Honours even between Matlock and Basford

Matlock and Basford played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in front of a bumper 444 crowd.

Wednesday, 30th September 2020, 10:42 am
Matlock Town drew 2-2 with Basford.

On chances Matlock should probably have won it, but they twice had to come from behind to earn their point before Basford’s strong finish ensured that the Gladiators would not turn a hard earned draw in to a memorable victory.

Kane Richards, one of four ex Gladiators in the visitors’ starting line up that did not include a fifth with striker Marcus Marshall injured, gave Basford a 38th minute lead which Reece Kendall cancelled out on the stroke of half time. Captain Matt Thornhill regained the lead for Basford on 65 minutes but within two minutes it was all square again thanks to Liam Hughes’ fourth goal in three matches.

Manager Paul Phillips made three changes to his starting line up from the one which beat Stafford Rangers on Saturday, drafting in Danny Greenfield, Alex Byrne and Osebi Abadaki with Callum Dolan, Declan Walker and Andy Bond dropping to the bench.

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Two early Byrne crosses from the right were cleared while at the opposite end, Callum Chettle drove low and wide from twenty yards,

But Matlock poured on the coal and a downward header from Hughes produced a magnificent save from goalkeeper Kieran Preston before repeating the feat shortly afterwards, Abadaki’s powerfully hit follow up being blocked by the Basford defence.

Ryan Wilson’s cleverly floated balls in from the left were causing a little consternation in the Matlock defence that was not quite as secure as in their previous games so far. Shaun Rowley did especially well to tip one away from danger before Matlock went forward again.

Lewis Carr upended Abadaki in full flight and was booked, Byrne’s free kick being deflected behind for him to take the corner which saw Preston expertly tip over the bar. An Abadaki turn and shot saw the ball flash beyond the back post.

Mark Lees was shown a yellow card for bringing down Kyle Dixon to signal a better spell for the visitors. Rowley did well to stretch and knock away a cross from Richards before being well placed to hold a close range effort by Thornhill.

Basford went in front when a Hughes pass was intercepted and when RICHARDS collected in the inside left channel his drilled shot across the face of goal went in off Sam Egerton who could do little about it.

But Matlock, who showed tremendous spirit and character throughout found their equaliser in the dying embers of the half, Byrne’s excellent corner being headed in from close range by KENDALL.

The Gladiators piled on the pressure immediately after the restart, Abadaki’s cross hitting James Clifton to drop agonisingly wide of the near post. Then Kendall came close to netting again, Wilson being brilliantly stationed to knock his shot off the line. After Greenfield’s shot from distance was deflected behind, Basford breathed a huge sigh of relief again. Clifton was booked for upending Abadaki and Preston got lucky being given a free kick after Hughes had found the net.

Hughes, an increasing menace stretched his 6’2” frame to divert Byrne’s cross inches too high before there was a sting in the tail for Matlock who needlessly gave a free kick away wide on the right. Wilson’s excellent delivery was met by THORNHILL who headed into the corner.

But Matlock were soon back level again, Preston making a fine save to turn aside Ryan Qualter’s twenty five yarder, but being beaten when another deadly set piece by Byrne from the corner finding HUGHES whose header was adjudged to have crossed the line by the assistant despite vain Basford attempts to clear.

Matlock now looked favourites for maximum points, Preston flattening Clifton as he raced from his goal to stop Greenfield reaching a ball down the centre. A booking for Thornhill for fouling Lees slowed Matlock down again before the hosts missed a gilt edged chance as Kendall somehow headed wide from close range when superbly placed.

Spencer Harris received a harsh and the final caution of the night after a midfield tussle before in the dying stages, Basford had their best spell of the second period pinning Matlock back. Hughes won a great header and a magnificent Qualter block from a shot from substitute Niall Towle prevented a late smash and grab.

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 (18 Declan Walker 88) 11 Osebi Abadaki (12 Callum Dolan 82) Other subs: 14 Jake Hull 15 Kade Coppin 16 Andy Bond

BASFORD UNITED: 1 Kieran Preston 2 James Clifton (12 Charlie Gatter 71) 3 Ryan Wilson 4 Matt Thornhill 5 Stefan Galinski 6 Lewis Carr 7 Kane Richards (16 Niall Towle 80)) 8 Callum Chettle 9 Rev James 10 Kyle Dixon 11 James Tague (17 Alex Howes 61) Other subs: 14 Declan Dunn 15 James Carvell

REFEREE: Jamie O’Connor (Chesterfield).

ATTENDANCE: 444.

BEST GLADIATOR: Alex Byrne.