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Northwood 0 North Greenford 2

Saturday 22nd October 2011

  • Line-ups
  • Match Report

Northwood
Middx Senior Cup Round One
Chestnut Avenue, Northwood
North Greenford
Derek Lewis
1
Kick Off
1
Aaron Bufton
Michael Williams
2
3.00 p.m.
2
Nathan Fearon
Lee Grant
3
Attendance
3
Sean Roberts
Shaun Wanklyn
4
81
4
Nick Turner
Liam Fowler
5
H/T
5
Charlie McCarthy
Jack Hutchinson
6
0-1
6
Sean Hillier
Andrew Mensah
7
Scorers
7
Peter Martin
Jimmy Froud
8
Northwood
8
Alex Paine
Oliver Hawkins
9
n/a
9
Ricky Pither
Aaron Lansiquot
10
North Greenford
10
Anthony O'Connor
Harry Wright
11
Pither 36, Joseph 75
11
Charlie Hill
   Substitutes
Bookings
Substitutes
Doug Fitzgerald
12
Northwood
12
Zak Joseph (10, 70m)
Dominic Franklin (6, 46m)
14
Walker
14
Aaron Samuel (7, 63m)
Ryan Phillips
15
North Greenford
15
Gary Jallow
Romaine Walker (8, 55m)
16
Hill
16
Jamie Diston
Kurt Morlese (11, 55m)
17
 
17
Wayne Jackson (9, 82m)
 
 
RIVERSIDE MAN OF THE MATCH:
xxx
 
 
Referee: Mr Marvin Thompson

Assistants: Mr Aidan Farrelly
& Mr Tony Leng



Like all of Northwood’s cup matches this season - in three different competitions - this ended at the first hurdle. A much changed Northwood side which included a few players devoid of game time, and a handful of regulars from the Woods reserve side took on a North Greenford United outfit who won on their last visit to Chestnut Avenue in February, 0-1, and would have been keen to conjure up a similar score line come the final whistle today. The visitors included former Northwood goalkeeper Aaron Bufton, midfielder Charlie Hill and, on the bench, midfielder Wayne Jackson would have been itching to prove that his former employers were wrong to let him go.

Northwood, sporting a new home kit, started slowly allowing Ricky Pither to surge forward and get a shot away which in the end was easily saved by Derek Lewis in the Northwood goal, who would have been eager to make amends for his two errors which cost the Woods dearly last week. The game then exploded into life when Aaron Lansiquot was fed in by Harry Wright (who has been an ever-present in the reserve side) but the former’s prod towards the target dribbled harmlessly wide. It was then United’s turn to have a pop at goal when a through ball by Peter Martin was met by Alex Paine but his lob went over the cross bar. Northwood were then on the offensive again when Jimmy Froud was on the end of some neat build up play but he scuffed his shot wide of the right hand upright. A heart in the mouth situation then ensued when the hosts failed to clear a cross into the box and after several attempts to get it to safety; Shaun Wanklyn making his Northwood debut was finally on hand to hook it away. From that aforementioned clearance, youngster Jack Hutchinson sprinted clear and set up Lansiquot, whose shot was well saved by Bufton. Following a challenge by Michael Williams, which resulted in a North Greenford United free kick, referee Marvin Thompson decided against booking the Northwood debutant. It was a solid performance from the man in the middle, who opted on several occasions not to book players where other referees would have.

Northwood were guilty of giving up possession quite frequently, however they could be forgiven because it was a game in which a number of players who haven’t played with each other very often were thrown into a match situation. Some of them lacked sharpness, which only hindered the Woods, but as they game went on they slowly became more involved in the proceedings. Credit to Gary Meakin, however, for having the initiative to rest some of his regular players with next week’s league game in mind. Barely a few minutes later – and a lapse in concentration that would have had Meakin fuming – with North Greenford on the attack, a ball in the box was met by Pither, who somehow got the better of three defenders to poke it home. A soft goal to concede, in truth, and a body blow considering that up until then, the match had been a very even affair. Northwood’s Achilles heel in the first half was their lack of cutting edge when presented with the ball in dangerous areas. This was epitomised when Lansiquot was played through by Hutchinson, who once again impressed, but the striker could only drive wide, a moment the home side would rue.

Northwood suffered a blow when midfielder Hutchinson was taken off at the break with a knock, being replaced by Dominic Franklin who came on for his debut. Northwood started the second half brilliantly, raising the tempo of their game which culminated in a half chance, when Wright managed to wriggle away from the defender but blasted over after cutting inside. They weren’t finished there. Skipper Oliver Hawkins roamed free and was played in by Andrew Mensah, however despite a magnificent turn and superb control, his subsequent shot wasn’t one of his best as he sliced wide from the edge of the penalty area. Despite the positive start to the second period, Meakin decided it was time to use his last two substitutions by replacing Froud with Romaine Walker and Wright with Kurt Morlese, another man who has played week in, week out, for the reserve side.

Northwood’s heads were up, and neat build up play between Mensah, Williams and Hawkins ended with the latter firing across the box. The ball fell to Morlese, who held it up nicely, before laying off to Walker who unleashed a rocket of an effort which went over the bar. North Greenford United were trying to keep their clean sheet intact, and if it wasn’t for the intervention of Liam Fowler who intercepted Anthony O’Connor, the Blues may have been further in front. The Woods then had a free-kick awarded in a good position, which was floated in by Walker but it was collected well by ex Wood Bufton under pressure. After nice build up play between Franklin and Mensah, the former Harrow Borough man found room before scuffing his shot which in truth was nearer the corner flag than anywhere else.

The hosts were then punished for their inability to take their chances when United broke away and substitute Aaron Samuel found space before slotting it across for fellow substitute Zak Joseph, who was surprised to see himself with plenty of time, but take nothing away from him as he placed a great effort leaving Lewis absolutely no chance, and in the process giving the visitors a nice cushion. North Greenford United manager Steve Ringrose then made his final substitution bringing on ex-Wood Jackson as he replaced scorer of the first goal, Pither. United could have added the gloss to the scoreline as they fired attempt after attempt at Lewis, but he was more than a match for everyone, making some smart saves from Joseph and clambering down to deny Samuel. Morlese was then caught in two minds after being fed by a Woods midfielder but he couldn’t make up his mind whether to shoot or slot it through for Walker. In the end he did neither and by the time he was about to find his team mate on the right of the penalty box, he was dispossessed.

The score line wasn’t a fair reflection on the game. Yes, a changed Northwood side weren’t at their best, far from it in fact, and yes, North Greenford United probably deserved to come away with a ticket to the second round, however Northwood must blame themselves. They had plenty of good chances to score this afternoon, but unfortunately they couldn’t capitalise.

After the game manager Gary Meakin gave his thoughts on the performance from his players and the result. “It was a disappointing result, but it was a mixed-up team with players that haven’t played with each other and it was a case of players not having the desire to win a football match.

“With regards to your question about whether I am concerned with the fact we didn’t score, I’m not, because prior to last week we had scored in every game and we created enough chances to win today. It is frustrating because we didn’t take our chances.  We just need some form, but it isn’t helping that some weeks we are having cup games, and then no games and then league games, we just need to get a run going.”  

Meakin was asked about what the injury situation is at the moment ahead of the trip next week to Burnham, and he replied “Scotty Raper’s  injury isn’t as bad as we feared, which is good, Junior Osborne is having a scan on Monday, Macca (James McCluskey) is suspended at the moment, and Jack (Hutchinson) has a calf injury, that’s why we brought him off at half-time”.

Northwood will be hoping that they can get back to winning ways when they make the trip to The Gore to face Burnham next Saturday, and if they play like they have done for much of the season, then there is no reason to suggest why they won’t pick up the three points!

Report by MATT FORD