Basford United’s automatic promotion hopes took a hit on Monday night after a disappointing 2-0 loss at home to Nantwich Town.
Prince Haywood opened the scoring in the 84th-minute with a screamer from the edge of the box before Joe Malkin secured the victory for Nantwich with a 94th-minute goal to send the visitors home with all three points and dent Basford’s automatic promotion hopes.
Basford started the better of the two teams with two efforts from range troubling the Nantwich goalkeeper before hitting the post from a deflected cross.
Nantwich began to grow into the game as the half grew as Fuller and Varian’s link-up play caused Basford problems on numerous occasions. The away side then had their turn to strike the woodwork as Cooke’s free-kick hit the post leaving Preston stranded on his line.
The best chance of the first half came on the half-hour mark, however, as a miraculous Lewis Carr block prevented a certain goal as an effort came in from close range.
The second half was a much quieter affair as the tension grew inside the ground, chances became fairly scarce as the teams began to cancel each other out.
With the game on a knife-edge heading into the final minutes, a goal of the season contender from Prince Haywood gave Nantwich the lead. A ball inside from out wide found Haywood unmarked on the edge of the area. The midfielder proceeded to strike the ball with the outside of his foot into the top left corner. With Basford going all out for an equaliser, Nantwich were gifted a second as Preston’s scuffed clearance was intercepted by Malkin, the forward still had plenty to do as he lifted the ball over the ‘keeper and into the net from 40 yards out to secure the three points.
The result means Nantwich remain in 5th position, while Basford fail to capitalise on the opportunity to move within two points of league leaders South Shields.
Next up for Basford is Buxton FC at Greenwich Avenue in what is now a crucial game in the clubs pursuit of promotion.
*Article provided by James Ridge (Basford United Correspondent).
*Main image @Basfordutdfc action from the Monday night match against Nantwich.