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MATCH REPORTS 2005-06

Southern League Premier Division 

Northwood Line-up

1

Liam Watson

 

2

Gary Meakin *

 1

3

Fergus Moore

 

4

Jason O'Connor

 

5

James Shipperley

 

6

Wayne Carter

 

7

Luke Garrard

8

Dean Clark +

1

9

Darren Grieves

10

Peter Dean

11

Gavin Hart

Substitutes

12

Aaron Ferdinand

 

14

Shayne Demetrious +

 

15

Alistair Heselton

 

16

Harry Howell

17

Dave Nolan *

 

Goals

  27

Meakin 1-0

  33

Clark 2-0

Northwood 2  Chippenham Town 1

 Report by Robin Piper

Northwood made it three straight wins and four games unbeaten as they withstood a second half onslaught from title-chasing Chippenham. Darren Grieves returned to partner Peter Dean in attack, while Gavin Hart replaced injury victim Frazer Toms on the left flank.

Both sides were quickly into their stride, with chances at either end. Dean was almost on the end of a clever Dean Clark through-ball in the opening minute, before the latter sent over a corner which skimmed off Fergus Moore and flew wide of the far post. At the other end, Gary Meakin executed a well timed block to deny Matt Rawlings as he  looked to convert a  low cross into the danger area whilst Sam Allison saw his shot deflected over the hosts bar.

The game continued to be free-flowing, Hart running at the Chippenham defence before sending over a low cross which just evaded the waiting Grieves, then Chippenham’s Sam Jones saw his shot blocked after another delivery from long-throw specialist Ian Herring.

The deadlock was finally broken on 27 minutes through a delightful effort from Meakin. There was a good interchange between Grieves and Wayne Carter before the Woods’ full-back curled a delightful left-foot shot beyond the reach of ‘keeper Steve Perrin to give the hosts the lead.

And things got even better for Northwood in the 33rd minute as they extended their lead. Meakin was the provider as he sent over a searching cross which Grieves laid back to Clark, who made no mistake to record his fourth goal in as many games.

Chippenham needed a quick response after the break as they looked for a way back and they were quickly on the offensive. Substitute Nick Stanley sent a long range effort over the Northwood bar, before Liam Watson made the first of a string of vital saves to deny Allison, Stanley once again off target with the follow up.

However, Chippenham’s persistence was rewarded after 68 minutes, when top scorer Dave Gilroy broke through the home defence before delivering an emphatic finish into the far corner. Chippenham had renewed hope and they proceeded to put the Woods’ rearguard under a sustained spell of pressure, Watson being called upon to deal with efforts from Herring and Nick Stanley.

In a rare second half offensive, Northwood had a penalty appeal turned down as they claimed handball against a Chippenham defender as he cleared a close range Grieves header.

Dave Nolan replaced Meakin with fifteen minutes left on the clock as Woods continued to dig in and protect their precious lead, the defence  doing some sterling work, particularly James Shipperley, who was a colossus once again in central defence.

Chippenham continued to pound the Northwood defence but could find no way through, then Peter Dean broke clear in a rare Northwood foray but his effort sailed harmlessly over the bar.

As the game moved into stoppage time Watson was the hero for Northwood as he saved bravely at the feet of Gilroy and substitute Alan Griffin.

But there was to be no reprieve for Chippenham as Woods hung on to record  another vital win which takes them clear of the relegation places for the first time since August.