Competition: Notts. F.A. Intermediate Cup Semi-final
Venue: Greenwich Avenue, Basford, Notts
Admission: £2.00 concession
It’s been a funny few days since my blog entry on the West Bridgford game. Wednesday afternoon I was at Highfields to see the University of Nottingham Men’s 2nd lose 3-0 to Oxford Brookes Men’s 1st. The third goal was a 30-yard stunner that the Nottingham keeper could only admire as it flew past him and into the net. The skies had darkened as half-time approached, so I decided to fetch my brolly from the car during the break. This decision paid dividends, as midway through the second half the heavens opened and we were treated to a downpour of almost biblical proportions – and it was this downpour that effectively killed the Wednesday evening football programme. So – no game Wednesday night, but the big question was, will there be a survivor on Thursday? As it happens there was a game at Clipstone, the pitch deemed to be perfectly playable by Referee Tom Beard. This game saw Dunkirk’s U19s hand a 4-0 defeat to Mansfield Town U19s, and worthy victors they were. Rob Waite’s report from the game can be found by clicking HERE.
Friday afternoon was supposed to have been Ilkeston FC U19 v Maltby Main U19 at the New Manor Ground, Ilkeston, but upon arrival with Mr. Mac at the NMG it was apparent that the game wasn’t on….or so we thought. New Ilkeston boss Shaun Goater was on the pitch taking training, and Macca asked him if he knew where the game was being played and he said Eastwood. So off we went to Coronation Park, only to find – no game! After giving up, I later discovered the game was actually played at Basford, the venue for my Friday night game!
This Notts. F.A. Intermediate cup game had an advertised kick off of 7:30pm. We actually got underway at 7:45pm, although I have no idea what caused the delayed start to the evening's proceedings.
Basford opened the scoring in just the 5th minute after a mistake by Town keeper Keeton Sharpe saw the ball end up with EZRA KUTINGANO and he duly despatched it into the top corner. KUTINGANO was on the score sheet again with 20 played – then seconds later he became provider, firing the ball across the goal to the far post where JACK DUFFY was on hand to slot home. Five minutes before the break, the home team went further ahead, courtesy of a ZAIRE BIRCHALL-JACKSON strike . H-T 4-0
The Basford fifth goal came on 66, again Kutingano was the provider. This time the winger's tricky feet left his marker on his backside, and the resultant cross found GIDEON BOATENG who controlled superbly in front of goal before lashing the ball home. RICKY SAXBY slid in at the far post to open Hucknall’s account in the 77th minute, but BOATENG soon restored the home team's five goal advantage, powering home a header that went in off the far post. Two minutes later Basford added their seventh. Sharpe and BOATENG collided in the box and when the ball popped out of the keeper’s hands, the striker was left with an open goal to roll it into. After a brief consultation with his assistant, the Ref gave the goal, despite the Town players protestations.
Hucknall grabbed another goal on 87, SAM BOOTH smashing the ball into the roof of the net from the corner of the box. A terrific strike that I thought was arguably the best goal of the night, and the applause from around the ground seemed to echo my thoughts. Town were awarded a penalty in the dying seconds of the game, but Danny Brown dived to his left to save. F-T 7-2.
Great entertainment throughout the 90 minutes – and Basford will play AFC Dunkirk in the final at Eastwood on Friday 5th May –looking forward to that one!!