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Northwood 3  Bedworth United 3

Saturday 27th August 2011

  • Line-ups
  • Match Report
  • Photos

Northwood
EvoStik Southern League
Chestnut Avenue, Northwood
Bedworth United
Tony Russell
1
Kick Off
1
James Martin
Liam Hind
2
3.00 p.m.
2
Alex Dean
Lee Grant
3
Attendance
3
Alex Gudger
Junior Osborne
4
134
4
Jamie Greenway
Lee Morley
5
H/T
5
Ian Roper
James McCluskey
6
1-2
6
Chris Tullin
Jonathan Constant
7
Scorers
7
Andrew Spencer
Craig White
8
Northwood
8
Ashley Spencer
Oliver Hawkins
9
Hawkins 19, Constant 51
Lansiquot 84
9
Matthew Gardner
Ben Alexander
10
10
Mitchell Piggon
Wayne O’Sullivan
11
11
Tom Bates
 
Bedworth
Substitutes
Aaron Lansiquot (7, 78m)
12
Spencer 5, Gardner 33, Grant og 86
12
Kyle Baxter (8, 83m)
Harry Wright
14
14
Aaron Daniels (7, 63m)
Garry Senior (9, 70m)
15
Bookings
15
Ryan Millerchip
Romaine Walker (10, 52m)
16
Northwood
16
Matthew Brown
Jack Hutchinson
17
Hind
17
Kieron Brehon
Bedworth
 
RIVERSIDE MAN OF THE MATCH:
xxx
Tullin
 
Referee: Mr Mark Mellor

Assistants: Mr Ian Skull
& Mr Alex Gray



In the space of one week Northwood have got their season up and running with two impressive victories as they saw off last season’s play off finalists Daventry before putting 4 past AFC Hayes in midweek, but their opponents Bedworth United were the only side to have a 100% record in the Division coming into the game. Northwood made two changes from the side that saw off Hayes 4-1 on Tuesday, with Lee Morley coming in for his debut in the absence of Peter Lyall in defence, Liam Hind reverting to centre back, and hat-trick hero from Tuesday, Jonathan Constant replacing Romaine Walker on the left flank.

Northwood started very brightly forcing a corner which came to nothing, but Bedworth were keeping the ball and when the Woods did win it back it was given away immediately by Craig White. This allowed Tom Bates to advance forward releasing Mitchell Piggon whose cross was turned away by Hind, but only as far as Ashley Spencer who drilled home from just outside the box to give the visitors the early lead. It was Bedworth who then went close to adding to their lead when Matthew Gardner rose well but his header could only find Tony Russell in the Woods goal.

But Northwood did get themselves into the game when O’Sullivan’s shot was well blocked by Greenway. And a mere few minutes later Northwood were level when Ben Alexander held the ball up well, releasing the impressive O’Sullivan, who squared it neatly for skipper Oliver Hawkins to tap home, to level the scores. Whilst attempting to stop Hawkins’ flick from going in, Bedworth United goalkeeper James Martin collided with the post injuring his shoulder, so a delay followed. The goal seemed to give Northwood confidence and suddenly a flurry of passes were being sent left, right and centre.

Ex Watford man Junior Osborne sent a good ball forward towards O’Sullivan, whose cross was headed clear by ex Walsall and Luton defender Ian Roper – a man with over 300 Football League games under his belt. And from the resulting attack Matthew Gardner caught Lee Morley flat footed and he could only upend the United forward, leaving referee Mark Mellor with no choice but to award the spot kick, much to the dismay of Liam Hind, whose protests ended with him being booked for dissent. Gardner duly stepped up placing the ball to Russell’s right and although the Woods stopper got a hand on it, it wasn’t enough to keep it out. Bedworth then stole the ball, after White had once again given it away and Tom Bates’ cross should have been converted but Gardner could only steer wide.

Wayne O’Sullivan went on a mazy run and found James McCluskey who returned the favour but O’Sullivan couldn’t find much room and his tame effort was comfortably saved by Martin. A moment or two later brought the first of several penalty appeals for Northwood. When Constant appeared to have been taken down by Alex Dean, the appeals were waved away, but Northwood did win themselves a corner. O’Sullivan’s ball was an excellent one and it found Ben Alexander who to his surprise was all alone but he could only flick his header at the United goalkeeper.

Northwood were ramping up the tempo just before the break and captain Oliver Hawkins fired a low shot, which was well saved and from the resulting rebound which was half cleared, White was on hand but he could only drag his shot well wide. Woods had another penalty appeal when Craig White found space and appeared to have been clipped by Ian Roper but the belligerent appeals were dismissed again. Constant then beat Alex Dean and fired a low cross which McCluskey turned goalwards but it was blocked by Roper, and then the ricochet hit Greenway on the arm and half hearted appeals for a penalty were ignored again – it would have been harsh had it been awarded. Northwood would have gained plenty of confidence in the final minutes of the half as both sides headed in with plenty to think about, but United still led at the break.

Immediately at the start of the second period Northwood were looking to play with a high tempo and after Hawkins was played through, you may have been forgiven for thinking Northwood would have been about to level the game, but the young striker could only drive his shot at Martin. However, the Woods weren’t about to be denied much longer when O’Sullivan was released by Lee Grant and his ball in was turned home by Constant, who made it four goals in two games, and in the process levelled the game with a superb cushioned header beyond James Martin in the Bedworth goal.

The creative O’Sullivan was once again in the thick of things when he was barged over but once again the referee was unmoved. Northwood then made their first substitution when Alexander was replaced by youngster Walker, with Constant moving alongside Hawkins upfront. Bedworth had up until this point been second best in the second period but their first real strides towards the Northwood penalty area brought a scare and had it not been for a double saving tackle by ex Bedfont Town defender Grant, then Bedworth may have been about to put themselves back in the lead. Piggon darted forward but was halted by Grant, and then he recovered to block Gardner who was about to unleash a shot. Northwood then had a rush of blood to the head when Grant’s pass back was woefully short, and had it not been for the quick reactions of Russell who raced out to clear, then Bedworth may have been presented with a gift of a goal.

Hawkins was then replaced by Garry Senior, and United brought off Gardner, replacing him with Matthew Brown up top. Bedworth were growing with every passing minute and a ball in by Spencer found Piggon whose header was tipped onto the upright low down by Russell. From the resulting corner veteran Roper climbed above Hind but could only head straight at Russell; in truth he should have done a lot better. Hind then hit an audacious 35 yard pile driver which went high and wide but at least it made the crowd smile as a heavy shower had just dampened spirits somewhat!
The scorer of Northwood’s equaliser on Tuesday, Aaron Lansiquot, was brought on to replace the impressive Constant, the former would have been hoping to continue his impressive goal scoring record since he moved from Hillingdon in March. A ball over by Tom Bates mirrored Spencer’s ball a few minutes earlier, but this time it was Brown who was on the end of it however, his tame effort was at a comfortable height for Russell who palmed it wide. From the resulting corner Greenway should have done a lot better but his header struck the top of his head and ultimately looped over the crossbar.

Russell’s long punt forward was flicked on by Senior, which released the lively Walker who got the better of the defender and advanced toward the box, just as he was about to cross his heels were clipped and a free kick was awarded in a very promising position. O’Sullivan’s delivery was nodded home by an unmarked Lansiquot at the back post whose header squeezed home despite the presence of a man on the line, as the ex Hillingdon man kept up his fine record for Northwood with his eighth goal in just his 12th appearance since joining Meakin at Chestnut Avenue in March. However it didn’t last long when a hopeful punt forward left Russell and Grant uncertain as to who would claim it, and ultimately both went for the same ball, the goalkeeper punched the ball onto the head of Lee Grant who could only stare as the ball rolled home despite the best efforts of defenders who tried to keep it out.

Late on Walker had a shot which tested Martin and then Senior brought another appeal for a penalty when he appeared to be shoved aside, but the referee thought Roper did nothing wrong. O’Sullivan then found some room, but he scuffed his shot over the crossbar and then Senior, under some pressure, headed goalbound but it was saved by Martin.

Ultimately both sides had chances to win the game, but in truth a point was a fair result, though Northwood will feel aggrieved having gifted Bedworth a late equaliser, and in particular the manner in which it came – courtesy of a mix-up which led to an own goal. Northwood have shown a lot of healthy signs in the past week, and a point against a side who had won all four games prior to this meeting is by no means a bad result especially after coming from behind on two occasions. Meakin will be pleased with his side, who were hit with the blow that Rob Ursell has moved to Cyprus once again to play Futsal professionally, but O’Sullivan seems a like for like replacement.

Northwood’s attention now turns to the trip to Berkeley Fields to play North Greenford United on Bank Holiday Monday, where you would think if they played anywhere near the standard they played today, they may just get the three points – something they came perilously close to doing today!

Report by MATT FORD

Photos by James Brown