on rising and comfortably cleared the crossbar. Seconds later, some good work from Anderson on left wing saw Hutchinson finish just wide, doing well to get his shot away after some close attention from a Grantham centre back.
However, it was third time lucky for the ex-Celtic forward, again just a short time after his previous effort, this time making no mistake as he got on the end of a cross from left-back Billy Bennett and had the space and time to find the net with his well-directed header.
United now had their tails up and on 68 minutes, Ashley Grayson’s header made it 3-1 after some great work by Wiggins-Thomas to hold up the ball and then Anderson to beat a defender and supply the cross from the left corner.
With Basford now comfortably in charge of the tie, there looked little chance of a Grantham comeback and on 86 minutes, Anderson’s wide effort was the last chance of the game and signalled more history made by Basford, who now progress to their third game, in what is their first season in the competition. The draw for the Second Round Qualifying will be made on Monday morning.
United now return to league action this Tuesday and face a difficult trip to second-placed Shaw Lane Aquaforce (7.45pm kick-off).
BUFC Radio post-game interview with Martin Carruthers - https://audioboom.com/boos/3759487-post-game-interview-with-martin-carruthers-basford-united-3-grantham-town-1-31-10-15
BUFC Radio post-game interview with Ashley Grayson - https://audioboom.com/boos/3759497-post-game-interview-with-ashley-grayson-basford-united-3-grantham-town-1-31-10-15
Photo courtesy of Jaymini Mistry /Jaymini Photography.