Steve Chettle taking the positives from defeat for Basford
Basford United boss Steve Chettle said there were plenty of positives to take despite falling to a 1-0 defeat at Bamber Bridge on Saturday, writes Marc Williams.
Rob Apter coolly dispatched a penalty late on after Matt Dudley was tripped by Ryan Wilson as a whole host of Northern Premier League fixtures succumbed to the adverse weather conditions.
“I thought the performance at times was very good,” Chettle said. “I thought we were better today than we were last week against Whitby Town when we got a point.
“We leave with lots of positives, and we leave with a lot of credit going to the staff and the players but, ultimately, with no points.
“However, the performance was a lot better, but we didn’t get the point we deserved in my eyes.”
A frantic tie throughout, both sides enjoyed ample spells in possession and had plenty of chances at a bitterly cold Sir Tom Finney Stadium.
Lewis Coulton, one of two Preston North End loanees in home ranks, looked troublesome and his stinging shot after only two minutes thundered off Owen Betts, but the resultant corner yielded nothing.
Another loan man in Apter – borrowed from Blackpool – then squandered two similar chances when he cut inside to find room as ‘Brig’ controlled the opening stages.
United responded well and warmed to the freezing Lancashire temperatures with a flurry of chances which may have seen an early opener.
Firstly, Niall Towle looked destined to poke Betts’ excellent cross home but was denied at the death by skipper Callum Spooner before Kane Richards was halted by a wonderful tackle by Nathan Pond as he looked to pull the trigger.
Adam Collin then did wonderfully to deny Sheldon Green, finger tipping his corner-destined shot around his post after possibly seeing it late.
A series of half-chances for both sides saw, but United may have gone into the break ahead.
Pond’s clearance – poor – was only punched upwards by the retreating Mateusz Hewelt and Richards’ free header lacked the power needed and was gratefully grasped by the ‘keeper.
Just before the break, Richards did have the ball in the net – following in after Matt Thornhill struck the foot of the post – but the striker was well offside as the initial shot came in.
Seconds after the interval, an almighty goal mouth scramble saw Thornhill, Richards, and Aaron O’Connor all swipe at a loose ball but to no avail before Betts blocked a shot from Joe Rodwell-Grant – another from Deepdale – after he turned smartly.
The game settled; substitute Aaron Skinner registering the next noteworthy effort two minutes after coming on after 71 minutes, though his flicked header was harmless.
With ten minutes remaining, Apter – a Scotland U21 international – had another firm strike wonderfully tipped onto the crossbar by Collin and a point apiece looked fair.
However, four minutes from time, an innocous attack saw substitute Dudley tripped by a retreating Wilson and referee Stuart Morland emphatically pointed to the spot.
Apter – with poise – hammered the ball into the roof of the net and Brig held on to move top of the Northern Premier League.
“Invariably, we have to start picking up points,” added Chettle. “I thought we were good for at least one but both penalty areas are where we need to start doing better.
“It’s a reckless challenge at the end of the game. Elsewhere, we’ve hit the post, Kane [Richards] has had a header that’s gone straight at the goalkeeper, and we’ve had a ball bobbling around the six-yard area that could have been put away.
“We didn’t get that break where we may have on another day.”
Next up for United is a long trip north to Morpeth Town on Tuesday night (19:45).
BAMBER BRIDGE: Mateusz Hewelt, Matthew Thomson, Lewis Coulton, Callum Spooner, Nathan Pond, Dan Martin, Robert Apter, Isaac Sinclair, Joe Rodwell-Grant (Aaron Skinner 72’), Mark Yeates (Craig Carney 88’), Sheldon Green (Matthew Dudley 71’)
SUBS (not used): Ling Higham, Chris Churchman
BASFORD UNITED: Collin, Betts, Roma, Gascoigne, Wilson, Hawkridge, Dunn, Thornhill, Towle (James 66’), Richards, O’Connor (Rourke 87’)SUBS (not used): Haywood, Peters, Musson
ATT: 352 (8 away)