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Marlow 1 Northwood 2 

Monday 3rd January 2011

  • Line-ups
  • Match Report
  • Photos

Northwood
Zamaretto League
Alfred Davis Ground, Marlow
Marlow
Michael Parkin
1
Kick Off
1
Michael Watkins
Howard Hall
2
3.00 p.m.
2
Jon Case
Ryan Tackley
3
Attendance
3
Jordan Lee-Brown
James Bent
4
139
4
Mitchel Woodward
Zac Gill
5
H/T
5
Mark Avery
Mark Burgess
6
0-0
6
Gavin Lane
Wayne Jackson
7
Scorers
7
Leigh Mason
Tom Windsor
8
Northwood
8
Johnny Isaac
Ikenna Ofoche
9
Williams 77,
Whitely 82
9
Adam Dickens
Miles Jones
10
10
Jermaine Roche
Warren Whitely
11
Marlow
11
Aaron Couch
Substitutes
Couch 87
Substitutes
Scott Raper (11, 85m)
12
Bookings
12
Daniel Stone (9, 66m)
Scott Orphanou (9, 69m)
14
Northwood
14
Marcus Mealing (10, 80m)
Ed Hatcher
15
Jones
15
Stuart MacLellan (3, 52m)
Lucas Williams (7, 52m)
16
Marlow
16
Steve Croxford
Romaine Walker
17
Isaac, MacLellan
17
Jamie Essex
 
 
RIVERSIDE MAN OF THE MATCH:
xxx
 
 
Referee: Mr Chris Wicks

Assistants: Mr Chris Boyles
& Mr Simon Lee



The enforced three-week break caused by the wintry weather seemed to work wonders for Northwood as they started the New Year with a victory which ended a prolonged seventeen match winless run stretching back to mid-September.

New manager Steve Hale had used the disruption to the season wisely, putting the heavy defeat against Hitchin to one side, working hard in training sessions and getting his new signings to knit together as a unit. Goalkeeper Michael Parkin came in for his Woods debut, as did Miles Jones in midfield while Tom Windsor and Ikenna Ofoche started their first league games and James Bent returned to Northwood colours after more than five years away at Hendon and Wingate & Finchley.

Marlow had notched a 6-1 victory at Chestnut Avenue back in September and were still just outside the play-off places having lost just two games all season so this was always going to be another big test for the Woods but they started confidently enough with Ofoche latching onto a good through-ball from Bent but striking the ball straight at home goalkeeper Michael Watkins.

Barbadian international Jones looked lively in midfield and was instrumental in the creation of a couple of chances in quick succession for Wayne Jackson but the youngster put both of his efforts wide of the post. Jackson then turned provider with a good cross from the right and Ofoche twisted to get in a header which bounced only just the wrong side of the upright.

After 14 minutes it was Windsor who knocked a good ball over the top for Ofoche again and he toe-poked a shot which took a deflection but again finished just wide as the Woods continued to impress. Marlow gradually started to get forward and Adam Dickens had a chance from a free-kick just outside the box but he steered his effort wide and the Northwood defence stayed well organised with Zac Gill outstanding in the centre.

On 37 minutes Jones broke quickly and played an accurate ball out wide to Warren Whitely who cut in from the right and let fly with a shot which crashed back from the underside of the bar but somehow stayed out. And the Woods finished the half on top as Jones forced Watkins into a diving save to keep out his long-range effort and the Marlow ‘keeper pulled off a similar stop to deny Ryan Tackley at a free-kick.

The start of the second period belonged to the home side and the Woods were grateful to Mark Burgess for clearing a Jermaine Roche header off the line on 50 minutes. Both sides made early substitutions with Northwood introducing Lucas Williams for his debut in place of Jackson. After 55 minutes a free-kick from Marlow playmaker Leigh Mason was only half-cleared by Gill and when Roche knocked the ball back in, Mark Avery headed wide of the target.

Parkin then made two good stops in quick succession to keep the Woods level. Firstly he kept out a Mitchel Woodward effort after he had played a neat exchange of passes with Roche and then he was out quickly to block a shot from Aaron Couch and thwart the danger. Northwood had ridden the expected storm and they began to threaten again with Bent heading a Burgess free-kick into the danger-zone and when Whitely headed the ball on, Ofoche was just unable to convert with an overhead-kick.

One big bonus from the recent lay-off was the opportunity it gave top scorer Scott Orphanou to complete his rehabilitation from the broken ankle he suffered back in early September and he replaced Ofoche after 69 minutes to make his first appearance in four months. Just seven minutes later, the Woods finally ended their barren spell with the opening goal. It was a clever move that saw Whitely find substitute Williams on the left and he moved across his marker and into the area before firing a shot which nestled in the top corner, giving Watkins no chance. The goal ended a spell of 671 minutes of football without a goal since John Sonuga had bundled one home at Soham Town Rangers in early November.  

Marlow showed that they were still a threat when another Avery header went even closer, this time coming back off the bar, but Northwood took full advantage with a swift counter as Jones carried the ball forward before releasing Whitely who finished well to beat Watkins.

After 85 minutes, Whitely was replaced by Scott Raper as the Woods looked to strengthen the midfield area but Marlow went the long route to try to get back onto the match and went close through substitute Daniel Stone before pulling one back through top scorer Couch after he was put through on goal by Marcus Mealing. It meant a nervous final few minutes for Northwood who almost secured the victory when Orphanou flicked a Bent free-kick across goal and only just wide. Marlow plugged on and Stone poked another effort just wide in stoppage-time but the final whistle finally enabled the Woods to celebrate a hard-earned three points.

The win takes Northwood off the bottom and up to twentieth place with games in hand to their fellow-strugglers. Runaway leaders Hitchin Town hit nine against Soham Town Rangers who are now at the bottom while AFC Hayes were also beaten.

Report by ALAN EVANS

Photos by James Brown