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Aylesbury 1  Northwood 0 

Saturday 18th February 2012

  • Line-ups
  • Match Report
  • Photos

Northwood
EvoStik Southern League
Hayward Way, Aylesbury, Bucks
Aylesbury
James Reading
1
Kick Off
1
Rhys Marshall
Scott Raper
2
3.00 p.m.
2
David King
Lee Grant
3
Attendance
3
Lee Grace
Liam Fowler
4
126
4
Ben Stevens
Reece Yorke
5
H/T
5
Craig Faulconbridge
John Christian
6
0-0
6
Jordan Spruce
Jonathan Constant
7
Scorers
7
Scott Orphanou
Craig White
8
Northwood
8
Greg Williams
Oliver Hawkins
9
n/a
9
Brian Haule
Jack Hutchinson
10
Aylesbury
10
Sonny French
Romaine Walker
11
Haule 74
11
Jack Ross
   Substitutes
Bookings
Substitutes
Harry Wright (9, 94m)
12
Northwood
12
Luke Bitmead (6, 69m)
Mitch Swain
14
Hutchinson
14
Liam Toomey (8, 61m)
Garry Senior
15
Aylesbury
15
Luke Abraham
Myles Stephenson (3, 88m)
16
n/a
16
George Tomlin
Spencer Bellotti (10, 46m)
17
 
17
Alec Bell
 
 
RIVERSIDE MAN OF THE MATCH:
xxx
 
 
Referee: Mr Mark Tweeeeeeeeed

Assistants: Mr Simon Lee
& Mr James Vallance



Northwood’s five match unbeaten away run in the League came to an end as they failed to take advantage of the numerous chances created on a sticky pitch following heavy rain before kick-off.
James Reading came in for his first-team debut in place of goalkeeper Mitch Swain, while John Christian returned from injury to the central midfield in place of James McCluskey and alongside youngster Jack Hutchinson.

The Woods were quickly on the attack and had their first chance after 12 minutes when Romaine Walker slipped a ball through for Oliver Hawkins and his shot was saved by the feet of goalkeeper Rhys Marshall, who was to have a busy afternoon. From the resulting corner Jonathan Constant fired across the face of the goal but wide of the far post. Just a few minutes later Hawkins latched onto another good ball, this time from Craig White and this time he chipped the ball up but Marshall was equal to it again this time getting his hands to the shot.

Aylesbury hadn’t managed an attack by this stage and after 20 minutes Constant got the ball back from a short corner and knocked in a dangerous cross which flashed across the six-yard box but with no-one able to add the needed touch. The home side began to make some inroads into the Northwood half in the last fifteen minutes of the first-half, starting when Brian Haule got a slight touch to a cross from the right but the ball came back off a post. Sonny French latched onto the rebound but saw his effort comfortably saved by Reading. Just before the break a defensive slip-up gave former Woods striker Scott Orphanou a chance of a shot at goal but it lacked power and Reading claimed it easily.

The rain cleared during the half-time interval and Gary Meakin replaced the ineffective Hutchinson with new signing Spencer Bellotti who came on for his debut. Again the Woods started strongly.
Less than a minute after the restart a poor corner wasn’t cleared by the home defence and Christian pounced with a shot on the turn which sailed over the bar. After 48 minutes Walker made a good attacking run but his shot was blocked and when Bellotti then set up Hawkins his effort was also stemmed by some resolute defending.

Three minutes later that defence was carved open by a ball through to Hawkins and he squared the ball to an unmarked Constant, who looked certain to score, but once again Marshall dived to his left to make a fine save. It seemed only a matter of time before one of the chances was taken but the Woods’ profligacy in front of goal continued. After 57 minutes Constant was through again but his shot was deflected wide and then a free-kick to the far post found Bellotti but he was unable to keep his header down.

Yet another glorious chance followed two minutes later as Walker played Christian into the box but yet again Marshall proved unbeatable spreading himself to block and when the ball came out to Constant the ‘keeper recovered his position again to make a save. Liam Toomey replaced Greg Williams for the home side on the hour and just two minutes later the substitute latched onto a ball from Orphanou and tested Reading with a shot to the near post that the Woods ‘keeper kept out well.

The signs were there that it wasn’t going to be Northwood’s day, especially after 72 minutes when Christian was put through on goal with a Hawkins flick-on and the midfielder volleyed over the bar with just the ‘keeper to beat. The Moles countered and French had a shot pushed wide by Reading but after 74 minutes they grabbed the lead when a Jack Ross corner was headed towards goal by substitute Luke Bitmead and Haule pounced to head home from a couple of yards.

The Woods could have levelled within a minute as Walker weaved his way to the edge of the box and when his shot was blocked Constant flashed a shot across the goal but wide. There were two penalty-claims as the Woods looked for an equaliser. First Constant went down on the left of the box for what could have been a penalty or a corner but somehow became a goal-kick, and then when Walker raced into the box and was clearly taken out by Marshall but the referee was miles behind play and his assistant looked incapable of making a decision.

The whole of the Aylesbury contingent was surprised and relieved by this let-off and in fact, as the Woods gambled on attack, it was the home side that came closest to scoring in the final minutes. When a low shot from French took a deflection off of Constant it looped up and looked like beating Reading but the ‘keeper showed good reactions to scramble back and palm the ball away before it dropped in the net.

Was it just one of those days? Well, the Woods will have to sharpen up their finishing if they are to continue to challenge for a play-off place in the final couple of months of the season, while Aylesbury will take heart from their battling performance as they look to keep away from the danger-zone.

Report by ALAN EVANS

Photos by James Brown