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NORTHWOOD FC   Tuesday 10th February 2015   BARTON ROVERS FC

Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central

  Northwood 1   Barton Rovers 1

Lawrence 39

Hoenes 11

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Berkley Laurencin     1 Kyle Forster
2 Omar Vassell     2 Bilal Hassan
3 Andy Lomas     3 Jhai Dhillon
4 Nick Turner     4 Peter Gatti
5 Steve Brown     5 Paul Andrews
6 Dave Lawrence (76m)     6 Kevin Kilroy
7 Nana Asamoah (65m)     7 Rhys Hoenes
8 James Burgess     8 Stefan Powell
9 Niko Muir     9 Connor Vincent
10 Michael Murray (80m)     10 Mahmut Caglar (82m)
11 Rob Hastings     11 Jevani Brown (68m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Mark Burgess     12 Tuki Tayali
14 Liam Baker (80m)     14 Jack Keating
15 Joakim Ehui (65m)     15 Jack Green (68m)
16 Perry Dicker (76m)     16 Rhiney Taylor
17       17 Ben Sawyer (82m)
      Referee: Nick MacKenzie; Assistants: Andrew Hickman & Sunny Gill      
  REPORT by Alan Evans   

The Woods failed in their bid for four consecutive victories as they came up against a purposeful Barton Rovers side who still look strong contenders for a possible play-off place. It was another unchanged starting line-up for Northwood but although the bench was strengthened by the return of fit-again Joakim Ehui, they were without Jordan Lawal, the latest to be struck down with illness.

The visitors started brightly and a deep cross in just the second minute gave a half-chance to Connor Vincent but his stabbed effort lacked the power to beat Berkley Laurencin who was across goal to save. A Rob Hastings run ended with him going down in the box but penalty appeals were waved away and back at the other end Jevani Brown found space to roll a shot across the face of goal but wide of the far post.

After nine minutes, the action-packed start to the game continued with Nana Asamoah cutting in but shooting straight at goalkeeper Kyle Forster but three minutes later, Barton were rewarded for their positive start with the opening goal. It was pretty much a solo effort as the pacy Rhys Hoeness received the ball down the centre and left Nick Turner in his wake before racing past Laurencin and firing home with a neat finish.

The Woods tried to steady things and a quieter period followed but it was still Rovers who were pressing and after 23 minutes Mahmut Caglar flicked on a Stefan Powell corner and the ball crept only just wide of the far post. The entertainment on offer deserved more than Northwood’s worst league crowd of the season and after Dave Lawrence had seen an effort blocked, Niko Muir showed good endeavour to find space for a crisp shot at goal which was always going wide of the target.

Hoeness was still causing problems for the Woods defence, though, and he got through on goal again only to be denied this time by a fine save from Laurencin. Brown was onto the loose ball failed to hit the target. But Northwood were beginning to cause more of a regular threat as the game crept towards half-time and after a good spell of pressure, they levelled matters on 40 minutes as some good approach play saw Muir lay a good ball off to Lawrence and he scored with a powerful strike that Forster was unable to keep out despite getting a good touch to. It was the attackers’ first home goal since mid-August and very timely.

The Woods went on the attack in the remaining minutes of the first half. Firstly a Burgess pass put Asamoah but Forster kept out his shot and the loose ball was cleared away. Then Michael Murray had an opportunity from a free-kick but the ‘keeper was well positioned to block at the near post.

The pace dropped a bit at the start of the second half, and it was the visitors who had the first effort on goal on 53 minutes as Caglar saw a shot blocked for a corner. From that there was a chance for Kevin Kilroy but Nick Turner made an excellent block tackle and then Laurencin saved again from a follow-up effort. Five minutes later Northwood were almost in front as Muir found Asamoah in space and his powerful drive crashed back off a post with Forster well beaten.

A few substitutions took a bit of time out of the game but after 70 minutes a long ball from Kilroy saw Caglar attempt a chip at goal that had Laurencin back-pedalling and stretching to tip his shot wide. A couple of free-kick chances came Murray’s way in the next five minutes but one was always going wide and the second only brought handball claims as it struck the defensive wall.

Caglar knocked a far-post cross wide for Barton and then Murray saw another effort deflected wide for the Woods as both sides continued to trade blows. From the resulting corner, Andy Lomas picked out Steve Brown for a great chance but the usually accurate skipper put his free header wide.

After 79 minutes Northwood went close again as substitute Perry Dicker got in close and then poked a shot which cannoned back off the post. Muir was onto the loose ball and went down under a challenge which was deemed legal by the Referee, before Burgess stabbed a low shot that drifted just wide.

Rovers forced a corner and Vincent got up high for a header downwards that bounced too much and allowed Laurencin to claim comfortably before substitute Jack Keating let fly from distance and the Woods ‘keeper had to tip the ball over the bar. The resulting corner fell to the dangerous Kilroy around the edge of the box and he did well to hook a shot on the turn but the ball was always too high.

There was still time for one more effort on goal each. Firstly Muir showed good control to a long ball but his shot on the turn rose over the bar. Then a Kilroy free-kick was blocked but fell towards substitute Ben Sawyer who poked a shot on target but Laurencin was down to keep it out and make sure the spoils were shared.

A draw seemed a fair result by the end and it made it just one defeat in ten matches for the Woods who continue to look to cement a place in the top half of the table.