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Northwood 1  Beaconsfield 1

Saturday 17th December 2011

  • Line-ups
  • Match Report
  • Photos

Northwood
EvoStik Southern League
Chestnut Avenue, Northwood
Beaconsfield
Mitch Swain
1
Kick Off
1
Michael Power-Simpson
Scott Raper
2
3.00 p.m.
2
Danny Power
Ronayne Marsh-Brown
3
Attendance
3
Craig Carby
Reece Yorke
4
148
4
Nevin Saroya
Liam Fowler
5
H/T
5
Yiadom Yeboah
John Christian
6
1-0
6
Fiston Manuella
Jonathan Constant
7
Scorers
7
Bradley Quamina
Craig White
8
Northwood
8
Anthony Page
Oliver Hawkins
9
Constant
9
Lee Barney
Garry Senior
10
Beaconsfield
10
Tyron Sealey
Romaine Walker
11
Mpi 51
11
Charlie Mpi
   Substitutes
Bookings
Substitutes
Andrew Mensah
12
Northwood
12
Jason Sheehan (10m, 72m)
Sam Sharples
14
Christian,
Marsh-Brown
14
Dayo Oshitola
Ben Alexander (9, 84m)
15
15
George Saunders
Kurt Morlese
16
Beaconsfield
16
Victor Osobu (8, 57m)
Lee Grant (10, 80m)
17
Power, Page
17
Mark Burgess (2, 46m)
 
 
RIVERSIDE MAN OF THE MATCH:
xxx
 
 
Referee: Mr Adrian Quelch

Assistants: Mr Simon Parbery
& Mr Brian Murdoch



Last weekend’s game versus Woodford United was called off due to a frozen pitch, however several of the first team squad enjoyed a run out for the reserves which would have no doubt done them the world of good in preparation for this one. Among those who played seven days ago were new signings John Christian and Reece Yorke who both made their debuts respectively in this match. Northwood welcomed Beaconsfield Sycob who dethroned Slough Town to take top spot in the Division having seen off Chalfont St Peter, 3-0 on Monday evening, but having beaten fellow high flyers Biggleswade a fortnight ago, the Woods would have been eager to continue from where they left off.

The hosts started brightly enough as the promising Romaine Walker carved open the visitors defence and found Garry Senior, however he was ushered out of play. Northwood then won themselves a corner kick which came to nothing. It was from that that Beaconsfield launched a counter attack. Tyron Sealey raced clear and cut inside however he could only manage to drag his shot harmlessly wide. The visitors were playing with a spring in their step and forced some last ditch defending from Northwood. Firstly, Lee Barney swung a neat looking ball in which was met by Charlie Mpi and then the former shot on the turn but Yorke was there to block the effort.

Byron Walton’s side were looking dangerous on the break and were utilising their space well. Their attacking football combined with Northwood’s attacking football made for an end to end game, yet neither side had registered a meaningful attempt on goal. In fact the first effort came from twelve yards as Nevin Saroya was adjudged to be guilty of handball. Up stepped Jonathan Constant who rifled home into the top left hand corner from the spot, goalkeeper Michael Power-Simpson could only watch as he dived one way and the ball went the other. 1-0 to Northwood on 32 minutes.

The Rams were keen for a response, and a response they most certainly got. First the pacy Sealey shot wide from the edge of the area and then ex Wood Anthony Page drove an effort which Mitch Swain clambered down to collect. Immediately following that, another ex reds player Danny Power upended Walker, however to the dismay of most of the 148 spectators, only a yellow card was brandished. A red seemed a just decision but it was a decision which referee Adrian Quelch did not come to himself. Up the other end, Northwood were unfortunate not to go into the break 2-0 up as Senior smashed a rocket of a shot which crashed against the crossbar with the goalkeeper beaten.

Although normally the half time whistle means the end of the action, it did not in this case as a scuffle ensued. Both sets of players made their feelings known about the challenge on Walker. So much so that manager Gary Meakin protested to the man in the middle, and said something which resulted in him being sent to the stands. Meakin later confessed, stating he “lost his head for 10 seconds”. It came as no surprise to see Power replaced at half-time by another ex Northwood man in veteran Mark Burgess.

Woods started like there was no tomorrow as Walker was set free down the left and he found Senior. His ball across was headed away and the follow up by Christian promised much however he sent it into orbit. There was barely time for the spectators to return to their seats before Beaconsfield were level. Mpi (who played for Slough Town at Chestnut Avenue a month ago) motored through and slotted it coolly beyond the advancing Swain. 1-1 and there was all to play for.

Northwood were looking for a response. They were accountable for giving the ball away too often. As a result the quick Sealey broke away and he swept the ball across where the dangerous Barney was waiting to turn it home however Swain grasped it and held onto the ball well. Beaconsfield then made their second substitution as Page was replaced by Victor Osobu. Then a lapse in concentration for the visitors ensued as Burgess casually rolled the ball back to his keeper who seemed oblivious to the onrushing Hawkins. The latter was inches away from stealing the ball and scoring what would have been an utter gift. Fortunately, however, Power-Simpson got a sliced clearance away in the nick of time.

Northwood were on the front foot soon after and were unlucky not to retake the lead. Constant threaded a tidy pass for Hawkins who tried an audacious lob from the six yard box which looped over the keeper and although Senior strived to connect and turn it in, he was unable to do that as the ball trickled away for a goal kick. The high tempo did not subside. A Constant free kick was almost helped on its way by Yorke, and then a long throw by Scott Raper was met by Hawkins who knocked it down for Senior. There was little room, and he had no choice but to let rip on the turn. In the end it was always rising. The Woods were making substantial inroads and an exquisite series of passing between Christian and Constant who combined to feed Marsh-Brown should have ended with the hosts 2-1 to the good.  The Northwood skipper set up Craig White, who ought to have found the net, but he hit it over the cross bar. A massive chance that went begging!

It was then Beaconsfield’s turn to place their head in their hands when Sealey played in Bradley Quamina, who beat the offside trap and found himself face to face with Swain and with the goal gaping, but somehow fired high and wide - a let off for the hosts.  The Rams then had to thank Burgess for not falling behind. A delicious corner by Constant found Hawkins who glanced it on for Walker. The young winger prodded towards the target and had it not been for a goal line intervention from the former Northwood captain then it would have been 2-1 to the home side. Walker’s trickery was causing havoc amongst the SYCOB back line as he showboated his way into the danger zone, weaving inside of a couple of challenges before hitting straight at Power-Simpson, who to his credit recognised the danger and reacted well.

With Meakin unable to communicate with his side, assistant manager Greg Phillips and coach Gus Douglas made Northwood’s first substitution replacing Senior with defender Lee Grant. The presence of an extra defender seemed to have an adverse effect, as Osobu found space and cracked an effort which was saved low down by Swain. That begun an intense period of pressure from the visitors. Northwood subsequently made their second change taking off the hard working Hawkins and replacing him with Ben Alexander. A heart in mouth situation then ensued as Swain – attempting to make a clearance – slipped inviting Barney to breathe down his neck – fortunately he recovered sufficiently to just about get the ball up the field. Then having pumped the ball long again, a clearance by Liam Fowler found Barney whose goal bound shot had Swain scrambling. The potent striker must had thought he’d won it for his side - only for Raper to come out of nowhere, and diving full stretch managing to head it over the bar for a throw-in. Woods were living on the edge. Osobu then rode into the area had his shot blocked and then the follow up by Nevin Saroya was scuffed. Beaconsfield were throwing hammer and tongs in search of a winner. There was time for us to regain our breath as Marsh-Brown, probably in a bid to see the game through went down and was booked for simulation.

That proved to be the last action of a decent game of football in which both sides would have felt slightly disappointed not to have come away with the maximum having seen decent opportunities come to nothing at either end. Northwood now face a difficult away game at Woodford Town on Tuesday night in the lead up to Christmas before they pay neighbours Uxbridge a visit on Boxing Day, when they will be hoping to build on a decent result, having been more than a match for the league frontrunners Beaconsfield today.

After the final whistle manager Gary Meakin had questions put to him about the game and the result. He was asked about whether a share of the spoils was a fair result and if before the game he would have accepted a point once the game had been concluded. “Yes, we were the better team in the 1st half, and they were the better team in the 2nd half. If the game had gone on for another 10 or so minutes then they would have probably won it. No, I would not have accepted a point beforehand because there is no outstanding team in this league. We are good enough to beat anybody and naturally we always aim to get three points.”

In addition, ‘Meaks’ was also asked about how presumably it must be nice to see his side be more than a match for the ‘top’ sides within the division.  “Yes, they know within themselves and within the dressing room that they are getting better every week. It is just a case of doing it consistently week in, week out. As a team we know we can achieve something, and I guess come the end of the season you get an idea as to who the good teams are because they are the ones who finish higher. For us, it is about being consistent from game to game.”

He was also questioned about how another tough game awaits his side on Boxing Day against Uxbridge, and how much of an effect it will have as Tony Choules’ side did not play today due to their match with Leighton Town being postponed, and in particular whether that would make the challenge harder. “It can work both ways. Either you can come out refreshed or you can come out rusty. Let’s just hope they come out rusty”, he said smiling.

On top of that, Meakin was also asked how it seemed the debutants (Yorke and Christian) seemed to look assured and in his opinion how much the run out for the reserves last week contributed to that.
“Yes, it is similar to what I was just talking about (rustiness). We are trying to avoid them coming in and not quite being ready, so of course it helped massively with not just them, but a number of guys to tell you the truth”.

And finally, the ‘gaffer’ was also challenged about Kyle Matthews’ fitness and James McCluskey ‘omission’ from the squad. “We have earmarked a plan between myself, Kyle and Chad (Smith). A six game plan, but until then we will have to wait and see. We want him to come back in one go but we don’t want him to break down again (through injury) because we rushed him back. However, do not expect anything until the New Year. James wasn’t dropped; he has disappeared off the face of the earth. We tried to contact him but he has been unreachable. We need him back!”

Report by MATT FORD

Photos by James Brown