Adam Collin stars in Basford United win
Adam Collin starred as Basford United made it three successive wins on Saturday, with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Lancaster City.
The 37-year-old goalkeeper was unsurpassable throughout, capping a fine performance off with a penalty save from Robert Wilson mid-way through the second half.
Brad Gascoigne gave Steve Chettle’s men the win with a header after 37 minutes as they go six unbeaten and move to 11th in the table after an indifferent start.
The opening half an hour was a bit of a non-story, with both sides sharing half-chances that failed to trouble either Collin or Matthew Alexander in the away goal.
Kane Richards did well to spin around a trailing leg, but his pass was between both Rev James and Aaron O’Connor before Christian Sloan went down easily under the challenge from Dom Roma; referee Joseph Goodwin remained unmoved.
However, the game sparked into life when a succession of corners from Ryan Wilson lead to Gascoigne rising highest to stoop a low header under Alexander and give United a warranted lead.
Striker Sam Fishburn then had two fine opportunities to draw instantly level.
Firstly, his header, under the attention of Gascoigne, flicked agonisingly over, before, from the resultant corner, he had time and space from two yards out to control, only to shoot straight into an unknowing Collin who gratefully held on.
The former Notts County 'keeper continued to be a pin in Lancaster’s balloon, and he was at it again seconds after the break when he brilliantly tipped over Rhys Turner’s stinging effort from range.
And things got even better for him when he saved low down to his left to thwart Robert Wilson’s penalty after Declan Dunn had clumsily felled Paul Dawson.
A backs-to-the-wall job late on; Roma then did excellently to slide and block Dawson’s advances five minutes later, before Dunn’s trailing leg deflected another shot from range to safety as City poured forward.
With a rare second half attack, Howes’ deft chip from the by-line cleared everyone, and Richards’ acrobatic effort angled agonisingly wide as United looked to seal an impressive win.
Another stand out performer in Owen Betts then desperately cleared Liam Brockbank’s low cross and City did have the ball in the net, only for the young defender to be fouled much earlier in the build-up.
James may have sealed the three points with nine minutes remaining when he danced around the attention of two and found Reco Fyfe, on as a second-half substitute, who blazed over via a deflection.
Lancaster continued to throw the metaphoric kitchen sink at United, only to remain frustrated, and their afternoon was summed up when Wilson’s corner-bound effort was superbly clawed away by Collin with one hand, drawing the applause from the healthy 304 crowd at Greenwich Avenue.
Josh Scott should have scored his first goal in Basford colours late on, only to be denied by a last ditch Alexander save, but his side hung on for the win and they now prepare for the visit of Gainsborough Trinity on Tuesday (September 14).
“It’s been a good week for us,” Chettle said. “Three clean sheets which I’m really pleased about. The boys had to fight hard, as it was a tough game, but we’d have taken a one-nil beforehand.
On team selection, Chettle added: “We stuck with a team that got us two clean sheets in the previous games and they’ve done the same again.
“Stef (Galinski) has come in right at the death when we’re under a little bit of pressure and trying to see the game out, which worked, but the team selection will now give me headaches.
“I’ve got headaches with Matt Thornhill coming back on Tuesday night and Marcus Marshall will also be fit for that game but that’s part of the role of being a manager of a football club.
“We’re in a better position compared to the start of the season when we were really scraping around and were relying on the kids but it’s a better headache now having the experienced boys back.
“There’s been a lack of individual mistakes in the last few games which obviously helps,” he rounded off, when questioned on a recent change in fortune.
“Personal errors earlier in the season were costing us goals and we’ve minimised those, but I think personnel and the return of key players is a big thing.
“Getting those experience people back and getting people fit with a few more minutes and just having that continuity massively helps as well.”
BASFORD UNITED: Adam Collin, Owen Betts, Ryan Wilson, Dom Roma (C), Brad Gascoigne, Declan Dunn, Terry Hawkridge, Alex Howes (Stef Galinski 87’), Aaron O’Connor (Joshua Scott 77’), Kane Richards (Reco Fyfe 74’), Rev JamesSUBS NOT USED: James Clifton, Jordan Pierrepont
LANCASTER CITY: Matthew Alexander, Samuel Bailey (Edward Ikpakwu 61’), Liam Brockbank, Niall Cowperthwaite. Lewis Fensome, Glenn Steel (C), Christian Sloan (Ryan Graham 86’), Paul Dawson (Thomas Kilifin 70’), Sam Fishburn, Rhys Turner, Robert WilsonSUBS NOT USED: Ben Anderson, Max Povey
MATCH ATTENDANCE: 304