Winless run goes on for Basford United
Basford United’s winless start to the season continued on Monday following a third consecutive away draw at Grantham Town.
James Clifton gave United a 31st minute lead before Adam Chapman whistled a fine effort past Adam Collin via a post to ensure the spoils were shared in a result that followed stalemates against Stafford Rangers and Witton Albion recently.
Matt Thornhill was withdrawn early on as United’s injury list continues to grow, with several key players already side-lined.
“In the end I’m disappointed,” manager Steve Chettle said. “We were good for our lead and comfortable in the first half and I thought the second half it became a little bit scrappy.
“It was better than Saturday and we played a lot better. I thought we could’ve gone in, if Rev James scores at the end of the first half, with a 2-0 half-time lead which would have been fantastic.
“We started the game really well in the second half. Alex [Howes] has managed to put one over the bar from two or three yards out, but we created opportunities.
“In the end, the kid has scored an absolute screamer that nobody in goal would’ve saved. However, we’ve secured a point away from home and you’d generally be pleased about that, but we were looking for three and we’re disappointed we haven’t got the three.”
Chettle made a handful of changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Witton on Saturday as Owen Betts came in for his first start of the season, replacing Stef Galinski and youngster Nat Peters started in midfielder.
Mansfield Town loanee Josh Scott, a starter at the weekend, dropped to the bench.
The visitors began well and went closest to opening the scoring after only ten minutes when Ryan Wilson’s corner was forced goalwards by Dom Roma and shouts that the ball was scrambled over the line went ignored.
Moments later, Roma – assisting – raked a pass into the path of Rev James who took well in his stride, though ‘keeper James Pollard smothered low with his knee as protests about the earlier chance continued.
Any ascendancy was short-lived, however, when captain Thornhill, rising high to nod another Wilson delivery over, was floored with a head injury that saw him admitted to the local hospital and add to Chettle’s injury woes.
Mason Lee tested from range for the hosts, but Adam Collin saved with ease, before Lee, a recent arrival from Ilkeston Town, chanced his luck again, but Collin ushered wide as Town failed to pose any real first-half threat.
And they found themselves a goal down just after the half hour when Clifton, loitering unmarked, fired home through a crowd of bodies after Kane Richards and Alex Howes both had their own attempts blocked by a desperate home defence.
Ahead at the break and good for their lead, Basford may have, and should have, doubled their advantage only minutes after the restart.
Breaking quickly, Richards raced through but was denied by a superb last-ditched tackle by Joshua Meade and Marshall’s follow-up effort could only rattle the side netting.
Howes then had a moment to forget when he found himself on the end of James’ low cross-cum-shot at the back post a minute later, only to inexplicably hook over the crossbar from three yards out with Pollard floored and the goal gaping.
Carlton Palmer’s introduction of Manny Kianga injected some much-needed pace down the Grantham’s flank, and it was from a wide area where they drew level with a fine piece of individual brilliance.
Cutting in from the right, former Oxford United midfielder Chapman – talismanic all afternoon – took aim and half-volleyed past Collin from all of 30 yards to notch his first goal for the Gingerbreads since a summer move from Gainsborough Trinity.
Ali Adeymir’s out-swinging strike then had Collin rooted and another Howes shot late on was blocked by a combination of both James Williamson and substitute Michael Williams as a point for both sides was confirmed.
Basford put league action behind them on Saturday (September 4) as they welcome Stourbridge to Greenwich Avenue in the First Qualifying Round of the FA Cup (15:00).
“Again, we’ve picked up another serious injury with Matty’s cut and he went to hospital to get it stitched up and we end up with two 17-year-old kids playing in Nathaniel Peters and Jordan Haywood,” Chettle added.
“That’s fantastic for the football club and the academy but it’s not ideal. It’s great for these kids and we need to expose them but it’s a baptism of fire for them.
“They’re in a team which is, at the minute, not yet where we want to be and everybody is scrapping for their lives and the kids are going through the same thing, but I’m really, really proud of them.
“Jordan has just come back from a dual-registration at Newark FC, and I called him back yesterday because we were short in defenders and, after 20 minutes, we have to switch things around because of Matty’s injury.
“At the minute, I don’t know what’s happening to us regarding the luck of where we are at, but we’ve got to carry on moving.”
On injuries, Chettle added: “Hopefully Brad [Gascoigne] can train Thursday and Stef is still really struggling with his neck, following the Witton game on Saturday.
“Dunny [Declan Dunn] will hopefully be able to train or play this week and we will see where we are with him.
“Callum [son, Chettle] will need an operation now and Ollie Clark remains long-term, so the list is getting longer and it’s not ideal, but we have fixtures in front of us and we need to start winning games.”
GRANTHAM TOWN: James Pollard, Joshua Meade, Rory Coleman, Adam Chapman (Michael Williams 81’), Nick DeGirolamo (C), James Williamson, Ali Adeymir, Adam Watson, Mason Lee, George Herbert (Manasse Kianga 52’), Nathan Modest (Sam Scrivens 90’)
SUBS NOT USED: Joe Parkin, Bradley Grayson
BASFORD UNITED: Adam Collin, James Clifton, Ryan Wilson, Dom Roma, Owen Betts, Nathaniel Peters, Matt Thornhill (Jordan Haywood 21’), Alex Howes, Marcus Marshall (Aaron O’Connor 76’), Kane Richards, Rev James (Joshua Scott 90’)
SUBS NOT USED: Rory Harrison, Jordan Pierrepont
MATCH ATTENDANCE: 270