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NORTHWOOD FC   Tuesday 6th January 2015   BEDFORD TOWN FC

Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central

  Northwood 2 Bedford Town 1

Muir 44, Brown 73

Liversedge 9

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Berkley Laurencin     1 Danz St Louis-Hamilton
2 Omar Vassell     2 Paul Cooper
3 Andy Lomas     3 Josh McGoldrick
4 Mark Burgess     4 Stuart Smeathers
5 Steve Brown     5 Jeff Woodward
6 Will Hudson (57m)     6 Ollie Wilkinson
7 George Nicholas     7 Rob Parker
8 Niko Muir     8 Ross Oulton
9 Michael Murray     9 Tom Liversedge
10 Ismael Ehui (65m)     10 Russell Bull (68m)
11 Rob Hastings     11 Joe Hopewell (73m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Dave Lawrence     12 Sam Macrae (73m)
14 Jordan Lawal     14 Kerran Birch (68m)
15 Joakim Ehui (65m)     15 Callum Lewis
16 Perry Dicker     16  
17 Nick Turner (57m)     17  
      Referee: Michael Webb; Assistants: Amadou Jallow & Steven Scott      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  

Northwood extended their unbeaten run to five matches with this narrow victory over a Bedford Town side that battled hard despite the loss of their red-carded goalkeeper at the half-time whistle. Will Hudson and Ismael Ehui were recalled to the starting line-up with James Burgess rested but both sides came into the match on a good run of form.

It was the Eagles who were presented with the best early chance when a Will Hudson pass ricocheted into the path of Russell Bull but his first-time shot sailed well wide. However, after just nine minutes, a corner dropped in the six-yard box and after a few failed attempts to clear, Bedford’s top scorer Tom Liversedge forced the ball home from just a few feet.

After 17 minutes Rob Hastings got his first chance to run at the visitors defence and as he jinked into the box, there was a suspicion of being checked by the hip of a defender but the Referee waved play on. It continued to be very competitive and from an Andy Lomas corner, Mark Burgess dummied the ball neatly to allow Michael Murray to have a swing at a shot but he was unable to keep it down and the ball sailed over the bar.

Burgess had a chance himself on 33 minutes but couldn’t convert at the far post and Ross Oulton cleared the danger. The visitors had been looking comfortable at this stage and Bull made space for himself before firing a shot not far wide but things were turned around in the last couple of minutes of the half.

After Murray had seen a free-kick well pushed out by Bedford goalkeeper Danzelle St. Louis-Hamilton, Niko Muir picked up a ball thirty yards out, turned and fired a cracking shot into the top corner to level the scores. Then, as St. Louis-Hamilton collected a ball under pressure from Burgess at the far post in the last action of the half, with the whistle bringing the action to an end, he reacted by pushing the ball into the face of the Woods player-manager and was sent-off. It was Oulton that replaced the errant keeper for the second half.

Burgess had also picked up a yellow card in that incident and that was to prove significant less than ten minutes into the second period when he caught Bull from behind with a tackle and a second yellow saw the sides evened up to ten-a-side. Hudson was sacrificed to bolster the defence with substitute Nick Turner while Joakim Ehui replaced brother Ismael, but there was little goalmouth action as the Eagles defended stoutly to protect their outfield player in goal.

The Woods failed to pressurise the keeper enough but they got their chance on 72 minutes when they won a corner on the left, and when Lomas flighted it well towards the far post, it was Steve Brown who was able to rise well and head into the top corner. Hastings had a great chance to wrap up the victory just three minutes later when he was put through on goal but he hit his shot at a nice height for Oulton who stuck out a hand and just managed to palm the ball around the post.

Bedford did rally briefly as they looked to salvage a point, with Rob Parker trying his luck from distance with a low shot but it was without the power to really test goalkeeper Berkley Laurencin. Then a cross was only half-cleared by Turner and substitute Kerran Birch set up Bull for another effort but Laurencin saved comfortably.

Murray had another chance from a free-kick late in the game but swung his effort wide of the target and in stoppage-time, a good turn and shot from Birch was again well collected by the Woods keeper.

The victory saw the Woods creep back into the top half of the table for only the second time this season and they will be looking to build on their unbeaten run in a tough away game at Godalming Town on Saturday.