Tuesday 27th October 2015 7.45pm
Evostik Division One South
Basford United 1 Newcastle Town 1 ht: 1-0 att: 104 Ent: £6 Prog: £1.50 Coffee: £1
Grantham 34 : Mills 59
from Greenwich Avenue (pictures here)
Basford United hail from the New Basford area, north of Nottingham. Between Kimberley and Arnold who are not people, but small towns with East Midlands League football clubs. This season, with few new clubs left to choose from locally, Nottinghamshire has become the new focus; a fatted non-league calf, full of juicy morsels to pick off.
The locals refer to it as Baize-ford rather than the intuitive Bass-ford. The club have come an incredibly long way in a short period. They were founded in 1900 and have spent most of their time in regional Notts leagues, but since 2011-12 have soared up the league pyramid, starting with winning the Central Midlands League South in their debut season. They were champions of the East Midlands League (step six) also at the first attempt the following year. Then after one year in the NCEL Premier, where they finished sixth, they moved sideways to the newly formed Midland League; which again they won at their first attempt, gaining them access to the step four Evostik One South.
Their Greenwich Avenue ground has been their home since 1991, and looks like it has had some updates recently in the form of floodlights and stands. The stands look a slightly higher spec than your bog standard atcosts. There is a seated stand behind the goal, as you come in, with around 150 seats, four rows but on the same level, with rows two and four seriously lacking in legroom. In fact on row four you could only really sit sideways, it is so tight behind row three.
To the side of the pitch are two more stands, a double-fronted circa 150 seater stand, again four rows but this time on a two steps’ rake, rather than flat, but still keeping with their traditional crushed fourth row, like it’s been concertinaed in a head on collision. A covered terrace sits beside it further up.
The pitch surround was a class above, not only the orthodox surrounding bar, but with a white latticework frame underneath. It was unusually high though in places.
The hosts had their own cameraman, who stood on their TV gantry, otherwise known as the dugout.
Carrying on from their three promotions in four seasons, Basford had made a good start to their first fourth step season, lying in fifth place. The visitors on the night had, like us, made the trip from the Potteries – Newcastle Town.
Basford were the better team in the first half and made their pressure count with a well taken finish by Grantham; the same player I had seen give them the lead two weeks ago at Tividale. And exactly like the Tividale game, they ended up throwing away two points, when they should have had three. Newcastle equalised in the second half; a header off a free kick.
Greenwich Avenue is a well kept, smart ground, with large clubhouse, decent stands and plenty of room to grow. Some teams who rise too quickly up the pyramid betray their recent standing with a lower level ground feel, but their ground is a match for many in this league.