Basford boss positive ahead of massive game

Steve Chettle.
Steve Chettle.

Basford United host FC United of Manchester on Saturday (3pm) in what promises to be a huge top-of-the-table six-pointer.

Basford sit in second place in the BetVictor Northern Premier League while the visitors reside in fifth in a tightly packed top end of the table.

Basford boss Steve Chettle is feeling positive, despite losing both of the last two games going into the fixture.

“I am positive you know; we realise how big the game is going to be, it's second against third,” he said.

“It’s going to be a big old game, hopefully with a big old crowd, and hopefully a game where we can turn in a big performance that gets us the result we want.”

Saturday will also be a return to league action for both sides, who were in cup action on Tuesday night against Nottingham Forest U23s and Irlam FC respectively. Basford lost 2-1 while FC United beat their opposition by the same scoreline.

The two sides have met twice this season, both times at FC United’s Broadhurst Park.

On the first visit back in October, Basford picked up a hugely important three points thanks to goals from Kane Richards, Stefan Galinski and Courey Grantham.

FC United got their revenge shortly after when the two sides met in the FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round back in early November, defeating Basford 3-1.

Brad Gascoigne’s goal from centre back was not enough for Basford who were knocked out by a much better FC United side on the day.

Basford captain Matt Thornhill said: “It’s massive - everyone knows that FC United are right behind us.

“But being at home, hopefully that will be an advantage.

“When we played them last time, I don’t think we turned up as well as we did in the first game when we played them so, hopefully, we’ll play well Saturday and turn them over.”

Going into Saturday, Basford sit in second place, on 51 points having played 27 league games while FC United hold 46 points from 25 league games.

This means the two sides are up there as the two biggest title challengers, alongside league favourites South Shields, who have 53 points from 26 games, so a Basford win would be huge for their promotion chances. The game promises to fill Greenwich Avenue with FC United averaging attendances of roughly 970 per away game.