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Bedworth United 1  Northwood 3 

Saturday 31st December 2011

  • Line-ups
  • Match Report

Northwood
EvoStik Southern League
The Oval, Bedworth, Warks.
Bedworth United
Mitch Swain
1
Kick Off
1
Tom Cross
Scott Raper
2
3.00 p.m.
2
Jamie Greenway
Ronayne Marsh-Brown
3
Attendance
3
Nathan Haines
Lee Grant
4
214
4
Kyle Cartwright
Reece Yorke
5
H/T
5
Ian Roper
John Christian
6
1-1
6
Matthew Bannister
Jack Hutchinson
7
Scorers
7
Nick Pollard
Craig White
8
Northwood
8
Kyle Baxter
Oliver Hawkins
9
Hawkins 21, 52, Alexander 81
9
Matthew Gardner
Garry Senior
10
10
Mitchell Piggon
Romaine Walker
11
Bedworth
11
Ashley Spencer
   Substitutes
Gardner 45
Substitutes
Liam Fowler
12
Bookings
12
Matthew Brown
James McCluskey (7, 75m)
14
Northwood
14
Kieran Brehon
Sam Sharples
15
Alexander
15
Aiden Moore
Kyle Matthews (10, 89m)
16
Bedworth
16
Richard Hearne
Ben Alexander (9, 75m)
17
Haines, Cartwright, Piggon
Dismissal
Spencer
17
James Martin
 
RIVERSIDE MAN OF THE MATCH:
xxx
 
Referee: Mr Andrew Cox

Assistants: Mr Andrew Stickley
& Mr Kevin Andrews



Northwood finished the year of 2011 with another impressive performance and three more points from this victory at second-placed Bedworth United. Having caused a Boxing Day upset at play-off seeking Uxbridge on Boxing Day, it was always going to be tough to maintain that level of achievement on this trip to Warwickshire, but this Northwood side are beginning to show the higher level of consistency that was missing earlier in the season.

The only change to the starting line-up that had played at Honeycroft was up front with Garry Senior replacing the unavailable Kurt Morlese and the first chance of the game fell to the Woods striker. Romaine Walker made a great run down the left, beating his man and pulling the ball back into the path of Senior but he slotted over the bar when he should have hit the target.

The home side were without a couple of key players through suspension but they had lost just once at home all season, so it was surprising that the Woods dominated the early stages. After just six minutes Ronayne Marsh-Brown got forward on the overlap and sent in a cross which eventually fell to Oliver Hawkins, though his hooked shot was comfortably taken by goalkeeper Tom Cross just under the crossbar. Jack Hutchinson was next to threaten down the right flank as the 17-year-old prospect got forward and knocked in a dangerous ball which Cross could only parry straight outwards, but there was no-one on hand to take advantage. Then John Christian, scorer of two goals at Uxbridge, got forward with a neat exchange of passes with Hutchinson but fired wide of the target.

The Greenbacks finally made some inroads themselves with Nick Pollard having a shot blocked for a corner and then Matthew Gardner headed in but was well offside. The opening goal came after 21 minutes, with another Walker run starting things off. He eventually held the ball up and laid it off for Marsh-Brown, who picked out Hawkins at the far post and the tall striker headed the ball down and in for his twelfth goal of the season.

Bedworth responded well, though, with Gardner breaking through the defensive ranks. His chip across goal was cut out by Scott Raper and the ball ran loose to Matthew Bannister but he poked a shot wide under pressure. After 39 minutes full-back Jamie Greenway curled a shot wide from just outside the box and then Mitchell Piggon raced towards goal, only to be stopped in his tracks by a superb block tackle from Lee Grant. The home side were really pressing as half-time approached, and Pollard knocked in a dangerous cross which Mitch Swain could only parry away but thankfully the danger was cleared. It seemed like the Woods had resisted the home surge, but a minute into stoppage-time a quick break saw Ashley Spencer work his way down the left and knock in a cross, which Gardner got to ahead of Reece Yorke and finished neatly to level the scores.

Bedworth had come from a goal behind at half-time to thrash Rugby Town 4-1 on Boxing Day, so there must have been similar hopes from the large home crowd when the second half began at the Oval, but it was Northwood who were out of the blocks quickest once again. Christian had an early shot comfortably saved and then combined with Senior to set up Craig White for a strike which Cross kept out well, but after 52 minutes the Woods got their noses back in front. Hawkins received a ball inside the area with veteran former Walsall defender Northwood finished the year of 2011 with another impressive performance and three more points from this victory at second-placed Bedworth United. Having caused a Boxing Day upset at play-off seeking Uxbridge on Boxing Day, it was always going to be tough to maintain that level of achievement on this trip to Warwickshire, but this Northwood side are beginning to show the higher level of consistency that was missing earlier in the season.

The only change to the starting line-up that had played at Honeycroft was up front with Garry Senior replacing the unavailable Kurt Morlese and the first chance of the game fell to the Woods striker. Romaine Walker made a great run down the left, beating his man and pulling the ball back into the path of Senior but he slotted over the bar when he should have hit the target.

The home side were without a couple of key players through suspension but they had lost just once at home all season, so it was surprising that the Woods dominated the early stages. After just six minutes Ronayne Marsh-Brown got forward on the overlap and sent in a cross which eventually fell to Oliver Hawkins, though his hooked shot was comfortably taken by goalkeeper Tom Cross just under the crossbar. Jack Hutchinson was next to threaten down the right flank as the 17-year-old prospect got forward and knocked in a dangerous ball which Cross could only parry straight outwards, but there was no-one on hand to take advantage. Then John Christian, scorer of two goals at Uxbridge, got forward with a neat exchange of passes with Hutchinson but fired wide of the target.

The Greenbacks finally made some inroads themselves with Nick Pollard having a shot blocked for a corner and then Matthew Gardner headed in but was well offside. The opening goal came after 21 minutes, with another Walker run starting things off. He eventually held the ball up and laid it off for Marsh-Brown, who picked out Hawkins at the far post and the tall striker headed the ball down and in for his twelfth goal of the season.

Bedworth responded well, though, with Gardner breaking through the defensive ranks. His chip across goal was cut out by Scott Raper and the ball ran loose to Matthew Bannister but he poked a shot wide under pressure. After 39 minutes full-back Jamie Greenway curled a shot wide from just outside the box and then Mitchell Piggon raced towards goal, only to be stopped in his tracks by a superb block tackle from Lee Grant. The home side were really pressing as half-time approached, and Pollard knocked in a dangerous cross which Mitch Swain could only parry away but thankfully the danger was cleared. It seemed like the Woods had resisted the home surge, but a minute into stoppage-time a quick break saw Ashley Spencer work his way down the left and knock in a cross, which Gardner got to ahead of Reece Yorke and finished neatly to level the scores.

Bedworth had come from a goal behind at half-time to thrash Rugby Town 4-1 on Boxing Day, so there must have been similar hopes from the large home crowd when the second half began at the Oval, but it was Northwood who were out of the blocks quickest once again. Christian had an early shot comfortably saved and then combined with Senior to set up Craig White for a strike which Cross kept out well, but after 52 minutes the Woods got their noses back in front. Hawkins received a ball inside the area with veteran former Walsall defender Ian Roper right on his back, but the Northwood striker showed close control to turn and shoot inside the post with Roper flailing and ‘keeper Cross stranded.

Back came Bedworth again, with Swain saving from Piggon twice in quick succession and then Gardner also threatened but Yorke and Marsh-Brown cleared the danger on each occasion. After 57 minutes some good approach work led to Marsh-Brown putting in another excellent low cross, which was met by Senior but his low shot was well-saved by Cross as he kept his side in the game. Hawkins had a chance of his first-ever hat-trick when the hard-working Senior laid a ball off to him in the box but he fired over the bar, and then another good move saw Hutchinson and Hawkins put White in on goal, but again Cross was equal to his strike.

Time was beginning to run out for the home side and they were becoming frustrated. Both forwards were substituted for some fresh legs and Gary Meakin responded in similar fashion, with Ben Alexander and James McCluskey replacing goalscorer Hawkins and Hutchinson. It was the Woods substitution that worked best as after 81 minutes Alexander won the ball out wide and then danced his way into the box past a couple of half-hearted challenges to fire home his first league goal since early October.

The game was pretty much all over, but Bedworth did manufacture one further chance of their own with substitute Matthew Brown pulling a ball back to Kieran Brehon, who shot wide from the edge of the box. The two-goal advantage meant that there was time for Kyle Matthews to play a five-minute cameo in place of Senior for his first league appearance since August 2010.

The bad day got worse for the home side, though. Haines was booked for dissent in the first minute of stoppage-time and then Spencer received a straight red-card for a flying challenge on Walker a minute later. The tireless White almost got on the scoresheet in the final minute as a flick-on put him in on goal but his shot was deflected for a corner, however the Woods had done enough for a victory which takes them into the play-off places for the first time.

Good performances all-round from the side, who now have to recover quickly to take on old rivals North Greenford United just 48 hours later for the first game of the New Year, but special mentions to Senior and White for their work-rate and to skipper Marsh-Brown for his excellent work down the left-flank.  

right on his back, but the Northwood striker showed close control to turn and shoot inside the post with Roper flailing and ‘keeper Cross stranded.

Back came Bedworth again, with Swain saving from Piggon twice in quick succession and then Gardner also threatened but Yorke and Marsh-Brown cleared the danger on each occasion. After 57 minutes some good approach work led to Marsh-Brown putting in another excellent low cross, which was met by Senior but his low shot was well-saved by Cross as he kept his side in the game. Hawkins had a chance of his first-ever hat-trick when the hard-working Senior laid a ball off to him in the box but he fired over the bar, and then another good move saw Hutchinson and Hawkins put White in on goal, but again Cross was equal to his strike.

Time was beginning to run out for the home side and they were becoming frustrated. Both forwards were substituted for some fresh legs and Gary Meakin responded in similar fashion, with Ben Alexander and James McCluskey replacing goalscorer Hawkins and Hutchinson. It was the Woods substitution that worked best as after 81 minutes Alexander won the ball out wide and then danced his way into the box past a couple of half-hearted challenges to fire home his first league goal since early October.

The game was pretty much all over, but Bedworth did manufacture one further chance of their own with substitute Matthew Brown pulling a ball back to Kieran Brehon, who shot wide from the edge of the box. The two-goal advantage meant that there was time for Kyle Matthews to play a five-minute cameo in place of Senior for his first league appearance since August 2010.

The bad day got worse for the home side, though. Haines was booked for dissent in the first minute of stoppage-time and then Spencer received a straight red-card for a flying challenge on Walker a minute later. The tireless White almost got on the scoresheet in the final minute as a flick-on put him in on goal but his shot was deflected for a corner, however the Woods had done enough for a victory which takes them into the play-off places for the first time.

Good performances all-round from the side, who now have to recover quickly to take on old rivals North Greenford United just 48 hours later for the first game of the New Year, but special mentions to Senior and White for their work-rate and to skipper Marsh-Brown for his excellent work down the left-flank.  

Report by ALAN EVANS