Basford’s new manager Mark Clifford was in charge for his first game since replacing Steve Chettle a few days earlier, and former Boro defender Dom Roma was included in their side, while Boro were without both Ryan Watson and Luca Colville due to Covid related issues, with Brad Plant and new loan signing Cameron Wilson coming in to replace them, and Will Thornton captaining the team, writes Steve Adamson.
The visitors produced the first chance, when Kane Richards passed to Matt Thornhill, whose shot was confined by Bailey Gooda.
Soon after, Boro forced three corners in quick series, then Plant went on a surging 40-yard run before being closed down, and Thornton flicked a header wide following a long throw into the box by Ash Jackson.
Jake Day had a shot deflected wide by a defender before Terry Hawkridge played a by-ball to Ryan Wilson, but Boro keeper Ryan Whitley got down to save his shot.
The lively Plant looked dangerous every time he took possession and ran at the defenders, and he had a strong shot saved by keeper Jordan Pierpont, while debutant Cameron Wilson latched onto a ball from Kieran Glynn, but his shot was deflected into the keepers arms as the rather disappointing first half ended goalless.
Attacking the discarded in the second half, Boro made a storming start and Plant fired a shot by a crowd of players but straight at the keeper, then Glynn, who had a terrific game, went on a mazy run before being fouled, and Lewis Maloney blazed the free-kick high over the bar.
Matt Thornhill shot wide of the left hand post for Basford, but Boro were well on top, and when Kieran Weledji was brought down after a rampaging run down the right flank, Maloney whipped over the free-kick, Plant flicked the ball into the six-yard box where neither Weledji or Day could apply the finishing touch.
The deadlock was broken on 57 minutes when Ash Jackson burst past a defender on the left and played a low ball across the area, for the impressive Plant to slide in and slam the ball into the net from the six yard line.
Then Day had a fierce shot deflected wide, while in a scarce Basford attack, Thornton confined a shot shot from Thornhill.
James Cadman impressed when coming off the bench, and Simon Heslop was superb in midfield for Boro driving the team forward.
When Glynn was fouled, 20 yards from goal, Maloney blasted the free kick against the top of the crossbar. Day had a shot confined, before he doubled Boro’s rule on 70 minutes, when Maloney fired in a shot that was heading for the bottom left corner, but the keeper got down to make a save, only for Day to ram home the rebound.
Another Maloney shot was charged down, but Basford then mounted a late rally, and Gooda cleared a shot from James Ravarnelle off the line with keeper Whitley beaten, then Boro cleared another attack after a goalmouth scramble.
Boro wrapped up the win on 86 minutes when a Maloney cross from the right was powerfully headed home at the far post by Gooda, and the team was given a richly deserved standing ovation at the final whistle.
BORO: Whitley, Weledji, Jackson, Heslop, Thornton, Gooda, Plant (Cadman 73), Maloney, Day (Cogill 87), Glynn, Wilson (Hutton 83)
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