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Southern League Premier Division

Northwood Line-up


Liam Watson



Gary Meakin



Fergus Moore *



Jason O'Connor



James Shipperley



Wayne Carter +



Luke Garrard



Dean Clark



Darren Grieves #



Peter Dean



Gavin Hart




Billy Matthews



Shayne Demetrious +



Rob Courtnage *



Alistair Heselton #



Rob Bullivant


Northwood 0  Gloucester City 1

 Report by Robin Piper

Northwood suffered a major setback in their battle to avoid the drop as they succumbed at home to relegation rivals Gloucester City.

With Alistair Heselton carrying a slight knock, Darren Grieves partnered Peter Dean in attack, the only change to the Woods’ line-up, whilst there was a place on the bench for former ‘keeper Rob Bullivant .

But it was Gloucester who made all the early running, creating a succession of chances. Chris Holland spurned a couple of openings, hooking the ball wide from close range whilst Jody Bevan and the lively Michael Whittington also missed opportunities to give the visitors a deserved lead.

The opening half-hour was pretty uninspiring for Northwood, the only attacking moment of note being a Grieves shot from outside the box which failed to trouble Gloucester ‘keeper Matt Bath.

However, Grieves had a wonderful opportunity to give Woods the lead before the break. Peter Dean and Dean Clark combined well before creating the opening for the Northwood striker who skied his shot high over the bar with only Bath to beat.

Woods were hoping for a bit more invention after the break following a fairly insipid first period, and they took the field with a change at left back, Rob Courtnage replacing Fergus Moore for his home debut.

But the half began badly for Northwood as they conceded the crucial goal within five minutes of the restart. A low cross into the box found Michael Whittington who was allowed to turn before firing a low shot beyond Woods’ keeper Liam Watson to give Gloucester a 50th minute lead. And the visitors had the chance to make sure of the points minutes later but Bevan was off target with close range shot.

Northwood finally tested ‘keeper Bath as Courtnage’s corner had to be beaten out by the diving Gloucester stopper.

Shayne Demetrious was introduced for Wayne Carter with half an hour left on the clock, the latter struggling with his back injury, whilst Alistair Heselton soon replaced Grieves in attack.

However it was Gloucester who continued to ask all the questions. Whittington saw his shot blocked by Gary Meakin whilst Jonny Miller, Bevan and Dave Wilkinson all went close with headers.

Woods were struggling to make any inroads, their performance being laboured and uninspiring. But in a rare inventive moment, Gavin Hart’s cross found an unmarked Clark, who should have done better with his close range header which was directed straight into Bath’s arms.

That was the last incident worthy of note as Northwood’s disappointing afternoon drew to a close leaving them to reflect on an unsatisfactory display which sends them back into the bottom four a point behind their West country rivals.