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Barton Rovers 1  Northwood 0 

Saturday 26th November 2011

  • Line-ups
  • Match Report
  • Photos

Northwood
EvoStik Southern League
Sharpenhoe Road, Barton-le-Clay
Barton Rovers
Mitch Swain
1
Kick Off
1
Richard Wilmot
Scott Raper
2
3.00 p.m.
2
Niran Vaughan
Ronayne Marsh-Brown
3
Attendance
3
Lee Wilson
Lee Grant
4
94
4
Tommy Hull
Michael Peacock
5
H/T
5
Paul Andrews
James McCluskey
6
0-1
6
Andrew Iwediuno
Jonathan Constant
7
Scorers
7
Ricky Case
Craig White
8
Northwood
8
Luke Knight
Oliver Hawkins
9
n/a
9
Russell Bull
Ben Alexander
10
Barton
10
Bobby Dance
Sam Sharples
11
Dance 30
11
Dave Parkinson
   Substitutes
Bookings
Substitutes
Andrew Mensah
12
Northwood
12
Phil Smeaton (6, 15m)
Romaine Walker (8, 46m)
14
Sharples
14
Colm Kierans
Garry Senior (10, 68m)
15
Barton
15
Danny Payne
Kurt Morlese (3, 78m)
16
Parkinson, Vaughan
16
Piero Bagarone
Gary Meakin
17
 
17
Wayne Eadie (7, 85m)
 
 
RIVERSIDE MAN OF THE MATCH:
xxx
 
 
Referee: Mr Nic Evans

Assistants: Mr Nicholas Stobbs
& Mr Vicenzo Byatt



Anyone arriving at Barton’s Sharpenhoe Road ground would have realised fairly quickly that this was not going to be a game for the purists. The bumpy pitch is always a given but this was combined with a overpowering, swirling wind which never really favoured any direction but made it difficult to judge the way the ball would move throughout.

The home side had hit a good run of form in recent weeks while the Woods had lost just one of their last five league games so a close contest was expected and manager Gary Meakin was able to include “on-loan” defender Michael Peacock again in place of Liam Fowler who was ruled out having suffered with  ‘flu all week. Goalkeeper Mitch Swain also retained his jersey to make his first league appearance for the Woods since September 2010.

Neither side got to grips with the conditions in the opening stages with the first action being a substitution after 14 minutes as Barton’s former Northwood defender Andrew Iwediuno had to be taken off after a clash of heads with Oliver Hawkins. The first effort on goal came eight minutes later as Bobby Dance found space to shoot from 20 yards but the ball was always going wide of the target. The same player also let fly from distance after 28 minutes and surprised Swain who deflected his effort over the with a combination of hands and chest.

Barton took the lead soon after when they were gifted a very soft penalty. Dave Parkinson turned well towards the left-hand edge of the box and went over under the faintest of touches from Scott Raper but the Referee was pointing to the spot almost before he hit the ground. Dance took responsibility for the kick and made no mistake to give the home side something to defend.

The Woods should have been level just five minutes later with what was their first effort on goal. Craig White got forward one the right and sent over a great cross which gave Hawkins a free header but he put it wide of the near post in front of a gaping goal. They had another great opportunity to balance the scores before the break when a James McCluskey free-kick was deflected through to Peacock but he swept the ball miles over the bar from just ten yards.

After a very slow first forty-five minutes, Romaine Walker was introduced as substitute for White at half-time to inject some extra pace and within seconds a typical attacking run brought a free-kick but he also found it difficult to control the ball consistently. After 47 minutes, McCluskey slipped a good ball through to Ben Alexander but his effort was saved by the ever-alert veteran goalkeeper Richard Wilmott. A minute later, Jonathan Constant cut in from the right and his shot beat Wilmott but was cleared off the line by Niran Vaughan with Sam Sharples then firing the rebound over the bar.

The waves of attacks continued, with a Constant free-kick being met by defender Lee Grant but his firm header also finished the wrong side of the crossbar and then a half-cleared Constant corner was met by Walker’s half-volley from the edge of the box but he was unable to keep that down either.
After 64 minutes Raper played a free-kick into the box and Hawkins flicked the ball on to Alexander, who turned well but shot wide of the target. Just two minutes later it was repeated with Hawkins helping on a Constant throw but the result was exactly the same as Alexander spun neatly but shot wide again.

Garry Senior replaced the out-of-touch Alexander soon after as the Woods continued to look for the goal which would change their fortunes, while Barton sat deeper and deeper at the back just looking for survival. It was after 76 minutes that Northwood went close again as Constant broke quickly and fed Walker who raced into the box but saw his shot blocked. It ran loose and Constant went for goal with Wilmott pushing his shot away. As it ran loose, Senior appeared to have been impeded while the ball was cleared to safety.  

With time running out, the Woods gambled by bringing on an extra striker in Kurt Morlese for left-back Ronayne Marsh-Brown and Barton almost wrapped up the game a minute later. Ricky Case played a good ball into the space left on the flank and his cross was met by a Luke Knight strike which flew over the bar. Still Northwood probed forward and after 86 minutes Morlese slipped a great ball through into the path of Hawkins but with just Wilmott to beat, he also shot high of the goal; another great opportunity spurned.

In the final minute of normal time Constant knocked in a great cross from the right and with Senior coming in on it, finally a goal had to be coming but the striker, normally deadly from six yards, steered his header wide. There were four minutes of added time, but it was to be Barton’s defending which would win the day. In the 93rd minute Constant whipped in another cross which was met by Hawkins whose effort beat Wilmott, but ricocheted back off the legs of Knight on the line and Grant was unable to turn the loose ball in. You’ve guessed it, the ball again finished just over the bar. It was not Northwood’s day, but shooting and heading practice would appear to be the orders for training this week.

Report by ALAN EVANS

Photos by James Brown