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MATCH REPORTS 2005-06

Southern League Premier Division

Northwood Line-up

1

Liam Watson

 

2

Dave Nolan +

3

Fergus Moore

 

4

Billy Matthews *

 

5

James Shipperley

 

6

Wayne Carter

 

7

Luke Garrard

 

8

Shayne Demetrious

1

9

Alistair Heselton

10

Peter Dean

1

11

Gavin Hart

Substitutes

12

Jason O'Connor *

 

14

Darren Grieves +

 

15

Gary Meakin

 

16

Harry Howell

17

Rob Courtnage

 

Goals

52

Dean 1-1

90

Demetrious 2-2

 Northwood 2  Salisbury City 2

Report by Robin Piper

Northwood  secured a crucial point as they denied the league leaders with a dramatic late equaliser. Woods twice came from behind in an entertaining encounter, Shayne Demetrious popping up in the seventh minute of stoppage time to earn his side a deserved share of the spoils.

Northwood were still without top scorer Dean Clark due to his hamstring injury, whilst there was a change in central defence, Jason O’Connor making way for Billy Matthews.

Salisbury made all the early running, with Northwood’s goal living a charmed life. Paul Sales had a couple of headers cleared off the line whilst Simon Browne and Adam Wilde also went close.

Woods eventually created a worthwhile opening on the twenty minute mark, Alistair Heselton firing a low shot inches wide of the upright after a strong run. Peter Dean was the next to threaten but Salisbury keeper Kevin Sawyer dealt comfortably with his shot.

However, the league leaders took a 24th minute lead in somewhat fortunate circumstances. Adam Wilde got beyond James Shipperley before delivering a cross-shot which ‘keeper Liam Watson parried, Dave Nolan’s attempted clearance cannoning in off Salisbury’s Wayne Turk.

Salisbury continued to ask all the questions but they were lacking composure in front of goal, Wilde and Turk squandering chances to extend the lead. At the other end, Shipperley’s low drive from outside the box which was gathered by Sawyer was Woods’ one effort of note before the break.

Northwood made their intentions clear as they came out with renewed vigour for the second period, Shipperley seeing an early header blocked after Salisbury could only half clear a corner. Woods were rewarded with the equaliser on 52 minutes, Peter Dean robbing defender Scott Bartlett before running into the box and giving Sawyer no chance with a cool finish.

The play was flowing from end to end as both sides looked to restore the advantage. Sales was off target with another header from a corner whilst Northwood skipper Luke Garrard tried his luck from distance, his 25 yard shot flying the wrong side of the post.

Woods made a change after 72 minutes, O’Connor replacing Matthews in central defence. And chances continued to be created at either end. Salisbury substitute Robert Matthews saw his shot beat Watson but roll agonisingly wide whilst Heselton created an opening for himself but was off target with his shot.

However, Northwood’s sterling efforts in dragging themselves back into contention appeared to be for nothing as they conceded a soft goal three minutes from time after Nolan gave away a free kick on the edge of the box. Ex-Southampton man Tommy Widdrington fired the direct free kick beyond Watson, although the Woods’ keeper would have been disappointed with the positioning of the defensive wall.

Darren Grieves was added to the attack at the expense of Nolan as Northwood looked for their just reward. There were chances at either end, Matthews seeing his looping shot just clear the crossbar whilst Heselton almost created an opening for Peter Dean who was beaten to the ball by Sawyer.

But with the clock showing seven minutes of stoppage time, Woods’ man of the match Heselton swung over a cross from the left, Shipperley helping it onto Demetrious, who gleefully swept the ball home to the delight of the home crowd.

But there was still time for more drama, Shipperley executing a last ditch tackle on Matthews who had the goal at his mercy to win it for Salisbury. So the honours remained even at the end of a pulsating encounter, another useful point gained in the fight against relegation but a result that saw Northwood drop back into the bottom four, Gloucester moving above them on goal difference.