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Northwood 0  Biggleswade Town 3

Saturday 13th November 2010

  • Line-ups
  • Match Report
  • Photos

Northwood
Zamaretto League
Chestnut Avenue, Northwood
Biggleswade Town
Mark Britt
1
Kick Off
1
Will Viner
Scott Raper
2
7.45 p.m.
2
Peter Gatti
John Christian
3
Attendance
3
Craig Radcliffe
John Sonuga
4
131
4
Liam Folds
Sam Phillips
5
H/T
5
Steven Gentle
Mark Burgess
6
0-0
6
Craig Rydeherd
Sam Sharples
7
Scorers
7
James Freshwater
Dean Wallace
8
Northwood
8
Stuart Lochhead
Romaine Walker
9
n/a
9
Geoffrey Banks-Smith
Charlie Hill
10
Biggleswade
10
Brett Donnelly
Wayne Jackson
11
Freshwater 56, Donnelly 85
Ratcliffe 87
11
Sam Pemberton
Substitutes
Substitutes
Timi Salako
12
Bookings
12
Jonathan Woolf (9, 70m)
Andrew Murphy
14
Northwood
14
Michael Cox (7, 88m)
Tomas Janson (11, 80m)
15
Christian
15
Mark Webster (2, 88m)
Edward Hatcher (2, 65m)
16
Biggleswade
16
Stephen Smith
Murray Williamson (7, 65m)
17
Gatti, Webster
17
Dean Bull
 
 
RIVERSIDE MAN OF THE MATCH:
xxx
 
 
Referee: Mr Ron James

Assistants: Mr Graham Weston
& Mr Philip Wideson



It was a familiar story for Northwood, as they were well beaten by their visitors at Chestnut Avenue. It had been a difficult week for ‘The Woods’ on and off the pitch after the departure of manager Mark Barnham following the defeat on Tuesday evening at the hands of Soham Town Rangers – another of the sides struggling within the Zamaretto League Central Division.

The result in midweek left Northwood without a win in 11 games in all competitions, and it wasn’t about to end here as Biggleswade piled on the misery for the Middlesex based club, succumbing them to yet another resounding defeat. Northwood have not won in the league since September 14th when they overcame fellow strugglers AFC Hayes 3-1 at home, but since then there have been few moments to cheer about as Woods’ frailties defensively were exposed once more, something along with their barren run - a great cause for concern! Northwood’s Bedfordshire based visitors were well worthy of their 3-0 victory, handing The Woods a fourth successive defeat in the league and extending their worrying statistics which state Northwood are without a win in all competitions in 12 games.

Northwood began the day in 20th position (within the drop zone) but knew a win would get them out of the bottom three - The only good news for Northwood was that AFC Hayes only drew and Uxbridge were well beaten, this ensured they would not drop further in the table. Northwood have been flirting with the relegation zone for most of the season to date, poor form, the fact they appear to be leaking goals, the departures of Mark Pye and Barnham and numerous injuries to key players have not helped the cause, but no doubt Northwood will be aware they need to stop the rot and fast!

The game began with both sides trying to grab the early initiative, but on first glance it appeared very congested within the midfield area. Northwood’s performances have improved of late but these improvements counted for nothing in front of 131 supporters at Northwood Park. Both sides could not force an opening however as either team counted out the others attempts to gain an advantage in the early stages but it was Biggleswade who kept the ball better, Northwood seemed to be suffering from pre match nerves as there were plenty of occasions where the Woods’ needlessly gave the ball away.

Biggleswade forced the first half chance when Brett Donnelly scrambled onto a cross only to see it gathered comfortably by Mark Britt - deputising for Number 1 Mitch Swain. Northwood forced a few corners but could not muster up anything as a result. In what was undoubtedly the best chance of the half, Biggleswade went within inches of going in front,  when James Freshwater cut inside and unleashed a shot that ricocheted off of the post and the resulting shot from Geoffrey Banks-Smith was scrambled away by the Woods’ defence. John Christian headed wide of Will Viners’ post after good work from youngster Romaine Walker. Northwood handed a debut to Charlie Hill, and he looked lively but could not inspire a breakthrough. 

Geoffrey Banks-Smith then blasted over on the turn at the edge of the box, an ambitious effort that must go down as a half chance. It was a largely frustrating half for the supporters of both teams, Biggleswade probably edging it on opportunities created but Northwood would have been reasonably satisfied with their 45 minutes work, especially after the departures of First Team Coach Pye a few weeks back and the resignation of Barnham who brought his reign as first team manager after 8 months to an end on Tuesday.

The second half began promisingly for Northwood, passing the ball and appearing to be more settled – a sharp contrast from the opening exchanges of the first half. Neither Manager made changes at half time, and they didn't need to. Biggleswade were trying perilously to steal possession and they did exactly that, winning a free kick after Christian had brought down Sam Pemberton, but that free kick didn’t bring any rewards for The Waders. The few minutes that followed, brought Northwood’s best chance, Dean Wallace whipped a cross in from the right and expertly found an unmarked Wayne Jackson who headed over from about 8 yards out - a chance Northwood would later rue.

And they were made to pay when only a few minutes short of the hour mark, an attempted clearance by Captain Mark Burgess found James Freshwater, whose driven shot rocketed into the bottom left hand corner past the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Britt. Biggleswade had shown why they went on a 7 match unbeaten spell, prior to defeats by Hitchin and Bedworth, by taking ahold on the match. Northwood were  needed a quick and swift response but a response they didn’t get. Were Northwood about to suffer a 12th game without a win?

Northwood appeared to be running out of ideas and there was evidence of frustration on their part as the players came together and tussled with one another the referee Ron James tried to restore order. The response of the Interim management team was to make a double substitution taking off both Scott Raper and Sam Sharples and bringing on Eddie Hatcher and Murray Williamson to try and fresh things up and force an equaliser. But on a largely frustrating afternoon for The Woods’, it appeared they couldn't force a way past a mostly resolute defence, and everything they threw at Town appeared to be dealt with quite easily. Northwood would have been encouraged when a tame shot was spilled by on loan Boreham Wood goalkeeper Will Viner and subsequently resulted in a corner.

But the resulting delivery by Wallace was headed wide by defender John Sonuga - who netted his first Woods’ goal against Soham on Tuesday; another half chance that perhaps should have been put away. Northwood fans must have thought it was going to another day where nothing was going right, but must have hoped that with the score only being 0-1 they may have a sniff of a chance of a leveller, but the lack of chances, support and creativity hindered Northwood’s chances. And so, Biggleswade showed their class, finishing off Northwood with 2 goals in the space of 2 minutes, the first a clever chip into the corner from the edge of the box from Brett Donnelly that caught both defence and goalkeeper unawares.

And with Northwood having barely kicked off, Town stole possession and won a corner after the cross from the left wing was headed behind by substitute  Hatcher. From the resulting corner kick, Biggleswade managed somehow to scrape the ball beyond Britt by defender Radcliffe and inflict another resounding defeat for Northwood, who have now gone 12 matches without a win.

For Biggleswade, a welcome victory after 2 straight defeats, but many questions will remain, where is Northwood’s next victory coming from? Chris Nunn and his Waders team return home to Bedfordshire very satisfied indeed, but it appears Northwood have more to think about than just appointing a new 1st team coach and manager.

Report by MATT FORD

Photos by James Brown