This was a typical committed cup final, where past reputations and League positions proved irrelevant. Current holders and winners of the Senior Cup for the past two seasons; Basford, who narrowly missed out for a place in the Evo Stik Northern Premier League, Division One South play-offs took on a lively Carlton Town, who just held onto their place in the same competition by the skin of their teeth.
United began the brighter, forcing three corners in the first five minutes of an enthralling encounter, one of which that could have seen them take the lead but for a fine close range save by Jack Steggles from the lively, Kieran Wells. However, in their first sortie into Basford territory, Carlton went close to breaking the deadlock, when William Mellors-Blair saw his drive from the edge of the area strike the upright but it was only a short-lived reprieve, as on the quarter hour, Town snatched the lead. Mellors-Blair fed Aaron Hooton just inside the box and the striker neatly side-stepped a defender and the on-rushing ‘keeper to fire into the empty net.
This stung United, who pressurised the Town defence, with Ben Hutchinson seeing his header held by Steggles and the ‘keeper then thwarting Kyle Dixon but after twenty six minutes they were level, after Wells was tripped in the area, allowing Hutchinson to fire home the resultant penalty.
Five minutes later, a mazy run by Sam Osbourne set up Dixon, who fired over from fifteen yards and then Hutchinson fed Wells, whose cross-shot rebounded into Steggles’ arms off the post but it was Town who went into the break with a 2-1 advantage, as the lively, Mellors-Blair saw his shot parried by Saul Deeney but the ball fell to Daniel Elliott, who fired into the roof of the net from a narrow angle.
The second period started much the same as the first with Basford enjoying much of the territorial advantage and but for a shot from Dixon that scraped the bar and a fine stop by Steggles in a one-on-one with Sam Osbourne creating few opportunities. At the other end a similar dual between Hooton and Deeney saw the Basford ‘keeper make a great save but it was Town who extended their advantage after seventy four minutes when a cross was played into the area and Elliott beat Deeney to the ball allowing Mellors-Blair to steer it home from a difficult angle.
Ten minutes later it was all over, as Mellors-Blair flighted a cross into the area, where a mis-directed defensive header fell kindly for ‘Man-of-the-Match; Aaron Hooton to steer under the advancing Deeney.
Carlton’s Captain; Kieran Walker raised the trophy for a deserved victory that was presented by the County Association Chairman, Brian Hambidge; supported by Association Director, John Wheat.
Match report courtesy of John Wheat, Nottinghamshire FA Board Member
Photographs courtesy of Alexandra Johnson Photography www.alexandrajohnsonphotography.co.uk @ASJphotography