Starkie See’s Basford Safe

Bank Holiday madness ensued in the Nottinghamshire non-league scene this Easter Monday, and we’re not talking the heart-breaking, five-goal thriller, between Wrexham and Notts County; further down the pyramid, albeit in just seven games, there was some twenty-five goals scored.

Goal machine, Ben Starkie, smashed a brace to ensure Basford’s safety; Worksop scored another four to stretch their unbeaten run to 34 matches; Sherwood eased to victory; Eastwood and Kimberley shared six, and Newark snatched it at the death with a stoppage time penalty from captain, Lewis Chambers.

Oh, and they were all in derby hum-dingers as well! From the top, through the ‘Magnificent Seven’ –

Basford United ensured step three football for next season with an East Midlands derby win over visitors Ilkeston Town, the hosts taking the lead just after the half-hour mark, with Starkie’s first of the game.

The assist for the opener went to home shot-stopper, Kieran Preston, which flies over the visiting defence and Starkie runs on to slot the ball beyond Harrison Foulkes, the hosts keeping the lead into half-time.

Within minutes of the restart and the visitors were level, Remaye Campbell despatching a penalty past Preston in the home goal, both sides now going all out to find a winner.

It would fall to the hosts, and Starkie, of course; with eighteen minutes left on the clock a looping cross from Josh Barnes landed with Starkie on the edge of the box, and he proceeded to let rip, on the half-volley, and beyond the despairing dive of Foulkes.

The visitors continued to create chances, and Starkie, he could easily have had a hat-trick, but the score stayed just like that, 2-1 to the battling hosts, and a huge sigh of both joy, and relief, flowed round Greenwich Avenue.

Basford United – Kieran Preston, Dom Roma, Josh Barnes, Stern Irvine (Ollie Clarke, 65), Brad McGowan, Lewis Carr, Courey Grantham, Declan Dunn (Rev James, 70), Anthony Dwyer, Matt Thornhill, Ben Starkie

In the Northern Premier East, Worksop Town were presented the league trophy following another, routine win, this time against Carlton Town, although those in attendance had to wait until the second period for any goals to flow.

The opener, was an own-goal, within minutes of the restart, and from thereon in, it was pretty much, one-way traffic; Luke Hall doubled the champions’ lead five minutes later, further goals not coming until the closing ten.

A fantastic passage of play was finished off with a side-footed effort from Aleksandrs Starcenko, with ten minutes left and, with the party now in full flow, the icing was added by, you guess it, Liam Hughes, when, with four left, he fired home his 41st goal of a very productive season.

There was still time for more drama as well, stoppage time would see the hosts awarded a penalty and somehow, showing that he is human after all, Hughes missed from twelve yards out, the Tigers settling for a 4-0 win.

Worth noting, between the sticks for the Tigers for this, and the record-breaking draw in Dunston, 18-year-old work experience loanee, Harvey Giles; on-loan from Harrogate Town, Giles is standing in for the recently injured, Sebastian Malkowski.

Worksop Town – Harvey Giles, Deegan Atherton, Josh Wilde, Sam Wedgebury, Hamza Bencherif, Jack Broadhead, Terry Hawkridge, Aleksandrs Starcenko, Vaughan Redford, Liam Hughes, Luke Hall

Five further derbies took place, amidst much drama, in the United Counties League, Sherwood Colliery seeing off visiting AFC Mansfield, 3-0, whilst Eastwood CFC and Kimberley Miners Welfare shared six, in an entertaining, Bank Holiday, 3-3 draw, in the two, Premier Division, Notts games.

Strengthening sixth place, Sherwood Colliery eased past visitors AFC Mansfield thanks to goals from Ewen Robson, shortly before the break, and second-half efforts from Devon Smith and Jobe Shaw, they being ten points behind the three sides directly above them in the table – Sleaford Town, Quorn, and Melton Town, all sat on 73 points apiece.

Meanwhile, the game between Eastwood and Kimberley also ended in late drama, the hosts grabbing a last minute equaliser to earn a share of the spoils; Aaron Coyle and Ryan Wheatley had the visitors two-up within twenty minutes, Tyler Blake getting one back minutes before the break.

However, shortly after the restart, the visitors added a third when Nathan Banton registered, Blake again netting for the hosts just before the hour mark; then, as the game headed towards injury-time, and a likely three points for the visitors, Ryan Tait popped up to equalise, keeping themselves at arms-length, from the relegation zone.

As for the games in Division one, a second-half goal from Jacob Brandon gave Clifton All Whites the points when away to West Bridgford Colts, and a five-goal thriller ensued in the game between Rainworth Miners Welfare and Clipstone, the hosts netting via Rio Allen and Benjamin Copestake, whilst the visitors snatched a 3-2 win thanks to Luke Walker, Lewis Weaver, and Liam Carver goals.

And at Newark Town, they snatched a dramatic, late win, when hosting Southwell City, keeping themselves in the hunt for a play-off spot; Lewis Chambers would score twice for the hosts, including a 94th minute penalty.

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @Basfordutdfc two goal hero Ben Starkie backed up his winner at Rushall to see Basford safe.

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