Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Lincoln United 0 v Basford United 0 - EvoStik NPL Div 1 South

Tues 21st February 2017
EvoStik Northern Premier League Division 1 South
At the Sun Hat Villas and Resorts Stadium
Ashby Avenue, Hartsholme, Lincoln
Lincoln United 0
Basford United 0
Admission £8 Programme £1 (inc team sheet)
Attendance 130
Anybody who attends football on a regular basis, will know that there are goalless draws where the two teams play up tempo, box to box football... and the aesthetically pleasing and flowing entertainment on offer, punctuated with plenty of goalmouth action, makes for a mighty fine spectacle, which clearly demonstrates that there is far more to this beautiful game than mere goals alone.
And other times; there are nil-nil draws like tonight's.
Sixth placed Basford United, travelled to take on Lincoln United who are in twelfth, nine points behind their Nottingham based visitors and the majority of this hard fought battle for a point apiece took part in the midfield, while both defences stuck ruggedly to their respective tasks.
In the final analysis: Basford will probably have been happy to have picked up another point towards their play off push, in a game that could have gone either way, while the Whites will probably have been content to take the draw against a team from higher up the league table, as they look to climb the table in the second half of the season, as they tick their games in hand off.
The draw was a fair result, with  Lincoln having the better of the first half, when Danny Brooks was unlucky not to break the deadlock with a thumping long range strike, while the visitors looked more likely to force the issue after the break, when Courey Grantham teamed up with Kieran Wells in attack.
Saul Deeney went in courageously at Jack McGovern's feet, inside the opening five minutes, making a save that was almost as brave as wearing the pink shirt he had on in Hartsholme after dark.
Wells made a good run between the two Lincoln central defenders, but when Kyle Dixon picked him out with a low corner kick from out on the right, the ball sat up awkwardly in front of the prolific striker and gave the whites captain, Michael Jacklin the opportunity to clear.
After the break, Brooks improvisation almost caught out Deeney as he drilled a shot towards the near post from out on the right, when everyone else seemed to be anticipating a cross, but Basford's former Notts County keeper got down at the last moment to smother the ball.
Wells, Grantham and Grayson all had half chances for the visitors, but the home side's defence were getting back in numbers, holding their ground and keeping things tight, and were obviously well versed about who the posed the main threats within the visitors ranks.
They also kept a close eye on Fabian Smith, limiting his options as a supply line for his forwards.
The home side seemed to struggle to stay onside, with Basford defending high up the pitch and moving out as a very tight unit whenever the need arose.
Grantham nearly scored late in the day for the visitors, but having rode two challenges as he attacked the Lincoln goal across the dead ball line from the left, but Luke Hornsey blocked his shot and put the ball wide of the right hand post at the expense of a corner.
Late in the game, both teams seemed to settle for a draw and were obviously taking no risks, but surely that was just common sense and I don't blame them for hanging onto the point apiece at all.
One thing that I would have to give both sides a lot of credit for tonight, was their unrelenting hard graft and effort, on a night when the wind blowing straight across the 'lumpy and bumpy' surface must have made even basic passes and accurate shooting difficult. At times like this, all you can ask of players is that their work ethic and commitment doesn't falter... and to that end everybody passed with flying colours.
When the going got tough, the tough... well y'know!
FT: Lincoln United 0 v Basford United 0
On  Saturday Basford entertain AFC Rushden & Diamonds at Greenwich Avenue, while Lincoln United have a long trip to Northwich Victoria to look forward to.
If you haven't been to Lincoln United before, get yourself along, they are a very friendly, welcoming and accommodating club. Their next home game is on Tuesday 28th February (next week) against Belper Town.
What  a fine example of topiary and tree maintenance