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Southern League Premier Division

Northwood Line-up


Dean Lindsay



Wayne Carter



Rob Bixby



Dave Nolan +



Luke Evans



Shayne Demetrious*



Gavin Hart



Chris Gell



Richard Gell



Peter Dean



Ryan Kirkland




Max  Howell +


Fergus Moore



Harry Howell *



Richard McDonagh



Lee Carroll




H. Howell 1-2


Kirkland  2-2

Northwood 2  Bedford Town 3

Report by Alan Evans

The Gods have not been shining on Northwood so far this season, and they slipped to their fourth defeat in succession with yet another stoppage-time goal proving their downfall.

Mick Harvey rang a few changes to the starting line-up with Chris Gell dropping into a back-three. Dave Nolan reverted to the right flank while Wayne Carter replaced Max Howell and Rob Bixby came in for Fergus Moore. Dean Lindsay also replaced Lee Carroll in goal for his first game of the new season. 

In customary style, Northwood started well and were the better side for much of a goalless first-half.

After 13 minutes Gavin Hart showed good skill on the left and sent over a cross which found Ryan Kirkland. His stinging shot was pushed round the post by alert visiting goalkeeper Ian Brown.

Bedford were forced to rely on the counter-attack and one good move set up Chris Dillon but he fired well over the top.

After 24 minutes Peter Dean got his head to a near-post free-kick but again Brown proved equal to it.

The visitors hit back again with Bixby blocking another Dillon effort and then, from the resulting corner, Lindsay pushed over a header from Rene Howe.

As the half progressed, it was still Northwood who did most of the attacking with Hart enjoying a fine game and Dean looking sharp around the box. Brown was looking solid between the sticks though and comfortably dealt with a couple of efforts while Nolan flicked a header wide of the target.

The Woods lost midfielder Shayne Demetrious at half-time to injury but the game was still going to plan until a defensive error cost them dear on 56 minutes. Awarded a free-kick just outside the area, Wayne Carter took it quickly and gave the ball away. A neat exchange of passes then allowed Rene Howe to blast home a shot.

As has happened in almost every game, that was followed by a second goal within minutes as Rene Howe hooked home after a corner wasn't cleared and the Eagles were suddenly in a commanding lead.

Two goals down, the Woods worked hard to get back into the match. After 66 minutes a Dean cross was only half-cleared and Hart played Richard Gell into the area. Good footwork saw him find a shooting opportunity and beat Brown but his effort came back off the post and Nolan was unable to turn in the rebound. Just three minutes later a free-kick picked out an unmarked Luke Evans and it was easier to score than place his header wide of the target which was what happened.

Max Howell replaced Nolan after 70 minutes and within five minutes he scored the goal that brought the Woods back in the game. A move started by Dean saw Gavin Hart cut the ball back from the bye-line and Howell fired home.

Bedford managed to repel any further danger but after 89 minutes, Ryan Kirkland burst through onto a chip forward from Harry Howell and rifled a shot into the top corner.

It should have been enough and Richard Gell went close to winning the match with a couple of efforts, one that Brown saved well and the other which went just over the bar.

Sadly, the hard-earned point was then thrown away six minutes into stoppage-time. With virtually the last kick of the game, James Hatch took advantage of a slip from Bixby and fired home a winner.