Basford United 0-1 FC United of Manchester (Northern Premier League) 05.10.21
Basford United suffered a first league defeat in nine against FC United of Manchester on Tuesday night.
Michael Potts’ effort seven minutes after the break was enough for the phoenix club and Steve Chettle’s men suffer back-to-back losses following their FA Cup exit at the weekend.
“It was a frustrating night,” boss Chettle said. “I think first half was one of those games that just passed both teams by.
“It was a tough night, weather wise, and the conditions were tough, but we spoke at half-time and said we have to be better, and we made too many mistakes in the top third of the pitch.
“One of our objectives tonight was to have an outcome in the final third and I think it took until when they scored to have a real go at that – it’s been a frustrating night for us.
“We don’t need to score the perfect goal, we just need to score a goal, somehow by hook or by crook,” he added. “We need to have a shot; we need to have a final outcome to get what you deserve from your build-up play.”
Chettle made two changes from the tie with Banbury on Saturday as Matt Thornhill dropped to the bench, replaced by Alex Howes, whilst Rev James regained his place ahead of the altogether missing Marcus Marshall.
FC’s talisman in Cedric Main had the first real shot in anger after eight minutes, though lacked any threat to trouble Adam Collin in the home goal as their dominance continued throughout the early stages.
The hosts managed to settle after soaking up the pressure and managed to carve out a chance of their own when James ran through, only for his shot to be excellently blocked by a flailing Curtis Jones leg.
Ryan Wilson then stung the hands of visiting ‘keeper Dan Lavercombe with an angled shot; the ‘keeper doing just enough to parry around for a corner.
Not helped by the swirling winds and the on-and-off rain, the first half soon fizzled out and did very little to warm the 456 at Greenwich Avenue braving the elements.
Terry Hawkridge – fresh from his player of the month accolade announced prior to kick-off – threaded through three to set James away, but a slightly overhit pass saw the chance wasted as both sides went in at the break locked at nil.
Collin had to be sharp at the front post three minutes after the restart when Paul Ennis jinked around Owen Betts to fire with venom and away pressure told moments later when Potts’ strike – from range – whistled past the outstretched ‘keeper for a deserved lead.
Jones was at it again to deny the ever-running James before an injection of life was brought on via the introduction of Josh Scott with 25 minutes to play.
Full of endeavour and willing, the Mansfield loanee teed up Declan Dunn to assess a cross and his raking pass found its way to Brad Gascoigne at the back post who failed to force a header goal wards off the slick surface.
Potts then had a glorious chance to seal the win for Neil Reynolds’ FC United – humbled a few weeks ago at Stalybridge – and only he knew how he missed from eight yards out with the goal gaping and Collin scrambling.
Late pressure was welcome for the home side but yielded very little and a last chance came and went as Betts’ emphatic header from Dom Roma’s cross in the final minute went agonisingly wide.
“We have to get the ball in the right places for the right people and I don’t think we did that often enough,” Chettle concluded. “Our build-up play was pretty good through the middle of the pitch.
“In the final third, our final pass wasn’t good enough. Ryan Wilson has one right at the end where his cross isn’t good enough.
“We’ve got to create opportunities for people at the top of the pitch to at least have something to hang on to and get us a goal.”
Basford travel to second-place South Shields next Saturday, October 9 (15:00).
Basford United: Adam Collin, Owen Betts, Ryan Wilson, Dominic Roma, Brad Gascoigne, Declan Dunn, Terry Hawkridge, Alex Howes, Aaron O’Connor (Josh Scott 65), Kane Richards (Reco Fyfe 76), Rev James.
FC United of Manchester: Dan Lavercombe, Michael Donohue, Adam Dodd, Curtis Jones, Andrew Baker, Aaron Morris, Paul Ennis (Joseph White 90), Michael Potts, Bradley Holmes (Jordan Simpson 90), Cedric Main, Regan Linney (Matthew Rain 90).
Venue: Greenwich Avenue (456)
*Article provided by Marc Williams (Basford United Correspondent).
*Main image @Papapix Michael Potts scores the winner for FC United.