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NORTHWOOD FC   Monday 25th August 2014   POTTERS BAR FC

Southern League Division One Central

  Northwood 1  Potters Bar Town 0   

Ehui 45

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Berkley Laurencin     1 Mike Underwood
2 James Duncan (67m)     2 Laurence Rispoli (71m)
3 Andy Lomas     3 Sonny Feltwell
4 Nick Turner     4 Jack Friend
5 Carl McCluskey     5 Tom Boxer
6 George Nicholas     6 Ben Bowditch
7 Joakim Ehui     7 James Ewington (71m)
8 Jordan Lawal     8 Ashley Harrison-Barker
9 Michael Murray     9 Josh Hutchinson
10 Nana Asamoah (80m)     10 Alex Shepherd
11 Sam Byfield (76m)     11 Lamar Simpson (71m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Omar Vassell (76m)     12 Connor Sanson
14 Dave Lawrence  (80m)     14 Matt Clifford (71m)
15 Tommy Walsh     15 Chris Doyle (71m)
16 Alex Nolan (67m)     16 Evandro Delgado (71m)
17 Perry Dicker     17 -
      Referee: Andrew Aylott; Assistants: Jon Panconi & Mary Harmer      
  REPORT by Alan Evans    PHOTOS by James Brown  

A rare goal from Joakim Ehui plus the first clean sheet of the season earned the Woods all three points against a previously unbeaten Potters Bar side. Mark Burgess brought in two reinforcements to the starting line-up, as utility player Carl McCluskey was signed on dual-registration from Wealdstone to take the manager’s own place in defence while Michael Murray was drafted back in from Hendon to take over from top scorer Dave Lawrence, who had picked up a knock at Uxbridge on Saturday. Jordan Lawal was available again and replaced Tommy Walsh in midfield.

Despite the heavy rain falling from late morning, the pitch had held up well and after the visitors had enjoyed plenty of early possession it was Northwood who almost took the lead as Sam Byfield got on the end of a far post cross with a volley that beat goalkeeper Mike Underwood but Jack Friend scrambled the ball off the line. After 13 minutes, Nana Asamoah received a good ball from Jordan Lawal and made room for a shot which was saved low down by Underwood.

Five minutes later the Scholars had their first good effort on goal when big defender Tom Boxer got his head to a corner, which was kept out by goalkeeper Berkley Laurencin who then also was quickly onto the loose ball. Potters Bar had their best spell around this time. A good run and cross from Sonny Feltwell was met by her a first time strike from Josh Hutchinson but the ball flashed the wrong side of the post. Ben Bowditch, Lamar Simpson and Alex Shepherd all recorded wayward shots at goal while James Ewington managed an effort on target but Laurencin was easily equal to it.

But the Woods hit back towards the end of the first half. A good move saw Asamoah raced down the right and pull the ball across for George Nicholas but his side-footed attempt at goal was blocked. The only goal of the game followed in the 45th minutes, though, as Ehui picked a ball up in space some 25 yards out and then lobbed a shot which caught Underwood only slightly off his line and it dipped just under the bar.

Hutchinson hit a shot from distance which was not far wide early in the second half but the Woods defence kept most attacks at bay while the visitors defence was doing similar work at the other end and managed to block out Lawal when he worked his way into the box. It was end to end stuff though. Laurencin was out quickly to block when Ewington looked like breaking through on goal and then Asamoah hit a fine shot which was tipped wide of the post by a diving Underwood.

The Woods should have doubled their lead after 62 minutes as Ehui knocked in a fine far post cross from the right and Byfield miskicked his volley when looking certain to score, but three minutes later Hutchinson had his best opportunity as checked back to beat Nick Turner and fire for goal but Laurencin saved well. A dipping cross from Andy Lomas had Underwood back-peddling again but this time he was able to push the ball over the top while Murray fired wide after a good ball from Nicholas and, following a triple substitution from the Scholars, McCluskey met a Murray corner with a firm header but Matt Clifford cleared off the line.

The chances continued to be created at both ends with Chris Doyle sweeping a shot wide after a good ball by the hard-working Hutchinson while substitute Dave Lawrence had a shot deflected wide following a good ball from Alex Nolan. From the corner another substitute Omar Vassell got up well for a header but it was straight at Underwood. The Woods wasted a couple of opportunities to take advantage of Potters Bar having pushed extra players forward but time was ticking by and the Scholars only had one final effort as Evandro Delgado headed on a forward ball and Hutchinson rather rushed a chip straight at the safe hands of Laurencin.