Basford United 1-2 Radcliffe (Northern Premier League) 23.10.21
Basford United’s inconsistent season continued after a 2-1 defeat to Radcliffe at Greenwich Avenue on Saturday.
Bobby Grant’s early strike set the tone before Brad Gascoigne’s harsh own goal just before the break.
Aaron O’Connor pulled one back after the restart, but it was too little, too late for United who failed to build on their win over Hyde last time out.
“We needed to be better throughout,” manager Steve Chettle said. “We started the game very, very well but the second goal – right before half-time – makes it really difficult for us.
“I said at the break that we have to be better in all departments and we huffed and puffed, but we just lacked that real quality at the top of the pitch, which was our downfall.
“We need to score when opportunities arise, but we didn’t manage to do it.”
Chettle made the one change from last Saturday’s win as the fit-again Declan Dunn returned to replace Reco Fyfe.
For the opening 15 minutes, United were well on top and looked, in the early stages, at least, like back-to-back wins for the first time in a month was well on the cards.
O’Connor had the ball in the net, only for Alex Howes to be ruled offside and shortly after the striker was just out of reach of Matt Thornhill’s high cross.
Controlled possession, a decent tempo and everything but the final product; cue Bobby Grant.
Impressive all afternoon, on 19 minutes the former Wrexham striker tiptoed his way into the box, skipped around Howes and sumptuously curled into the top, far corner past a rooted Adam Collin for his 10th of the season.
Untroubled to that point, Basford rallied and O’Connor and Dom Roma both shared chances that may have yielded a quickfire equaliser only for Ben Rydel to clear unopposed.
Managerless Radcliffe – with only one league win on their travels this season – always looked a threat with the trickery of Adam Dawson down the left and the experience of Grant.
Shortly before half-time, Dawson found Omar Ibrahim overloading, his shot was blocked, and a follow-up from Matthew Crothers – heading wide – hit the backside of Gascoigne before bobbling over the line at a snail’s pace past a floored Colin.
Seemingly fired up by the half-time verbals, United emerged buoyant and halved the deficit ten minutes in when Howes found Kane Richards on the edge of the area.
His patience and poise eventually found O’Connor who slotted around the onrushing Cameron Belford for a second in as many games and Chettle’s men were back within one.
Marcus Marshall then found himself in behind Rydel down the home left, and his low cross was desperately hacked clear by Simon Lenighan on the hour but that was as good as it got as a stubborn Radcliffe held on.
Step 4 Leek Town are next up on Saturday in the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy (15:00).
Basford United: Adam Collin, Dom Roma, Ryan Wilson, Brad Gascoigne, Stef Galinski, Declan Dunn (Lewis Rourke 86), Alex Howes (Reco Fyfe 63), Matt Thornhill, Marcus Marshall, Kane Richards, Aaron O’Connor (Rev James 77)
Radcliffe: Cameron Belford, Ben Rydel, Omar Ibrahim, Simon Lenighan, Jo Cummings, Tom Miller, Jack Baxter, Matthew Crothers, Kole Hall, Bobby Grant, Adam Dawson.
Venue: Greenwich Avenue (245)
*Article provided by Marc Williams (Basford United Correspondent).
*Main image @Papapix Aaron O’Connor scores for Basford.