Saturday 21st September 2013
Basford United 0 Cleethorpes Town 2
FA Carlsberg Vase Second Qualifying Round
At: Mill Street Playing Field, Greenwich Avenue, Basford, Nottingham
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: £5; Programme: £1 (16 pages + official teamsheet)
Weather: warm and sunny
Had things turned out differently on one March Saturday last year, I would have already visited Greenwich Avenue. But I decided to miss the middle two games of the four-game Central Midlands League ‘Bonanza’ (Basford and Dronfield) in favour of a visit to Appleby Frodingham after the opening game at Clifton and before the final game at Glapwell.
link here), improvements have been made a plenty at Greenwich Avenue in the intervening 18 months. A new perimeter fence for starters, seats in the stand near the dugouts as well as an extra area of covered standing behind one goal and of course floodlights. Another new facility nearing completion is the pitch-side changing room block.
Arriving early, as is my preference, a club official kindly opened up the paybox – admission with souvenir match ticket (£5), programme (£1) and lapel badge (£3). Subsequently teamsheets were provided free of charge for those who purchased a programme, a nice and most welcome touch.
The current league table shows Basford sitting 11th with 14 points from 11 games. Goalscoring looks to be a problem this season with no more than two scored in a game until a thumping 5-1 home win over Heanor Town on Tuesday (watched by On The Road’s Malc and Kev http://ontheroad2013-2014.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/basford-utd-5-1-heanor-town.html).
One of Northampton’s finest, Mr John Revitt esq, also arrived for his second visit to the ground having seen a 0-0 draw a few years ago played over 40 minutes each way. He assured me that he’d not morphed into his mode of transport – the Tram! [a joke for groundhoppers and one no doubt totally lost on those not familiar with ‘Garstang Bob’]. I was good to meet up with John again.
The Basford United website (http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/basfordunitedfc/a/club-history-21149.html) provides an informative history of a club that had only come to my attention over the past couple of years.
To their credit, Basford have risen from the 'lower reaches of Notts Alliance Division One' to Step 5 in little over 10 years. In recent times following a spell in the Notts Amateur League, they joined the Notts Senior League in 2006, then won the 2011/12 Central Midlands League South title at the first attempt after moving up a step and following this up by winning the East Midlands Counties League last season, also at the first attempt.
Referee James Thornhill (injured refereeing the Walsall Wood v Wigan Robin Park Vase tie I saw back in January) led the teams out from the soon-to-be-old changing rooms and Basford (in amber and black) soon got the action underway. The visitors won the toss and decided to attack the far railway end in the first half with the sun on their backs.
Basford suffered an early blow when Ash Dyce picked up an injury around the nine-minute mark which forced the skipper out of the game.
At this point, Cleethorpes had certainly been on top and they turned their dominance into an opening goal scored in the 28th minute. Luke Mascall on the left inside the area found Brody Robertson at the far post who fired a low angled shot across the Basford six-yard box. The ball rebounded off the far post and Nathan Emson slotted home the rebound to score his fourth goal of the season.
I made my way around to the stand and spent the latter stages of the first half in the company of the aforementioned Mr Revitt. Checking Twitter at half-time, I was left in admiration of the couple sat in front of me for their detailed account of the first half.
Here’s how they saw the goal… 27' 0-1 #NoMoreTeletext: Fantastic switch ball by J. Oglesby to @Mascall17, he passes one player, squares the ball to @brody_robertson.... who's shot hits the post and rebounds into the path of @NathanEmmo who smashes the ball home
Elsewhere in the Vase, of particular interest to me,…Stafford Town losing 4-0 at Bromsgrove and down to ten men and Wolverhampton Casuals leading Brocton 2-1 at Silkmore Lane in a Staffordshire derby. March Town United, the club I visited seven days ago were losing 1-0 at home to Godmanchester.
No joy with raffle as my ticket no-so-lucky strip of 946–950 yellow turned out to be a million miles away from the winning 316–320. Tea from the hatch near the paybox was a good cuppa.
“Any idea of the Forest score,” someone asked me. “Sorry, no,” I replied to an Italian-sounding man who couldn't be faulted for his vociferous support of the home team. Great to see characters like him watching non-league football.
Disappointment for Basford at full-time and joy for Cleethoropes, winners in their first-ever FA Vase tie. Wonder who they’ll get in Monday’s First Round draw?
Elsewhere, according to Twitter, nine-man Stafford Town endured an FA Vase exit to forget with an 8-0 defeat at Bromsgrove while Brocton scored two late goals to snatch a 3-3 draw against the Cassies and force extra time [Brocton ended up winning 5-3]. Late goals were popular in Stafford as Rangers netted a winner in the 95th minute to defeat FC United of Manchester at Marston Road.
It was a pleasure to visit Basford United. Good luck to them for the rest of the season. Also good luck to Cleethorpes on the 'road to Wembley' and I'll be avidly following the tweets of #NoMoreTeletext. I'm sure I'll see both clubs again at some point during the season.
Cleethorpes Town (red/red/red): 1. Scott Drury, 2. Daniel Grant, 3. Lawrence Howard, 4. Richard Peck, 5. Matthew Coleman, 6. Alex Flett, 7. Luke Mascall, 8. Darren Hanslip (capt), 9, Nathan Emson, 10. Brody Robertson, 11. Jonathan Oglesby. Subs: 12. Mark Sawyer (for Oglesby, 83), 14. Marc Cooper (for Robertson, 59), 15. Matthew Oswin (for Hanslip, 88), 16. Lee McFarland (not used), 17. Reece Newell (not used). Manager: Marcus Newell.
Referee: James Thornhill
Assistants: James Oldham and Peter Bailey
Duration: first-half: 46:55; second-half: 48:06
0-1 Nathan Emson (28)
0-2 Nathan Emson (52)
Basford: Tyeisse Nightingale (YC, 67)
Cleethorpes: Alex Flett (YC, 62)
Footnote: Basford manager Darren Saunders resigned three days later after three successful years in charge and Cleethorpes were drawn away to Harborough Town in the First Round draw.