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Woodford United 0  Northwood 0 

Tuesday 20th December 2011

  • Line-ups
  • Match Report

Northwood
EvoStik Southern League
Byfield Road, Woodford Halse, Daventry
Woodford United
Mitch Swain
1
Kick Off
1
Matt Finlay
Scott Raper
2
7.30 p.m.
2
Justin Dowling
Ronayne Marsh-Brown
3
Attendance
3
Lewis Travers
Lee Grant
4
68
4
Craig Pearman
Reece Yorke
5
H/T
5
Chris Jackson
John Christian
6
0-0
6
Ben Milner
Jack Hutchinson
7
Scorers
7
Wes Emery
Craig White
8
Northwood
8
Daniel Burke
Oliver Hawkins
9
n/a
9
Nat Liburd
Garry Senior
10
Woodford
10
Glen Hawkins
Romaine Walker
11
n/a
11
Ross Oulton
   Substitutes
Bookings
Substitutes
Harry Wright (9, 82m)
12
Northwood
12
Nathan Stewart
Derek Lewis
14
White
14
Daniel Stewart
Ben Alexander (10, 77m)
15
Woodford
15
Chris Davies
Kurt Morlese
16
Travers
16
Lewis Williams
Gary Meakin
17
 
17
-
 
 
RIVERSIDE MAN OF THE MATCH:
xxx
 
 
Referee: Mr Robbie Earl

Assistants: Mr Michael Scriven
& Mr Matt Giblen



There would have been a few tired limbs at the end of this old-fashioned battle in the fields of thick mud deep in the wilds of Northamptonshire but both sides would have been happy to settle for a point apiece by the end of a gruelling ninety minutes.

With Liam Fowler unavailable and Jonathan Constant ruled out with injury, in came Lee Grant to the defence and Jack Hutchinson, fresh from his trials with Barnet, bolstered the midfield.

It was the home side that started quickest with Justin Dowling and Ross Oulton having early unthreatening efforts but then Oulton forced Mitch Swain into a fine diving save on eleven minutes when latching onto a Grant header with a crisp strike.

Northwood’s first attack of any note came after 14 minutes when Hutchinson made a promising attacking run and slipped a ball through to Garry Senior but his shot was straight at home goalkeeper Matt Finlay.

The Woods began to enjoy more of the possession as Craig White, John Christian and Hutchinson began to dominate the midfield area and they created chances but Oliver Hawkins missed an opportunity to let fly and then Romaine Walker saw his effort blocked.

It was end-to-end stuff at this stage. Swain saved low down from the hard-working Nat Liburd and then Hawkins headed down to Senior whose shot was deflected wide.

A good run from deep by Lewis Travers saw him run out of steam before firing weakly at Swain but the same player was then also booked for a foul on Scott Raper just outside the box. Ronayne Marsh-Brown hit that free-kick straight at Finlay and soon after a good move saw Hawkins head a Christian chip back across goal and Raper was almost in at the far post.

The rain began to fall just before half-time and it picked up pace during the break so when the two teams returned, the already heavy pitch became a lot boggier.

Woodford’s Glen Hawkins headed wide of the bear post but then the Woods had perhaps their best opportunity when Senior connected well with a Walker corner but his low strike through a ruck of players was just stopped by the diving Finlay.

It was hard work for both sides but to be fair some of the players continued to be full of running with the Woods teenagers – Walker and Hutchinson – being the main outlet for the Northwood attacks. But the final ball was always lacking, often frustrating and Grant headed over from one well-flighted corner.

The defence was looking strong though and it was only from set pieces that the home side threatened to register a goal. One free-kick saw Oulton cushion a header back across the face of goal but it went wide of the far post with no-one able to get a touch.
Then another saw defender Ben Milner steal in for a free header but that flashed across goal and wide.

Gary Meakin freshened things up, bringing on Ben Alexander and Harry Wright for the two hard-working forwards, while Woodford opted not to use any, but it had little effect either way.

In the closing-stages it was Northwood who pressed most with Walker making a good run before cutting the ball back to Hutchinson but he skewed his effort well wide and Hutchinson himself finished the game with a stirring drive forward, seeming to skim off the mud, before being clattered just outside the box. Unfortunately, the whistle signalled not a free-kick in a dangerous position but the final whistle.

The loyal, travelling band of Northwood supporters, who almost matched the number of Woodford fans in a meagre crowd, went home fairly happy as the Woods drew their first away league game of the season at the same time as Woodford settled for their first drawn match at home. It was also the first goalless game that the Woods have been involved in for over a year; since a 0-0 at Ashford Town (Middlesex) last November.

Report by ALAN EVANS