It was a disappointing weekend for Basford United as they suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of FC United of Manchester last Saturday in the FA Trophy.
Steve Chettle’s side went into the game on the back of a run of seven games without defeat, including the 3-1 win away at FC United in the Northern Premier League.
Three goals in an eight-minute spell midway through the first-half saw FC United take the lead twice.
Just as their league clash in October, it was FC United who took the lead as Michael Donohue’s header across the goal looped into the top left-hand corner of Kieran Preston’s goal.
Basford hit back immediately and were back on level terms when Brad Gascoigne rose above the FC United defence and headed in from a corner.
Paul Ennis restored FC United’s lead four minutes later. The ball was crossed in low across the box and Ennis was on hand to fire the hosts back in front.
FC United were having the better of the chances and with three minutes of the first half remaining, they increased their led through Tunde Owolabi when he slotted a low ball past Preston to give the hosts a 3-1 lead at half time.
Basford looked to find a way back into the game and were on the front foot. Chettle hit a cross over everyone’s head and out of play before hitting a first time shot over the bar. It was the hosts who looked the more likely to score when Owolabi got to the by-line and pulled the ball back but no was on the end of it for what would have been a tap in.
As the game drew to its conclusion Basford kept pushing, looking for a way back into the game. Callum Chettle came closest, when his long range shot from outside the penalty area crashed back off the post.
Even with four minutes of added time there was no way back into the tie as the final whistle saw the conclusion of a game that was over at the break.
Steve Chettle had no complaints about the outcome. “I thought FC United were than us especially in the first half,” said the manager. “They broke between our lines well.
“In the second half we shored things up. Chetts has hit the cross bar and Courey [Grantham] had a chance after he came on.
“But overall they were better than us and deserved to win.”
Travelling with the Basford squad were four of their academy players, two of whom were named as unused substitutes and the manager believes it is a good experience for them.
“It gives them a taste of what it is really like, playing at a nice stadium with a good pitch and a really good crowd and opposition,” he said. “It shows them where they will hopefully get in time.
“It’s an opportunity with seven substitutes for some of the talented academy group we have to get experience.”
Thoughts now turn back to Basford’s Northern Premier League campaign, when Whitby Town are the visitors to Greenwich Avenue this Saturday (16th).
Like Basford, Whitby were also knocked out of the FA Trophy at the weekend, going down 2-0 away to Southern Central Premier Division side Peterborough Sports.
Their last league outing ended in a 3-3 draw at home to Nantwich Town. Whitby were 3-1 down with ten minutes of the game remaining, but managed to scrape a draw after two penalties, one in the 80th and one in the 87th minute, were converted by Jake Hackett.
Whitby are currently in 11th place with 20 points from 11 games and sit ten points behind Basford.
Basford could end the weekend sitting at the top of the Northern Premier League but will need both South Shields and Lancaster City to drop points.