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Northwood 1  afc Hayes 2

Saturday 7th January 2012

  • Line-ups
  • Match Report
  • Photos

Northwood
EvoStik Southern League
Chestnut Avenue, Northwood
Hayes
Mitch Swain
1
Kick Off
1
Simon Grant
Scott Raper
2
3.00 p.m.
2
Oliver Duffy
Ronayne Marsh-Brown
3
Attendance
3
Dominic Rhone
Lee Grant
4
132
4
Charlie Defty
Reece Yorke
5
H/T
5
Tom Duffy
John Christian
6
0-1
6
Michael Buckley
James McCluskey
7
Scorers
7
Terry Smith
Craig White
8
Northwood
8
Tom Higgins
Oliver Hawkins
9
Senior 83
9
Matt Woods
Kurt Morlese
10
Hayes
10
Ross Ahir
Romaine Walker
11
Ochoa 19, Woods 89
11
Lewis Ochoa
   Substitutes
Bookings
Substitutes
Liam Fowler
12
Northwood
12
Danny Murphy
Jack Hutchinson (8, 70m)
14
Walker
14
Dan Vincent
Ben Alexander
15
Hayes
15
Chris Owens
Garry Senior (9, 77m)
16
Buckley, T Duffy, Smith, Woods
16
Connor Duffy (10, 75m)
Jonathan Constant (10, 54m)
17
17
Trevor Charlery
 
 
RIVERSIDE MAN OF THE MATCH:
xxx
 
 
Referee: Mr Elliott Kaye

Assistants: Mr Daniel Richardson
& Mr Lee Kill



Having drawn 1-1 with North Greenford United on Monday afternoon courtesy of an equaliser in stoppage time, Northwood were looking to get back to winning ways as they welcomed a side just one place below them in AFC Hayes. Danny Vincent’s side boasted an impressive seven away wins coming into the game – something he would have been eager for his side to build on in this one. On top of that both sides were unbeaten in their last six, so a decent game was in prospect.

Gary Meakin made three changes from the draw on Monday with James McCluskey replacing Jack Hutchinson, Oliver Hawkins coming in for Ben Alexander, and Kurt Morlese (the man who rescued a point again North Greenford) replacing Garry Senior. All three who missed out had to make do with a place on the bench.

It was the visitors who started the brighter of the two sides, as they forced a corner after pressing forward on the counter-attack. That came to nothing, but soon after they sent the alarm bells ringing as a through ball had to be dealt with by Reece Yorke, who just about got it to safety hitting it onto the roof of the net and away for a corner. From the corner kick, left back Dominic Rhone cut inside and curled an effort at goal, but marginally wide. In truth he should have scored. Northwood were sluggish.

Up the other end, Northwood’s first chance came from outside the box as Morlese attempted to get a shot away but it was blocked. Then came the goal that broke the deadlock. Matt Woods held up the ball outside the box and was allegedly tripped, with the referee Elliott Kaye awarding the free kick. Up stepped Lewis Ochoa who rifled it home beyond the outstretched arms of Mitch Swain to give the visitors a deserved lead. 0-1 to AFC Hayes on 19 minutes.

It was the wake-up call Northwood needed. For the first time in the afternoon, Romaine Walker was able to find room and subsequently go on a darting run, evading a couple of challenges before crossing to Hawkins. Northwood’s top scorer’s header was comfortably gathered however by Simon Grant. The home side were alive and kicking, and after Walker’s long throw, Hawkins brilliantly teed up Christian who went for placement. On this occasion though, Grant read it and dived down low to save. Another counter-attack followed by the visitors as the dangerous Woods rode clear attempting to round Swain, who was alert to smother the loose ball.

Ronayne Marsh-Brown found space down the left hand side, finding young winger Walker. The 19-year old went on another mazy run winding his way past two on-rushing defenders before finding room on the edge of the box to get a shot away. The deflection had Grant wrong footed, however to the ‘keeper’s relief it went the right side of the post. Then Marsh-Brown again raced forward, crossing for Hawkins but his header was claimed comfortably. That proved to be the last action of the half, as both sides went in at half time with the score 1-0 to AFC Hayes.

Northwood started the second half like a runaway train as a marvellous run by Walker culminated with him picking out Hawkins’ who managed to climb high and knock a header towards goal, but Grant despite fumbling it managed to cling on at the second attempt. In a blink of an eye, Woods ran clear of the Northwood back-line again before forcing a fine save out of Mitch Swain, who prevented the home side from falling further adrift. Subsequently, Hawkins was allowed time to control and shoot on the turn, though he could only find the clutches of Grant.

Meakin responded by replacing Morlese with Jonathan Constant. It was Constant’s first appearance in three games, having missed the last two with an ankle injury. He was involved almost immediately finding space on the edge of the ‘D’ curling a shot on his weaker left foot which never troubled the Hayes goalkeeper.

Meakin then made his second substitution replacing hard working midfielder Craig White, with 17 year old Hutchinson. Again, Northwood were caught napping as Ross Ahir found himself with open country ahead of him. His effort was brilliantly parried away by Swain diving at full stretch, it wasn’t the first time that the Woods had to call upon the services of the ex Hemel Hempstead Town and Cockfosters man to ensure that this game was still a contest.

Senior then came on for Hawkins, in a bid to get the equaliser which Northwood were craving.
Almost immediately Senior was involved as Northwood finally scored the goal that brought them level. Walker played a one-two with Constant before advancing into the box where he unselfishly rolled the ball for Senior, who steadied himself and found the back of the net. 1-1 on 83 minutes.
Constant then hit an audacious effort in a bid to nick the three points but he didn’t make great contact as it comfortably found Grant’s midriff.

However, AFC Hayes were not finished there, as one last counter attack saw them score the decisive goal which won them the game. Gary Meakin admitted that at half-time Northwood had changed their system which meant that they were only playing with three at the back. Northwood were vulnerable to the counter-attack all afternoon and this time the Brook sealed the points. The potent Woods raced clear – helped by Yorke’s slip – seeing himself through one-on-one, and this time he made no mistake smashing the ball beyond Swain on 89 minutes. 1-2 to AFC Hayes. It was the goal which saw Hayes climb above Northwood and into 5th place.

That proved to be the last action as Hayes continued their impressive away form with their eighth success away from Farm Park. For Northwood they have to ponder the defeat, before heading to Southern Premier Division side Chesham United in the Red Insure Southern League Cup third round on Tuesday evening. The Woods next taste of League action comes next weekend as they travel to Chalfont St. Peter, both looking to avenge a 1-5 freak home defeat back in August, and to get back to winning ways after dropping points in their last two games.

After the conclusion of the game, manager Gary Meakin gave his thoughts. He was asked about having seen lots of the ball was it disappointing to lose the game, especially because it was Northwood’s first taste of defeat in seven games. “It’s very disappointing, against a team in and around us. It was a fair result, it begrudges me to say that, but we lacked ideas in the final third today.”

On top of that, Meakin was asked about how it must feel bitterly disappointed to concede late having got back into the game courtesy of Garry Senior’s equaliser on 83 minutes. “Yes, again they did not stop trying to win the game, when we levelled they kept going. Not enough of us turned up today.” Meakin was also asked about how the team looked vulnerable on the break today and if that was a concern bearing in mind the team defended solidly throughout the rest of the game. “Not really, we had three at the back for most of the second half, so we were always liable if they broke well. Their winning goal could have been avoided, obviously without the slip, and then we should have brought him down and been more cynical, but it is a learning curve for us.”

Finally the gaffer (who prepares to celebrate his 100th game in management next Saturday versus Chalfont) was asked about whether the difficult trip to Chalfont St. Peter has more at stake because of the defeat today and the freak 1-5 defeat at home against them in August. “Yes it was 1-5, but it was a totally different team, and a different system. We want to win every game, so that is irrelevant I think. We do not want to get carried away, yes we are no longer in the play-off places, but there is 17 games left, we know are targets, and if we achieve those we know we have done well.”

Report by MATTHEW FORD

Photos by James Brown