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F.A. Trophy First Qualifying Round

Northwood Line-up


Lee Carroll



Ryan Kirkland *



Leigh Harrington



Matt Ruby



Luke Evans



Shayne Demetrious*



Gavin Hart



Harry Howell



Richard Gell



Peter Dean



Dean Clark




Max  Howell *



Richard McDonagh



Fergus Moore



Dave Nolan +



Dean Lindsay




Kirkland 1-0


Clark 2-3

 Northwood 2  Ramsgate 4

 Report by Alan Evans

The Woods threw away their chances of notching their first FA Trophy success in five years with a poor second-half display which allowed their in-form visitors to romp to an easy victory.

Colin Payne made just one change from the side that had drawn 0-0 with Hitchin Town in midweek with goalkeeper Lee Carroll returning between the sticks in place of Dean Lindsay.

The Woods made a very positive start to the game with Ryan Kirkland making an immediate impression on the left. After just three minutes, goalkeeper Danny Twyman slipped as Kirkland cut in from the flank and sent over a glorious cross that left Peter Dean with a simple task to knock home the opening goal yet he only managed to bundle the ball into the side-netting.

Richard Gell picked up an unnecessary yellow card early on after lunging into a tackle and then Shane Demetrious was caught by a stray arm and was forced off with concussion, replaced by Dave Nolan.

Despite this early upset to the formation, the Woods continued to dominate. Gavin Hart, pushed forward into midfield, did well to set up Dean Clark for a strike at goal on 15 minutes, but the Woods midfielder hit his first-time effort just over the bar. Just a minute later, Leigh Harrington got forward well and played an excellent ball through to Hart. He could have shot but decided to cut the ball back from the by-line and it was cleared. The attacks continued with Dean weaving his way to the edge of the box and then finding Clark whose shot on the turn was saved by Twyman.

Ramsgate’s first attack came on 21 minutes when a defensive error allowed Shaun Welford a sight of goal but his shot was well wide.

Northwood were then restricted to a couple of long-range efforts, Kirkland’s easily saved by the ‘keeper and then Dean curling one over the bar. The opening goal finally came after 32 minutes and was no more than the Woods deserved. This time it was Clark who provided the through-ball and Ryan Kirkland skipped past his marker into the box before coolly flicking a shot past Twyman and inside the far post. It took Kirkland to the top of the Woods scoring charts for the season and he was having a particularly good game.

The self-destruct button was still there for Northwood, though, with Harry Howell having a mad five minutes. First he was yellow-carded for another lunge into a tackle from behind and then he got himself in the way as Lee Carroll called to collect a simple ball forward. The ball ran loose and Steffan Ball’s shot was deflected just wide for a corner. From that, Ball had a header which Carroll kept out but Welford pounced to scramble home the loose ball.

The Woods looked likely to hit back immediately. Kirkland headed on a Matt Ruby chip forward and it released Dean into the box. He seemed to have time to pick his spot with just the ‘keeper to beat but defender Liam Morris made an excellent block tackle to deny him. Two minutes later, Harrington showed his prowess from a dead-ball with a great strike from a 30-yard free-kick which had Twyman at full-stretch as he pushed the ball just wide of the post.

As the two teams returned after the break, Northwood should have been full of confidence and their ability to return to winning ways. Indeed they started well enough with the lively Dean going close with a block against a Twyman clearance and then also with another shot, which was blocked for a corner.

After 48 minutes a long-throw from the Rams was met by an unmarked Ollie Schulz and suddenly the visitors were in front. Significantly, Ramsgate used their height advantage to great effect throughout the second-half and Northwood struggled to cope with the ball in the air so much.

The closest that the Woods came to levelling the scores was on 62 minutes when a Dean cross was met by defender Michael Cassar who kneed his clearance inches wide of the post with Twyman well beaten.

There was another blow when Kirkland came off with a hamstring strain on 65 minutes, replaced by Max Howell, who was returning after a hamstring injury himself.

Just four minutes later the Rams notched a killer third goal as Ball headed in a simple cross with a firm finish. Lee Carroll did stop the deficit from growing further with a fine save to deny a curling effort from Warren Schulz and after 75 minutes there was a little bit of hope. Nolan rolled back the years with a typical shimmy and cross at pace from the right ,and Clark steered a header past Twyman.

Within a minute, Dean beat Twyman with an excellent chip but the ball dropped the wrong side of the post and that was sadly the last chance as the Woods lost shape in the final ten minutes.

The Rams took full advantage in the 89th minute when a quick break left Ruby outnumbered at the back and a square ball allowed Ball to roll in his second goal.