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Slough Town 1  Northwood 0 

Saturday 3rd March 2012

  • Line-ups
  • Match Report
  • Photos & video

Northwood
EvoStik Southern League
Holloways Park, Beaconsfield
Slough Town
James Reading
1
Kick Off
1
James Warrington
Scott Raper
2
3.00 p.m.
2
Alex Brown
Lee Grant
3
Attendance
3
Danny Murphy
Liam Fowler
4
289
4
Steve Perkins
Reece Yorke
5
H/T
5
Nathan Bowden-Hasse
John Christian
6
0-0
6
Dave Woozley
Wayne O'Sullivan
7
Scorers
7
Simon Sweeney
Craig White
8
Northwood
8
Ollie Burgess
Oliver Hawkins
9
n/a
9
Danny Burnell
Spencer Bellotti
10
Slough
10
Lloyd Owusu
Romaine Walker
11
Owusu 55
11
Stuart Swift
   Substitutes
Bookings
Substitutes
Sam Sharples
12
Northwood
12
Sean Sonner (10, 73m)
James McCluskey (2, 52m)
14
Hawkins
14
Ben Abbey
Jonathan Constant (10, 60m)
15
Slough
15
Jerome Anderson (3, 82m)
Myles Stephenson (11, 73m)
16
Swift, Sonner
16
Sam Bateman
Mitch Swain
17
 
18
Jamie Jackson
 
 
RIVERSIDE MAN OF THE MATCH:
xxx
 
 
Referee: Mr Anton Bevis

Assistants: Mr John Balcombe
& Mr Chris Miles



Northwood’s outside play-off chances took another knock as they fell to their third narrow 1-0 away defeat in succession, this time at Slough Town, who still hold title-aspirations while being a shoe-in for at least a place in the end of season knockout stage.

With skipper Ronayne Marsh-Brown ruled out with a possibly broken bone in his foot, Wayne O’Sullivan returned to the starting line-up while Spencer Bellotti was given his starting debut in place of James McCluskey who reverted to the bench. James Reading also replaced Mitch Swain in goal following the latter’s studs in the shoulder incident on Wednesday night.  Slough were without suspended duo Paul Coyne and Steve Sinclair but welcomed back former Woods Danny Murphy and Sean Sonner after absences and boasted a defence which has conceded the least goals in the division this season.

After the Woods had created the first half-chance with John Christian setting up Romaine Walker, who blasted well over with just two minutes on the clock, Slough were soon dominating the play.

Just two minutes later Scott Raper struggled to get any distance on a headed clearance and Danny Burnell managed to steer his header goalwards but it came off the bar and was scrambled away. Reading was in action after 13 minutes when he came out to save at the feet of Lloyd Owusu but the ball ran loose and Oliver Burgess looked set to hit the target until Liam Fowler raced across to block.

O’Sullivan was struggling to find any form out on the right flank, though he did manage to knock in one cross which Lee Grant met on the volley at the far post but he didn’t connect with any power.
The Northwood defence was being worked hard by the aerial prowess of the veteran striker Owusu, who was still playing in the Football League for Barnet a few months ago, and the movement of Burnell, but they were holding out strongly and when Owusu did get his head to a Stuart Swift cross, Reading was equal to it.

The pitch never really suited the Woods normal passing game, with the usual attacking flair of O’Sullivan and Walker completely nullified, but knocking it long and helping the ball on in midfield was aiding the Rebels’ game, and when a deep cross from Simon Sweeney was returned into the box by Murphy, Owusu looked likely to score before being robbed of the ball by Fowler.  

After 33 minutes Raper played a good ball forward, while being taken out by a late challenge from Murphy, that found Walker and his shot slipped just past the post. The referee had played advantage but somehow survived without a booking while Raper limped back on but eventually had to be substituted.  Walker had another shot from distance which drifted wide of the post but the half finished with Slough goalkeeper James Warrington pretty much untroubled.

It was five minutes after the break that Northwood had their one and only clear-cut chance to score. Walker launched an attack down the left and played it wide to the overlapping Craig White. His cross found Bellotti, who neatly clipped the ball back to Walker with half the goal to roll it past Warrington, but he snatched his shot and the ball sailed over the bar from ten yards.

McCluskey replaced the injured Raper with Christian dropping back to an unfamiliar right-back position and just two minutes later the Rebels scored that all-important goal. Slough were awarded a disputed free-kick, given on an assistant referee’s flag when it looked like it should have been awarded the other way and when Swift knocked in an accurate centre, it was former Brentford star Owusu who dived forward at close-range to head the ball past a diving Reading.

Burnell looked to have a great chance of adding a second goal for the home side when he raced onto a long ball and shimmied past Fowler but Reece Yorke was there to just poke the ball away from him as he was about to pull the trigger. Jonathan Constant replaced Bellotti to add fresh legs to the Woods attack as they looked for a way through the experienced Slough back-three but though they continued to huff and puff a bit, there was no way through to even test Warrington.

Slough introduced Sonner for Owusu and one of his crosses looked dangerous until Fowler headed it away and the game began to lose even more quality towards the closing stages. In the end it was the defences who remained on top but it was Slough that had broken the deadlock with Owusu’s important goal and that proved to be the winner.

Northwood now have to put a bad week of two away defeats behind them as they have opportunities to put some points back on the board as they face two successive home games against the bottom two clubs. Marlow arrive at Chestnut Avenue on Tuesday night and then Fleet Town next Saturday. The two clubs met today and played out a 1-1 draw and both will be scrapping for points as they look to avoid relegation while the Woods need to regain their goal touch.

Report by ALAN EVANS

Click here to see the match video

Photos by James Brown