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Northwood 4  Chertsey Town 0

Saturday 25th February 2012

  • Line-ups
  • Match Report
  • Photos

Northwood
EvoStik Southern League
Chestnut Avenue, Northwood
Chertsey Town
Mitch Swain
1
Kick Off
1
Jamie Norris
Scott Raper
2
3.00 p.m.
2
Tom McGarry
Lee Grant
3
Attendance
3
Billy Witham
Liam Fowler
4
115
4
Callum Eagles
Reece Yorke
5
H/T
5
Alex Frostick
John Christian
6
2-0
6
David Johnson
Wayne O'Sullivan
7
Scorers
7
Lucas Williams
Craig White
8
Northwood
8
Matt Powell
Oliver Hawkins
9
Yorke 5, O'Sullivan 28, Hawkins 56, Ajayi 90
9
John Pomroy
James McCluskey
10
10
Dayo Oshitola
Romaine Walker
11
11
Steve Duff
   Substitutes
Chertsey
Substitutes
Kevin Ayodele
12
n/a
12
Chris Payne
Warren Gladdy (8, 68m)
14
Bookings
14
Charlie Postance (6, 75m)
Myles Stephenson (7, 68m)
15
Northwood
15
Matt Holley (5, 35m)
Adamson Ajayi (9, 62m)
16
Gladdy
16
Alex Bodean
Spencer Bellotti
17
Chertsey
17
Michael Blount
Witham, McGarry, Eagles, Holley
 
RIVERSIDE MAN OF THE MATCH:
xxx
 
 
Referee: Mr Guy Poynter

Assistants: Mr Steve Borham
& Mr Brian Murdoch



Northwood’s first home game in a month brought with it an excellent all round performance and three points, which helped to make up for the disappointment of the 1-0 defeat at Aylesbury last weekend. Gary Meakin handed a ‘second’ debut to Wayne O’Sullivan as the pacy winger rejoined the team from Bedfont Town, whom he had moved to in late September. Fellow new signings Warren Gladdy (who also had a previous spell with the club), Adamson Ajayi and Spencer Bellotti were all among the substitutes.

The home side made the better of the two starts to the game, with Oliver Hawkins and Romaine Walker combining well, but it was the Curfews who brought the first save. Ex Northwood winger Lucas Williams crossed for John Pomroy who controlled and got a shot away but Mitch Swain clambered down well to tip it onto the post and back into his grasp.

Northwood then made strides forward themselves as John Christian – fresh from making his 150th competitive appearance for the Woods last time out – whipped a neat looking cross into the box which was cleared by Callum Eagles. The corner from O’Sullivan was delivered with pin point accuracy and only just evaded the arriving Hawkins and James McCluskey. The ball was half dealt with, only making its way to Reece Yorke on the edge of the box, and he slammed home his first Northwood goal via the underside of the crossbar. 1-0 to the home side. John Christian then set about getting in on the act as he let rip from 25 yards but unfortunately his shot never threatened the Town goal.

A short time later and Chertsey were almost on level terms.  Dayo Oshitola saw his effort blocked by a covering Liam Fowler and then Steve Duff was thwarted by the quick reflexes of Mitch Swain who did well to parry to safety. That in turn set up Northwood on the counter attack as James McCluskey’s vision released the rampant Walker, who had open country ahead of him. The tricky wideman showboated inside of a bemused Tom McGarry before driving across the face of goal, and only marginally wide of the target.

Chertsey then appeared to snuff out the danger following another Northwood attack. However, a determined Oliver Hawkins chased down a back pass, in the process forcing Jamie Norris in the visitors’ goal into a poor clearance. The ball fell to O’Sullivan who picked out Walker, and the talented winger dribbled effortlessly inside before shimmying past a helpless defender and into the penalty area. His mazy run forced a mistimed tackle from Callum Eagles with the referee Guy Poynter showing no hesitation by pointing to the spot. A penalty to Northwood. O’Sullivan duly stepped up to slot home from 12 yards out, making it 2-0 to his side and ensuring a scoring return to Chestnut Avenue. The Curfews were then dealt another blow when defender Alex Frostick was taken off on a stretcher and replaced by Matt Holley.

After the break in play, Northwood continued from where they left off. A mazy run by Walker saw him reach the by-line, where he found Christian. The hard working midfielder had plenty of time to steady himself and Town almost paid for their failure to close him down as his effort crashed against the left upright. If Christian’s attempt was unlucky then Hawkins’ was too, although he will look back knowing he should have found the net. Again Walker was at the heart of it all as he raced free of McGarry and played a ball to an unmarked Hawkins inside the six yard box. Northwood’s top scorer could only help it over the bar, with the goal gaping, although he could be forgiven as the ball took a cruel bounce as he let rip.

That proved to be the last action of the half as Northwood headed into the break with a 2-0 lead.
The Woods started the second period as they had ended the first – on the front foot – as Hawkins sprinted away down the left flank playing an enticing ball into the danger zone, however there was no one on the other end of it to convert. Then Lee Grant and Walker combined resulting in an effort by the impressive wide man, but it was blocked by a covering defender. The clearance fell to the feet of O’Sullivan whose cross-come-shot only found the arms of Norris. Then Hawkins showed great perseverance by pressuring the Chertsey goalkeeper into a rushed clearance once again as he scuffed his lines and only found the advancing Christian, who rounded one defender although his shot only found the midriff of a relieved Norris. The visiting party were struggling to gain a foot hold in the second half and found themselves further adrift as O’Sullivan found Hawkins with an excellent through ball and the rest was a formality, as the tall striker showed his composure and notched up his 15th goal of the season, slotting comfortably into the bottom corner. 3-0, and a goal that all but extinguished any hopes of a fight back.

David Johnson’s side were not prepared to lie down, though, and a dangerous ball was played over the top intended for Pomroy, yet Fowler was alert to get back and steer it back to Swain. Meakin then made his first substitution of the afternoon, replacing O’Sullivan with debutant Ajayi who recently moved from league counterparts Chalfont St Peter. Moments later Oshitola was thwarted by Yorke and the goal bound follow-up via Pomroy was met by Swain.

Woods should have added another, though, as Walker was again causing havoc amongst the visiting defence when he rode into the box. He should have fed Ajayi, who was better placed, instead opting for the captain Grant who helped it into orbit with the goal at his mercy. Although he should have found the net, I think we can cut him some slack as he led by example from the word go. Myles Stephenson then replaced goal scorer Hawkins, and he was involved immediately down the right wing showing great balance and a nifty touch, to control a loose ball but ultimately the build up came to nothing.

Chertsey’s afternoon was summed up a matter of minutes later when Duff’s in swinging corner found its was onto the head of an advancing attacker and despite being well placed, he could only direct it into the group of Town supporters behind the goal. The Curfews did have the ball in the net soon after but to Northwood’s relief the linesman had raised his flag before it was turned home. Then Northwood turned on the style with an exquisite interchange of passes between Stephenson, Christian, Scott Raper and McCluskey which ended with the former Hanwell midfielder driving wide of the target. After Chertsey were wasteful in possession, Meakin’s men won the ball back and a lovely move followed again involving Raper and he appeared to be upended but the referee deemed the ball was won cleanly before contact was made and play resumed.

Credit to the Surrey based outfit though as they kept plugging away even though the game had well and truly been sewn up long before that. Yet Northwood still had time to add a fourth in stoppage time, as Ajayi cut in from the left hand side and made it a debut to remember by finding the corner of the net. The home side were still eager to improve their goal difference as they stormed forward again and should have been further in front when Stephenson rolled it for Ajayi again and he found a wide open McCluskey who skied it over the bar. In fairness the ball was behind McCluskey who admitted whilst walking off after the game that “it was one of those where you don’t quite connect” when justifying his miss to O’Sullivan.

That was the last slice of action in an entertaining afternoon’s football at a sunny Chestnut Avenue. Northwood responded as they had set out to do – by obtaining the three points, in a result (because Uxbridge were beaten 4-0 by Rugby Town) that moves them up to 6th place, even though their neighbours have a game in hand.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Lee Grant & James McCluskey
Very difficult to choose a man of the match here as every single Northwood player gave everything in a very committed display. However, two players stood out especially. Lee Grant (who captained the side in the absence of Marsh-Brown) led from the front making several interventions and was always offering himself forward in attack, and he will feel he should have come away with a goal as well. James McCluskey was at the forefront of all things good this afternoon, linking well with the midfield, whilst being a threat further forward. He was involved in the first and third goals and never stopped running; he too, like Grant, would have felt he should have scored in stoppage time too!

At the conclusion of the match, manager Gary Meakin gave his thoughts on the afternoon’s events.
He was asked how presumably he would have been pleased having seen his side win convincingly. “Yes, I can’t argue with that, I would have taken the result before the game and we should have scored more but I can’t be greedy.” He was also asked about whether it was the best the side have played all season to which he responded: “No, I don’t think so, we had St Neots at home (in September) for one. Don’t forget we had a lapse in concentration in the first minute and it should have been 1-0 to them. It’s tough because it peters out and the game is over (referring to the third goal on 56 minutes which sealed proceedings).”

In addition the manager was also questioned about how the new signings looked good in the game. “Yes, they did. I felt a little sorry for Wayne O’Sullivan because he wasn’t getting the ball early on, but the man who impressed me the most is Myles Stephenson, and he isn’t a new signing as he has been with us all year. He looks an excellent prospect, and he has got a bit about him for a 20-year-old. It’s a shame he couldn’t have got a goal.” Meakin was then asked about whether he thought the referee Guy Poynter was being sympathetic with the away side in awarding them several free kicks from 50/50 challenges. “I would say so, but I don’t want to talk about the officials as they can’t always get it right, although he did lean towards them in the second half. It doesn’t matter though, because we won the game.”

And finally Meaks was asked about how he must have been pleased to respond following last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Aylesbury in difficult conditions. “Yes, it was frustrating at Aylesbury, as they matched us, where the majority of the time we match or better other sides. We had six or seven one on ones in terms of clear cut chances, so I guess we deserved to win in that respect, and even today we missed three from a combined distance of about 10 yards!”

Report by MATTHEW FORD

Photos by James Brown