Basford United beaten at Scarborough in Mark Clifford’s first game as manager

Mark Clifford said there were still plenty of positives despite a 3-0 defeat.Mark Clifford said there were still plenty of positives despite a 3-0 defeat.
Mark Clifford said there were still plenty of positives despite a 3-0 defeat.
Mark Clifford’s first game as Basford United manager ended in defeat as Scarborough Athletic ran out 3-0 winners at the Flamingo Land Stadium, writes Marc Williams.

United began brightly – as has been the story throughout a frustrating season to date – and registered the first chance of the match when Kane Richards found Matt Thornhill in space only for the skipper’s poked effort to be blocked.

Boro then forced three corners in quick succession – yielding nothing – before Plant’s run from deep was eventually blocked by Brad Gascoigne and Ash Jackson’s long throw-in forced Thornhill to flick agonisingly wide of his own post.

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Ryan Wilson then had two efforts from similar angles, the first blocked at his front stick by York City loanee Ryan Whitley before a rasping effort from the edge of the area curled over.

Plant always looked dangerous, and he had a decent shot saved by Jordan Pierrepont, while debutant Cameron Wilson – a recent loan acquisition from Scunthorpe United – latched onto a neat pass from Kieran Glynn, but his shot was deflected into the ‘keeper’s arms as the first period ended goalless.

The livelier of the two sides after the break, Boro made a storming restart and Plant shot through a crowd of players but right at Pierrepont before Lewis Maloney smashed a free kick high over the bar following an impressive run from Glynn which saw him felled by Declan Dunn.

Thornhill shot wide of the left-hand post for Basford, but the hosts were well on top.

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Full-back Kieran Weledji was brought down after a rampaging run down the right flank and Maloney’s set piece – dangerous – was flicked on by Plant but neither Weledji nor Day could apply the final touch.

Pressure told and the deadlock was broken just before the hour when Terry Hawkridge’s miscued header saw Jackson break down the left and his low cross was perfect for the onrushing Plant who slid home the opener to the delight of the near-1000 in attendance.

Moments later, Maloney crashed a free-kick of the crossbar with Pierrepont a mere onlooker before Day had another shot block before doubling the scoreline 20 minutes from time, smashing home a rebound after the ‘keeper parried Maloney’s strike into his path.

United rallied and had two decent chances of their own late on as Owen Betts and Rev James had strikes scrambled desperately off the line by Gooda and Simon Heslop.

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However, it was all they could muster, and the home side wrapped up the win on 86 minutes when Maloney’s dinked cross to the far stick was powerfully met by Gooda.

United are back on the road next weekend as they travel to Lincolnshire and Gainsborough Trinity in the Northern Premier League.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​