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MATCH REPORTS 2005-06

Southern League Premier Division

Northwood Line-up

1

Rob Bullivant

 

2

Joe Devera

 

3

Fergus Moore

 

4

Brian Connor

 

5

James Shipperley

 

6

Wayne Carter

 

7

Danny Julienne

 

8

Dean Clark

 

9

Rob Courtnage +

 

10

Peter Dean *

 

11

Gavin Hart

1

Substitutes

12

Keiran Deane *

 

14

Shayne Demetrious +

 

15

Sam Hatton

 

16

Jason O'Connor

 

17

Michael Lavender

 

Northwood 1  Evesham United 2

 Report by Robin Piper 

Northwood face an uphill struggle to avoid relegation after they came out second best in the crucial relegation “six-pointer”.

There were many changes to the Woods’ line up following a week of change at Chestnut Avenue. Dean Clark moved into attack to replace the departed Alistair Heselton following his midweek move to rivals Cheshunt, whilst Rob Courtnage replaced the absent Frazer Toms on the left flank. Meanwhile, Joe Devera made his first start in the right-back role in place of Dave Nolan, while Hampton loanee Brian Connor came into central defence. There were also places on the bench for on-loan signings Sam Hatton and Kieran Deane.

With so much at stake and with the blustery conditions to contend with, quality football was always going to be at a premium. However, Northwood had an early chance to take the lead after Clark set up Peter Dean, his first time shot dealt comfortably with by visiting keeper Nathan Vaughan.

And Northwood were punished for their profligacy as Evesham took the lead with their first shot on goal. Richard Ball got in behind Fergus Moore, his near post shot ricocheting off the post and ‘keeper Rob Bullivant to give the visitors the advantage on eight minutes.

Northwood looked for a riposte and they spurned a couple of opportunities. Clark fired his free kick straight at ‘keeper Vaughan, whilst the same player should have done better from Gavin Hart’s low cross following a sweeping move, his close range shot being blocked.

However, Evesham were continuing to look dangerous, causing a number of problems for a shaky looking Woods’ defence. Bullivant was on hand to deny Ball a second of the afternoon, before the latter almost capitalised on defensive hesitation, his shot rolling narrowly wide of the upright.

Ball finally got his reward when he completed his brace in the 33rd minute. The Evesham  number nine capitalised on further hesitation, stealing in between Bullivant and his defence to extend the visitors’ lead.

And Bullivant had to be alert to deny Evesham a third before the break, palming away Steve Duncan’s rising drive. Woods’ afternoon took a further turn for the worse as they lost striker Peter Dean to injury three minutes before the break, Deane his replacement.

However, Northwood threw themselves a lifeline with a goal on 47 minutes. Clark was the catalyst, threading a neat ball through to Hart, who made no mistake with the finish. The goal lifted Northwood as they enjoyed a period of pressure, Deane almost getting on the end of Courtnage’s ball into the danger area.

However, with Woods committing men forward the inevitable gaps were being left at the back, Shane Benjamin, Robert Taylor and Leon Blake all going close.

Shayne Demetrious was introduced for Courtnage with twenty minutes left on the clock, but it was more of the same for Northwood as they failed to seriously test Vaughan in the Evesham goal.

In fact it was the visitors who looked the more likely to add to their tally, Ball scooping his shot over the bar when well placed. Northwood were restricted to speculative, off-target efforts from Devera and Danny Julienne, whilst James Shipperley miscued from just inside the box.

However, Evesham comfortably held onto the spoils to record a crucial win which takes them to within a point of Northwood with a game in hand whilst condemning Woods to their third straight defeat.