Nottinghamshire non-league clubs had a mixed weekend in terms of results as tributes marked the passing of a widely recognised groundhopper.
Basford United led the dedications to Malcolm Storer, who was known for his ‘On The Road’ blog and died after a short illness on January 4, in their game against Alvechurch.
Hucknall resident Mr Storer was a season ticket holder at Basford and was honoured with a feature on the matchday programme cover and the laying of a wreath of remembrance before kick-off.
A condolences book was also present for supporters to sign, while donations to Nottingham Hospitals Charity and the Robin Centre were taken on the turnstiles as Mr Storer’s choice of the charity to partner his blog this season.
After just one win in their previous seven league fixtures, United stepped up on the pitch to mark the occasion too.
Welcoming new signing Kevin Da Silva Bastos into their starting XI, the Ambers began brightly as Courey Grantham fired them into the lead after just nine minutes.
They doubled their lead in the 35th minute, with Ben Starkie blasting a volley into the bottom corner from range.
While it could have been even better when Da Silva Bastos had a header cleared off the line at the start of the second half, Basford didn’t have to worry about an Alvechurch comeback as Lewis Carr sealed victory in the 72nd minute.
Carr’s bullet header from a right-wing Grantham cross put the polish on the afternoon, with the contest finishing 3-0 and Basford sealing three points that pushed them up to 12th in the Southern League Premier Division Central.
FOR YOU, MALCOLM!! 💛🖤 pic.twitter.com/EZySIKhZAq
— Basford United FC (@Basfordutdfc) January 14, 2023
Elsewhere, it was an unfortunate afternoon for Carlton Town as they travelled to Stocksbridge Park Steels in the Northern Premier League Division One East.
The Millers struck the crossbar not once, not twice but three times in South Yorkshire and would be left to curse their luck as they fell to a 2-0 defeat.
Tommy Brookbanks and Mark Harvey’s side remain 17th in the table, hovering just three points above the relegation zone, and have a must-win fixture on their hands on Saturday as they welcome 18th-placed Grantham Town to the Bill Stokeld Stadium.
They also host Eastwood Community FC in a friendly on Tuesday night.
At the other end of the table, Worksop Town have been flying in top spot.
Their significant lead in the table has been built on a superlative-defying 19-match winning streak, but that run was halted this weekend.
Welcoming 15th-placed Bridlington Town to Sandy Lane, the Tigers may not have been expecting as tough a challenge as they got when they rescued a 2-2 draw.
Bridlington led twice in the match, with Hamza Bencherif cancelling out a 1-0 lead in first-half added-time, and Josh Wilde becoming the Tigers’ hero as he secured a point with a 95th-minute tap-in amidst a goalmouth scramble.
🤩 𝗔𝗕𝗦𝗢𝗟𝗨𝗧𝗘 𝗦𝗖𝗘𝗡𝗘𝗦!
— Worksop Town FC (@worksoptownfc) January 15, 2023
The last-ditch goal extended Worksop’s unbeaten run to 21 matches and leaves them 14 points clear of nearest challengers Stockton Town.
Moving to the United Counties League Premier Division North, the county’s sides failed to produce a win in a frustrating weekend.
Newark and Sherwood United fell to a 1-0 defeat at home to Skegness Town, with Kieran Cummings hitting the post with a penalty before Skegness converted one of their own in the 69th minute to leapfrog the Highwaymen into 6th.
Sherwood Colliery, meanwhile, made the trip to Heanor Town but lost a mid-table contest 3-1 after Nottingham Forest loanee Aaron Korpal had levelled the scores at 1-1 in the 32nd minute.
Lowly Eastwood Community FC travelled to Boston Town and suffered a similar fate, falling to a 1-0 defeat courtesy of a first-half goal.
The prospects were daunting for bottom-placed Selston in their trip to league leaders Loughborough University, and though the Parishioners lost 2-0 it was in respectable circumstances; only conceding their second in the 91st minute.
Elsewhere, Kimberley Miners Welfare and AFC Mansfield had games postponed but kept themselves busy.
The Miners won a friendly game against Clipstone 4-3 hosted at Ilkeston Town, while AFC announced the signing of former Radford defender Conor Moore to boost their battle against relegation.
Bulls are delighted to announce the signing of Conor Moore from Barrow Town.
Conor can play CB or on the left.
His experience can help the younger lads in the Bulls Squad.
Welcome to the Bulls, Conor! 👏 pic.twitter.com/LFLuMDaXRj
— AFC Mansfield (@AFCMansfield) January 13, 2023
In the United Counties League Division One, games for Newark Town, Radford, Clifton All Whites, Gedling Miners Welfare and Southwell City were all postponed due to waterlogged pitches, but two Nottinghamshire games were playable.
The first was a local derby between Hucknall Town and West Bridgford, with the Yellows running out 4-1 winners as Kieran Knight’s 25-minute hat-trick was topped off by a Craig Westcarr goal. All the goals came in a frantic second half.
Dunkirk were also in action against league leaders Aylestone Park and would end up disappointed to draw 3-3, as the Leicester-based visitors equalised in the 94th minute after George Harrison had been sent off for the Boatmen.
Finally, the story was one of rain rather than action in the Northern Counties East League Division One.
Fixtures for both Ollerton Town and Retford were postponed, with opponents Selby and Shirebrook Town failing their pitch inspections.
Many sides across the county will be back in action this midweek, so watch out for our updates on all their progress as the season hots up.