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Southern League Premier Division

Northwood Line-up


Liam Watson



Dave Nolan



Fergus Moore



Jason O'Connor



James Shipperley



Shayne Demetrious



Luke Garrard *



Wayne Carter



Dean Clark +



Peter Dean #



Gavin Hart




Alistair Heselton +



Aaron Ferdinand #



David Shaw *



Gary Meakin



Billy Matthews




Clark 1-0


Heselton 2-0


Dean 3-0

Northwood 3  Halesowen Town 0

Report by Robin Piper

Northwood made it two wins on the spin as they deservedly overcame mid-table Halesowen. Woods were good value for the win which was their first back-to-back success of the season.

Manager Colin Payne was able to field almost the same side that took the field against Merthyr the previous week, Dave Nolan continuing at right back in the absence of Max Howell.

After a scrappy opening in which neither side had settled into any sort of rhythm, Northwood gradually began to find their feet. James Shipperley, who was a towering figure in central defence, made his presence felt in the opposition box as he directed a header narrowly wide following Dean Clark’s free kick.

Woods continued to enjoy the better of the possession and they deservedly opened the scoring on 22 minutes with an incisive move. Skipper Luke Garrard, who was the driving force in the opening period, combined well with Gavin Hart before Peter Dean squared the ball to Clark, who applied the finishing touch.

Northwood visibly grew in confidence and they had opportunities to put the game beyond the visitors before the break: Dean was the guilty party as he squandered a couple of chances. Firstly he snatched at his shot with only Halesowen keeper Dean Coleman to beat, blazing his effort over the bar, before Clark created another opening for the Woods striker who saw his shot saved by the keeper’s legs, Shayne Demetrious being off target with the follow up.

Clark was the next to threaten, dragging his shot wide of the upright after Dean’s flick-on as the hosts finished the half strongly.

Northwood suffered a blow as Garrard failed to reappear for the second half, David Shaw his replacement for his League debut, and the skipper was sorely missed as Halesowen took a firm grip on the midfield area.

The visitors created a succession of chances, and Howard Forinton was off target with a header, while Woods keeper Liam Watson pulled off a fine save to deny Nathan Lamey. And the pressure finally told as Jason O’Connor conceded a 50th minute penalty after he hauled down Forinton. However, one sensed it was going to be Northwood’s day when Steve Pope blazed the resultant spot-kick high over the bar.

Halesowen continued to press for the equaliser, Forinton, Lamey and Simon Forsdick all going close, whilst Woods’ defence continued to stand resolute under the intense pressure.

Alistair Heselton replaced Clark on 67 minutes as Northwood looked to regain the initiative and the substitution paid dividends as the hosts extended their lead 15 minutes from time with a breakaway goal. Wayne Carter combined well with Dean, who squared the ball to Heselton, and he drilled the ball into the roof of the net from close range.

Halesowen gallantly refused to throw in the towel, Lamey and Forinton having further chances but Woods wrapped up the points with a third goal on 81 minutes. Heselton turned provider as he flicked on into the path of Dean, who capped a fine game with a first-time strike to score his first league goal since October.

There was still time for Halesowen substitute Chris Smith to rattle the Northwood woodwork but it wasn’t to be their day.

Aaron Ferdinand, son of Les, made his Woods debut as he replaced Dean for the final 5 minutes but there was to be no more drama as the curtain came down on a fine Northwood win which takes them to within two points of Cirencester and Cheshunt at the foot of the table.