Matlock Town FC vs Basford United
Matlock Town FC2
The Proctor Cars StadiumNorthern Premier League
Matlock had to settle for a hard-fought point at home to Basford United on a cool Tuesday night at Causeway Lane. The goals were split evenly between each half with 2 in the first and two in the seconds. Goals for Matlock coming from Reece Kendall and captain Liam Hughes. Both teams put in a performance they can be proud of however both will feel that they could've got more with multiple chances to put the game to bed for both Matlock and Basford.
Matlock manager Paul Phillips had made 3 changes from the starting eleven that beat Stafford Rangers 2-0 at the weekend in an attempt to keep the squad fresh.
The game appeared to be a bit tense in the first 10 minutes with neither team really looking threatening and very few shots on goal. The first big opportunity came to Matlock around the 15 minutes mark when a lovely cross was delivered into the box from a free kick on the left-hand side from Reece Kendall that met the free head of Liam Hughes, Kieran Preston the Basford United goalkeeper was forced into making a good save, knocking the ball over the bar.
After this point Basford began to slowly but surely work their way into the game keeping a good amount of sustained pressure on Matlock. Matlock were offering very little in the way of shots on goal in the middle of the first half, one of the few bright sparks from their attacking play at this point was undoubtedly coming from number 11 Osebi Abadaki, who was continuously driving towards the Basford United defence and looking threatening every time he had the ball, drifting out and driving down the left and side, creating a very interesting matchup between him and Basford's right back, James Clifton.
Around the 20 minutes mark Matlock won a corner taken by Alex Byrne which looking to be heading towards the back of the net but for a reaction save from the Basford goalkeeper tipping it over the bar.
A moment of pure improvisation nearly came off for the Basford United skipper, Matt Thornhill, in the 36th minute after the ball was up in the air from a corner, he swung this trailing leg up in the air towards the ball attempting a scorpion kick while was subsequently blocked by a Matlock defender, but it would certainly have been a spectacular moment had it come off.
It took 39 minutes of football for the deadlock to be broken, the ball fell to Basford's no.9 Rev James on the left-hand side of the penalty box, he struck a shot that looked to be heading wide however the ball ricocheted off the knee of Sam Egerton, there was absolutely nothing that he could have done about it. For the minutes of play following the goal Basford certainly looked a lot more threatening. However, in the 44th minutes, Matlock won a corner that was whipped in by Alex Byrne and met the head of Reece Kendall perfectly, levelling the scores just before the break and undoubtedly changing both managers half time team talks.
Matlock began the second half very brightly with a period of sustained pressure on Basford United's backline, one of these attacks resulted in a shot from Reece Kendall being cleared of the line by Basford defender Stefan Galinski.
Having won a corner on the back of a deflected shot from Danny Greenfield, no.7 Alex Byrne swings in a trademark corner that meets the head of captain Liam Hughes that finds the back of the net, unfortunately, the Matlock joy was short-lived as the referee disallowed the goal due to pushing in the penalty box.
The battle between Basford right-back James Clifton and Matlock’s Osebi Abadaki culminated in a yellow card when Clifton bought Abadaki down on the halfway line bringing the end to a promising counter-attack for Matlock. Matlock had begun to look a lot more threatening in the second half.
Around the 70th minutes, Basford United's number 7 Kane Richards is brought down on the right flank inside the Matlock half, the resulting free-kick is fizzed in from Ryan Wilson and the ball is put away from Basford captain Matt Thornhill who slides in to put the ball in the back of the net. During the Basford celebrations, a small confrontation emerged from some of the players however the referee quickly put this matter to bed and the match continued.
Basford's lead did not last for long as not too much later Matlock won a corner, yet another excellent ball was put in by Alex Byrne and skipper Liam Hughes headed towards goals, one of the Basford defenders looked to have cleared the ball off the line however with very little hesitation the linesman confirmed that the ball had in fact crossed the line. Meaning the scores now locked at 2-2.
Shortly after Matlock’s equaliser, there was an unfortunate collision between Basford United goalkeeper, Kieran Preston, and their right back, James Clifton. Clifton, unfortunately, had to be taken off after this, being replaced by number 12 Charlie Gatter. Despite this James Clifton did seem to be ok post-game suggesting nothing serious.
Matlock kept good pressure on Basford during the later stages of the second half, certainly looking like the most likely to find a winner. In the 79th minute, some would say that Basford's number 4 and captain Matt Thornhill was lucky to still be on the pitch after a crunching tackle on Alex Byrne however the challenge only resulted in a yellow card.
Matlock came close from another corner, a recurring theme from this game after a header glanced across goal from Reece Kendall in the 83rd minute. Deep into stoppage time, it was clear that neither team was happy with a point however this is exactly how it finished; the referee blew the full-time whistle after a Basford corner that reaped no rewards.
Both sides can be happy with their performances and there were certainly positives to take from both sets of player performances however both teams will feel like that was a game that they could have won.
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Shaun Rowley 2 Adam Yates 3 Reece Kendall 4 Sam Egerton 5 Ryan Qualter 6 Mark Lees 7 Alex Byrne 8 Spencer Harris 9 Liam Hughes 10 Danny Greenfield (16 Declan Walker 89) 11 Osebi Abadaki (12 Callum Dolan 82)
BASFORD UNITED: 1 Kieran Preston 2 James Clifton (12 Charlie Gatter 74) 3 Ryan Wilson 4 Mark Thornhill 5 Stefan Gallinski 6 Lewis Carr 7 Kane Richards 8 Callum Chettle 9 Rev James 10 Kyle Dixon 11 James Tague (17/13 Alex Howes 62)
REFEREE- Jamie O'Connor Attendance- 444 BEST GLADIATOR- Alex Byrne