Basford United U18 make FA Youth Cup first round proper for first time ever

Gianni Musson saved two penalties in the shoot-out to secure a tie away at Port Vale in the First Round. (CREDIT: Craig Lamont)Gianni Musson saved two penalties in the shoot-out to secure a tie away at Port Vale in the First Round. (CREDIT: Craig Lamont)
Gianni Musson saved two penalties in the shoot-out to secure a tie away at Port Vale in the First Round. (CREDIT: Craig Lamont)
Basford United U18 set up an illustrious tie with Port Vale in the First Round Proper of the FA Youth Cup after they came-from-behind to beat Lincoln United on penalties on Wednesday night.

It will be the first time in the entire Club’s history that any side has reached the First Round of an FA Cup competition but it looked an unlikely outcome when goals from Sam Bingham and Leo Priestley put the hosts into a comfortable half-time lead.

But Sam Newell and Kiarn Nyemba struck in the second half to force the game into a shoot-out where Gianni Musson was the hero after he saved from both Max Baker and Derry Fogg before Rory Harrison slotted home the winner to seal a trip to Vale Park in a tie manager Josh Law describes as a “great experience” for his young side.

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“We are really excited for that game. It will be such a great experience for the lads to go to a Football League side and test their wits against them,” Law said post-game.

“We can go there with courage and play how we want to play. We will cause problems as long as we believe in what we are doing.

Having similarly seen off Mickelover Sports in the previous round, Basford travelled north in high spirits but a disappointing first half saw the impressive Bingham, a Lincoln City youth product, characteristically cut inside and fire past Musson after only 18 minutes.

Wayde Hines and Nathanial Peters both shared decent opportunities to quickly draw the away side level but it was Lincoln who capitalised on the games next chance from twelve yards out as Priestley sent Musson the wrong way to double home advantage after the referee eventually blew for a harsh handball five minutes before the break.

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With it all to do in the second period, Basford began well and Newell’s excellent strike into the far corner ten minutes after the restart gave them the much-needed boost Lincoln tired.

Mounting pressure saw Peters and Harrison again go close before substitute Nyemba prodded home from close range to deservedly draw his side level with 17 minutes remaining and Hines may have even won it in injury time but his header flashed marginally wide as the game headed to the lottery of spot-kicks.

Newell and Jordan Haywood both scored for Basford either side of Priestley’s strike before Musson stood firm to deny Baker and Jacob Taylor added a third.

The ‘keeper then did wonderfully to palm Fogg’s tame effort away leaving Harrison to calmly roll the winner past Bradley Matzk and set up that lucrative game in Staffordshire and Law was full of praise for Musson after his recent heroics.

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“We said on the side-line that we have got half a chance of winning this game with Gianni Musson. He was working on them in training yesterday and was pulling off some excellent saves.

“I think he just loves penalties. He has said that before, as well as free-kicks, and that’s excellent to hear that from your ‘keeper. We are delighted for him.”

It remains to be seen whether United’s game at Vale Park will be played behind-closed-doors due to Government Coronavirus restrictions but Law says his players must enjoy the situation and not think about the potential absence of fans.

“It is a nice big pitch there [at Vale Park], very energy sapping, it will be a beautiful surface and our lads have just got to embrace it, enjoy it, and just give it their best on the night.”

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BASFORD UNITED U18: Gianni Musson, Tobias Rhule, Jordan Haywood, Nathanial Peters (Ferdinand Bartley 69’), Callum Frogson, Valbert Hayden, Rory Harrison, Sam Newell, Lewis Rourke (Jacob Taylor 89’), Wayde Hines (c), Louis Nicholson (Kiarn Nyemba 53’)SUBS (not used): Nassa Abdullah, Aaron Wainana, Charlie Fox, Ryan Camm (GK)CAUTIONS: Rhule (foul 49’), Peters (foul 53’)