Christmas comedown as Albion Sports overtaken by Basford

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: IN VAIN: Danny Facey celebrates after pulling a goal back for Albion but it wasn’t enough Buy this photo » IN VAIN: Danny Facey celebrates after pulling a goal back for Albion but it wasn’t enough

Albion Sports 1 Basford United 3

The Christmas bells may be fading but there was a ding dong battle at Throstle Nest on Saturday as third took on fourth in the Toolstation Northern Counties East Premier Division.

Home side Albion Sports had the bragging rights before kick off but they suffered defeat to Basford United, allowing the Nottingham club to leapfrog them and claim third spot.

It was a close game and Albion looked on course to get something from the clash until the visitors plundered a third goal in stoppage time.

It looked anything but a tight contest as Basford broke the deadlock in the second minute and extended their lead in the 11th but Albion hit back soon after.

Basford’s former Aston Villa and Bradford City midfielder Lee Hendrie provided the assist for the opener with an inch perfect diagonal ball. Blair Anderson raced on to it to gather before cutting inside and firing high into the net from inside the area.

Albion were still reeling from that when Tyiesse Nightingale was left unmarked in the area and drilled a low shot past Albion keeper Aaron Brian. As much as the first strike was down to ex-England international Hendrie’s vision the second could only be attributed to poor defending.

The home side, with lively veteran Lee Elam on top form, began the fightback immediately and threatened the visitors’ goal. Danny Facey sent in a low shot that struck the outside of the foot of the post and minutes later, after Elam had been fouled, Albion skipper Asif Hussain fired a 22 yard free kick just wide of the top corner.

Elam delivered a corner and James Stansfield’s near post volley was blocked but at the expense of another flag kick. Elam’s delivery from the second one was again to the near post and though Stansfield’s diving header was blocked on the line Facey pounced to lash the rebound into the roof of the net.

With just one goal between the sides the game was balanced on a knife edge. Albion almost levelled ten minutes before the break. An Adam Jones shot from just inside the area was blocked but Elam’s follow up effort did beat Basford keeper Andy Fretwell only to be hacked off the line by a covering defender.

In the second half Theo Smith went close when Brian raced off his line to challenge the striker but Smith’s toe poke rolled just wide of the post. Facey remained a threat to the visitors and his brother Delroy joined him up front from the substitutes bench for the last half an hour.

Both teams were still pressing, Basford to make the game safe and Albion to gain at least a draw, but it was the visitors who added to the score. One minute into the three of stoppage time substitute Ryan Whitehurst slotted in after Nightingale had slipped a square pass to him.

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