Basford United are denied by late Stalybridge Celtic equaliser

Scott Bakkor’s equaliser deep into stoppage time denied Basford United a first league win since October as they drew with Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday, writes Marc Williams.

By Stephen Thirkill
Monday, 6th December 2021, 4:30 pm
Dom Roma celebrates after putting Basford ahead, but they could only settle for a point against Stalybridge on Saturday.
Dom Roma celebrates after putting Basford ahead, but they could only settle for a point against Stalybridge on Saturday.

Bakkor reacted first to nod a flicked cross into the back of the net after Dom Roma looked to have sealed all three points for the hosts after 77 minutes.

The point moves Steve Chettle’s men back up to 8th, but they remain winless in the league since a 2-0 win over Hyde two months ago.

In a game that lacked any real quality early on, it took until the 14th minute for the first chance, and it went to United’s Kane Richards who spooned well over after a corner was half-cleared.

Justin Johnson looked lively for Celtic down the right, but found himself up against Jordan Haywood – making his first senior start – who impressed throughout.

The winger’s cross after 25 minutes was dangerous – after he made a rare foray beyond Haywood – however, no-one in blue or white was in attendance to stab home.

In difficult conditions, Johnson then tested Jordan Pierrepont – replacing Adam Collin – who saved well at his near post and the ‘keeper’s man of the match accolade was deserved when he wonderfully tipped Jake Burton’s shot around his post.

All square at the break, the unusually quiet Terry Hawkridge stung the hands of William Huffer after the interval with a low drive which lacked any testing power before referee Daniel Smith had to call peace on a harmless scuffle between Brad Gascoigne and Keenan Quansah.

On the hour, Hawkridge’s lovely pass onto Matt Thornhill’s head nearly provided an opener from Niall Towle on the stretch and another Burton hit again forced Pierrepont into a smart save as the game livened up.

Approaching the last ten minutes, Towle’s shot deflected wide, and the resultant corner was headed powerfully goalwards by the striker for Huffer to save.

In the melee, the ball fell kindly for defender Roma who slammed into the empty net for the go ahead strike, much to the delirium of those who braved the elements.

With the three points destined to stay in Nottingham, an innocuous cross was flicked on at the front post for Bakkor who buried his header beyond Pierrepont to salvage an unlikely point for Celtic.

Next up for United is a trip to Lancaster City at the Giant Axe Stadium (15:00).

BASFORD UNITED: Jordan Pierrepont, Owen Betts, Jordan Haywood, Dom Roma, Brad Gascoigne, Declan Dunn, Terry Hawkridge (Ryan Wilson 85’), Matt Thornhill (C), Niall Towle (Lewis Rourke 90’), Kane Richards, Rev James.

SUBS (not used): Nathaniel Peters, Rory Harrison, Adam Collin.

STALYBRIDGE CELTIC: William Huffer, Joshua Dawodu, Stephen Brogan, Samuel Wedgbury, Connor O’Grady, Keenan Quansah, Jake Burton (Hayden Campbell 71’), Charley Doyle (Callum Harris 71’), Scott Bakkor (C), Adam O’Reilly, Justin Johnson.

SUBS (not used): Shane Killock, Ashley Smith-Brown, Ethan Padden.