Evo-Stik NPL Division One South. Saturday 3rd September 2016. Basford Utd 2 (Ben Hutchison 2', Gary Ricketts 12')  Vics' 2 (John Pritchard 80', Alec Mudimu 84').

 

Manager Adam Lakeland's verdict on the 2-2 stalemate away at Basford United on Saturday 3rd September -

 

We knew that this was going to be another difficult game. Basford are a decent side who we played and drew with at home on the opening day of the season so we knew what to expect and that combined with the challenge of playing on an artificial surface meant that it was going to be a difficult afternoon.

The journey down wasn’t the best with us being delayed in setting off due to traffic and then getting caught up in it en-route to Basford which meant we didn’t arrive at the ground until 2:10pm. This meant that our pre-match routine wasn’t as we would have liked it to be and fair play to Basford for recognising this and starting much brighter and sharper than we did. We were all over the place in the first 15 minutes and it took us this long to get up to the speed of the game and disappointingly for us we found ourselves 2-0 down and with a huge challenge in front of us. The first goal was a good move by them but I was disappointed with the second as something we stressed prior to the game was how much of a threat they pose from dead-balls and not to give away cheap fouls or give them the opportunity to put the ball into our box. We gave away a soft foul in a dangerous area and they scored their second as a result of it.
 
I have to say that from the second goal until the end I felt we were by a distance the better side. We played some excellent football, created numerous chances to score and we should have got at least one goal back before the break. At half-time I said to the players how frustrated I am at coming into the dressing room having seen us play well yet conceded terrible goals and find ourselves behind. I asked them to be more decisive, more aggressive with the ball and make better decisions in the final third and that I believed if we could get the next goal we could get something out of the game. What my players displayed in the second half was outstanding. Some fantastic football, numerous opportunities to score and real character. We had several chances in the first 20 minutes of the second half to cut their lead and we were totally dominant in this period but the goal didn’t arrive. I felt us perhaps losing a bit of belief and in this five minute period they grew into the game again and had a couple of chances to kill the game but Mason (Springthorpe) made two great saves keeping the scoreline at 2-0. We decided to change personnel and added Tyler (Edwards) and Reece (Gray) who gave us that extra freshness and from here we got back on-top. When we made it 2-1 I had no doubt that we would go on and get another and we did just that through Alec Mudimu’s first goal for the club and I hope and expect him to get into those areas more often now and be a regular scorer for us. Reece had one cleared off the line and we had a couple of chances to win the game as did they in stoppage time when they won a couple of corners but from 2-0 down within 10 minute of the full-time whistle I would have taken a point and every credit to my players for the resilience, character and togetherness they showed yet again to rescue a point when they had their backs to the wall.
 
Having said this we are well aware where our problems lie and we cannot escape the fact that defensively we have to be better. This is a collective responsibility and we are working hard to resolve this as its clearly been our achilles heel so far this season. We have scored in our opening six games now and in four of those games have scored two goals which in my opinion should be enough to see you win a game of football. If we can rectify this side of our game then we will start to turn these draws into wins and move up the league table.