An understrength Basford United side, went down to a 4-0 pre-season friendly defeat by Mickleover Sports at Greenwich Avenue on Saturday afternoon.
Basford could only name two substitutes due to injury and absence but manager Martin Carruthers was able to field two new signings, with defenders Rob McCormick and David Boafo both able to boost the United ranks.
In contrast, Mickleover arrived with a full-strength line-up but in the first half especially, both teams were evenly matched, with Basford having some good chances to find the net.
Ten minutes in, a fantastic through-ball from Ben Hutchinson found Cory Grantham in space inside the box, only for the attacker’s effort to be superbly saved by the visiting keeper.
Five minutes later, Josh Thornton also had a chance to open the scoring but his speculative effort was comfortably dealt with by the Mickleover custodian.
Saul Deeney then had to be at his best to deny Mickleover’s Jacob Hazel, as he made a textbook point-blank save, to keep the scores level on 16 minutes.
Two more half-chances then fell United’s way but Blair Anderson wasn’t able to covert either before on 24 minutes, the visitors took the lead courtesy of Andy Dales.
Mickleover’s keeper then had to be at his best to deny a Basford equaliser three minutes later but United’s defence were slowly beginning to find themselves under increasing pressure as the first half clock ticked down, with Deeney doing well to narrow down the angle, to stop the visitors netting a second goal, after the Irish keeper’s initial save created a rebound chance.
Hazel then netted a second on 36 minutes, leaving United with a big task of trying to claw the game back in the second half.
Little was to change after the interval, as Deeney was again called into action, making a fine one-on-one save to deny the visitors a third goal on 54 minutes but five minutes later, two goals in the space of three minutes effectively ended the game as a contest, as strikes from Hazel and Gary Ricketts all but wrapped up the win.
Basford did have some chances to find a consolation late on but efforts from Hutchinson, Grantham and Anderson all failed to find the net, in what was another good test for Carruthers’ side under difficult circumstances.
All eyes now turn to Tuesday night and United’s first ever friendly against Football League opposition, when Mansfield Town are the visitors to Greenwich Avenue (7.45pm ko). Admission will be £5 for adults and £3 for concessions.