Holders Basford United progress in Notts Senior Cup
Basford United progressed to the third round of the Nottinghamshire Senior Cup on Tuesday night with a 2-1 win at Sherwood Colliery, writes Marc Williams.
Rev James had given Steve Chettle’s men the lead against the Step 5 side after only eleven minutes, but Kieran Wells equalised against his former employers just before the break.
Kane Richards restored parity on the hour and the defending champions advanced, with boss Chettle hinting his side are in it to win it.
“We’re holders and we want to do as well as we can this year,” he said.
“We only made three changes for the game and the rest of the boys got us through it - we have to respect the competition.
“I thought our performance was really good. We probably made it harder than it should have been, but we created a lot of good opportunities, and we could have been a bit more ruthless in front of goal.
“But we came here to win the game and get through to the next round of the Senior Cup and our objectives were met.”
From start to finish, the visitors dominated – as expected at lower league opposition – but struggled to find an attacking edge early on despite ample possession in good areas.
Terry Hawkridge and James combined to set up Richards and he won a corner with the first real noteworthy effort after only eight minutes.
The pressure continued and United were rewarded three minutes later when some intricacy in-and-around the 12-yard box yielded some space for James who poked home the opener.
Little in terms of threat but plenty of time and space, United needed a performance after recent results and were well on top in North Notts.
Marcus Marshall nearly found himself on the end of Owen Betts’ low cross, only for Wood’s ‘keeper to claim low and Hawkridge’s free-kick after 39 minutes curled agonisingly wide.
Such as been the story of United’s season, their lack of a killer threat in the final third has often been an Achilles' heel.
And such was the case two minutes before the break when Wells took his time to lob over a stranded Adam Collin – who may have been fouled clearing his lines – from all of 40-yards completely against the run of play.
Minutes after the break, the lively Will Norcross – often the architect for Wood over the years – broke with pace and flashed a decent shot wide of Collin’s near-post before Richards, in a similar fashion to his opposite number Norcross, fired well over.
Chettle named a strong line-up for the tie and Niall Towle lead the line for the first time since his return from a loan spell at Corby Town and impressed.
On the hour, he controlled well and set Richards on his way with an arrowed through ball and he raced through to fire into the far corner for United’s second.
Towle’s header angled wide from Ryan Wilson’s cross and James should have sealed it late on when he had the goal gaping, only for Collieries’ ‘keeper to sprawl and deny the striker at his feet.
Academy graduate Rory Harrison was introduced late on for a second senior appearance and United now await their third round fate when the draw is made later this month.
“We wanted to win this game,” rounded off Chettle. “It’s for the benefit of the boys and everybody to remember what it’s like to win a game.
“It’s been tough recently. We’ve had some good performances, but results haven’t fallen our way.
“We often talk about referees and everything else and they’ve made it difficult for both sides, but we’ve scored two really good goals and should have had three or four more which would have made it more comfortable but I’m happy overall.”
BASFORD UNITED: Adam Collin, Owen Betts, Ryan Wilson, Brad Gascoigne, Stef Galinski (C), Declan Dunn, Rev James, Terry Hawkridge, Marcus Marshall, Kane Richards (Rory Harrison 87’), Niall Towle
SUBS (not used): Dom Roma, Aaron O’Connor, Nathaniel Peters, Gianni Musson (GK)