Two goals in the first 12 minutes and an early second half killer goal helped Basford United to a comfortable 3-0 victory in Nottingham on Saturday afternoon.

Manager Andy Peaks made two significant changes to the side that was beaten by Spalding on Tuesday night with Fazel Koriya and Nabil Shariff replaced by Taylor Orosz and Ollie Brown-Hill. Ben Ford kept his place on the bench along with Koriya, Shariff, Robbie Parsons and Ben Heath.

Basford have a really nice set-up on the Northern outskirts of Nottingham with an excellent new 3G pitch but the players were faced with a windy squally day as 6th took on 5th in Northern Premier League Division One South action.

The home side were bright and positive from the start against a strangely hesitant away side. Courey Grantham forced Matt Finlay into an early save a breaking into the left hand side of the box, and Kyle Dixon saw a well struck effort deflected wide.

They didn’t have long to wait for the opening goal which came on 10 minutes after a Diamonds midfield pass went astray allowing Kieran Fenton time to surge forward and chip a superb ball to around the penalty spot where an unmarked Kieran Wells headed home.

The lead was doubled just 2 minutes later as left wing corner from Fabian Smith was swung in on the wind right under the bar where Riece Bertram easily headed home from just a couple of yards out.

A shocked Diamonds side nearly conceded another to a Bertram free header just 4 minutes later as excellent movement in the build up to a set-piece got a Basford player unmarked around the penalty spot again. This time he headed over.

Diamonds struggled to string periods of possession together as they tried to attack into the wind and were let down not by lack of passion and commitment but by poor execution of skills. Passes were frequently under or over hit and the harrying Basford midfield never gave them a minutes rest. Ben Farrell had the best chance when played into space on the right of the box on 23 but his shot from an angle was easily saved by the home keeper.

Basford had more headed chances as they always seemed to get a player into position for a free header when balls were played in but fortunately for the away side stopped hitting the target and crosses in dipped in quality from those early stages.

Diamonds did improve towards half-time and were denied a penalty when a solid looking challenge on Lewis Leslie wasn’t given as he burst into the right of the box. They also created a good headed chance for Tom Lorraine on 45 minutes after neat build-up down the right. He was found in space in the centre of the goal but was backing away to reach the ball and could only cushion his header into the arms of the home keeper.

Half-time: Basford United 2 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0

Diamonds were looking to build on that late first half improvement early in the second half but conceded another poor close range headed goal just 3 minutes in to effectively kill off the game. A neat move involving the impressive Dixon in midfield came back to Fenton for an excellent curled cross that was just cleared by Richard Bunting’s flicked header. It only went as far as Fabian Smith on the right hand side though and his chipped cross found Wells unmarked again to head home from close range.

It stunned the away side and their travelling fans and ushered in a passive period of the game with Diamonds continuing to make passing errors to deny them any forward momentum.

Manager Andy Peaks responded with a triple substitution on 64 with Fazel Koriya, Nabil Shariff and Ben Ford replacing Tom Lorraine, Ollie Brown-Hill and Ben Farrell. It did improve Diamond attacking intent with Ben Ford looking very good in central midfield and Koriya and Shariff linking well, but they were unable to fashion much in the way of genuine chances.

Diamonds did have the ball in the net on 71 minutes as a Ben Ford free-kick found a Diamonds head on the far post but it was predictably ruled out for offside. Taylor Orosz also broke into the area to test the home keeper at the near post but it was easily saved.

Basford continued to find spaces in the Diamonds midfield though as the away side pressed forward and Kyle Dixon in particular was fantastic for the home side with great close control and neat passing, setting up Sam Osborne for a one on one with Matt Finlay that he put wide and hit a ball in for another almost free header for Wells.

The game ended in unusual fashion with Courtney Graham receiving a straight red card for something happening right on the line in the build up to a corner.

Full-time: Basford United 3 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0

This was a disappointing performance from Diamonds after the second half capitulation to Spalding on Tuesday they were blown away by a two goal headed salvo in the first 12 minutes. It could have been worse in an unusually poor defensive display and Diamonds never really got to grips with their passing game on what was an excellent surface.

A strong penalty appeal just before half-time might have changed the game but any hopes of a second half revival were ended by another close range free header early in the second half.

Defeat keeps Diamonds in 5th but allows Basford and Leek Town to close the gap to the final play-off berth. Diamonds will be looking for a strong performance on Tuesday night at Chasetown to re-assure fans of their genuine play-off potential.

Man of the Match: Richard Bunting

Attendance: 264

Match Report by Paul Judd

 

Basford United

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

1. Saul Deeney

2. Robbie McNicholas

3. Kieran Fenton

4. Riece Bertram

5. Lewis Carr

6. Deon Miekle

7. Sam Osborne

8. Fabian Smith

9. Kieran Wells

10. Courey Grantham

11. Kyle Dixon

Subs

12. Ben Hutchinson (for Smith 63)

14. Ashley Grayson (for Bertram 63)

15. Jamie Walker

16. Reece Fyfe

17. Jake Wood

17. Matt Finlay

2. Kyal McNulty

3. Sam Brown

4. Brad Harris

5. Liam Dolman

6. Ben Farrell

7. Lewis Leslie

8. Taylor Orosz

9. Tom Lorraine

10. Richard Bunting (C)

11. Ollie Brown-Hill

Subs

12. Fazel Koriya (for Ollie Brown-Hill 63)

13. Ben Heath

14. Robbie Parsons

15. Nabil Shariff (for Tom Lorraine 63)

16. Ben Ford (for Ben Farrell 63)

Goals: Wells (10, 48), Bertram (12),

Goals:

Yellow Card: Smith, Fenton,

Yellow Cards: Harris, Farrell, Koriya

Red Cards: Grantham

Red Cards:

Referee: Martin Chester

Assistants: Jack Forder, Wayne Brown

 

 

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