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ST IVES TOWN FC   Saturday 17th January 2015   NORTHWOOD FC

Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central

  St Ives Town 4  Northwood 2  

Sinclair 43, Stead 45, Seymour-Shove 71, Fitzgerald 74

Vassell 8,
Hastings 84

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Tim Trebes ©     1 Berkley Laurencin
2 Josh Melling     2 Omar Vassell
3 Jonathan Hall     3 Andy Lomas
4 Luke Smith     4 Mark Burgess © (83m)
5 Charlie D’eath     5 Steve Brown
6 James Peters     6 Jordan Lawal (74m)
7 Jonathon Stead (66m)     7 Dave Lawrence (72m)
8 Jack Higgs     8 James Burgess
9 Stuart Eason     9 Niko Muir
10 Ben Seymour-Shove     10 Michael Murray
11 Scott Sinclair (79m)     11 Rob Hastings
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Daniel Moyes     12 Joakim Ehui (74m)
14 Dan Banister (79m)     14 Ismael Ehui (72m)
15 Luke Knight     15 Nick Turner (83m)
16 Kieran Fitzgerald (66m)     16 Will Hudson
17 -     17 -
      Referee: Graham Kinnear; Assistants: Wayne Bright & D Glazewski      
  REPORT by Alan Evans    PHOTOS by James Brown  




The Woods went into this mid-table away fixture with the confidence that comes with a six-match unbeaten run stretching back over a month but they were in for a tough battle on a heavy pitch against a St. Ives side playing at home for the first time since Boxing Day. However, with George Nicholas having flown to New York for a two-month modelling assignment and having Perry Dicker suspended for three-matches, the Woods were stretched in midfield, especially when Will Hudson failed to arrive due to car problems. Jordan Lawal partnered James Burgess in the middle for his first start for some time.

It was the home side that settled quickest, with Scott Sinclair firing a shot not far wide of the far post and then Stuart Eason having an effort blocked, all within the first few minutes. Soon after, Berkley Laurencin saw his first action, comfortably saving a low shot from Jack Higgs. But after ten minutes, the Woods forced a corner and a well-worked routine saw Steve Brown head Michael Murray’s ball back across goal and Omar Vassell rose to head home his first-ever goal for the club at the far post.

Buoyed by the goal, Northwood started to dominate proceedings with Niko Muir using his pace to good effect down the left and putting in a dangerous cross which was cut out for a corner. There was a succession of corners and after 22 minutes a half-cleared ball saw Lawal spread the ball wide to Michael Murray whose excellent ball in gave Muir a chance but his shot was deflected wide.

Vassell had a chance for his second of the game on 31 minutes when Murray picked him out from another well-flighted free-kick but this time he steered his header wide of the upright. The home side rarely got a look in but a minute later, Ben Seymour-Shove pounced on a loose ball and tried a first-time shot which flew not far wide of the target but it was only a brief respite as the Woods continued to carve out openings with some surprisingly good football on the sticky surface.

The best move of the game came on 34 minutes. Andy Lomas won the ball out wide and sent Muir down the flank. He got past his marker and cut the ball back where Murray played it neatly into the path of Dave Lawrence but his first-time shot was straight at goalkeeper Tim Trebes, who grabbed the ball gratefully. Three minutes later Lomas again sent Muir goalwards and this time he went alone but shot high over the bar.

The gilt-edged chances had been missed but half-time was approaching and the Woods seemed likely to be leading at the break. All that was to change hugely in the final stages of the half. First, on 43 minutes, Mark Burgess failed to clear and was caught in possession by Eason who slipped the ball across to Sinclair who blasted home to level the scores. Two minutes later, Laurencin had to be alert to pounce on a loose ball near a post after a corner dropped dangerously into the six yard box but he could do nothing to keep out Jon Stead’s shot from the edge of the box in stoppage-time after the midfielder had swept past a couple of half-hearted challenges in the centre of the park.

Mark Burgess would have had to raise a few heads at the half-time break but St. Ives started the second half with renewed vigour, and Laurencin was soon in action to keep out a Higgs effort followed by a flying save to push a long-range effort from Jonny Hall over the bar.

New signing from Slough Town, Luke Knight, was introduced as a substitute and he added a bit of calmness to the home side’s distribution. Soon after, a good flicked-on header from Eason put Seymour-Shove through on goal and Laurencin made a great save at his feet as the speedy attacker tried to go round him. The Woods were struggling to get back into the game, and after 63 minutes a long ball saw Seymour-Shove get the better of Lomas on a run for goal but his shot lacked power and the Woods keeper had no problem saving.

Two minutes later, Northwood finally began to threaten again as Lawrence laid a ball into the path of Muir and he cut in and hit a crisp shot that Trebes only just managed to keep out at the near post. The ball ran loose but the home keeper recovered it with Murray closing in. Lawal got forward with a rare run from midfield soon after this and burst into the box only to fail to get a shot in on goal, and then Muir again got a shot on target which Trebes pushed wide of the post.

Just as it seemed the Woods were likely to get back into the game, St Ives countered and extended their lead. A through ball found its way through to a suspiciously offside Seymour-Shove and this time he made no mistake, taking the ball past Laurencin and rolling it into an empty net. The Woods rang the changes, introducing both Ismael and Joakim Ehui but before they could make any impact, home substitute Kieran Fitzgerald received a ball from Seymour-Shove, cut in and arrowed a shot just inside the far post for a neat finish.

Clearly feeling hard done by, the Woods lost shape and discipline in the final ten minutes. Steve Brown was thrown up front to make a nuisance of himself and was quickly booked but after 85 minutes they did pull a goal back as Murray chipped a neat ball forward and Rob Hastings just forced the ball home despite a gallant attempt to clear from a defender. The previous season had seen the Woods lead 5-1 at St. Ives before a late rally saw the match end 5-4 but any hopes that Northwood had of a similar stirring comeback was soon ended. Substitute Nick Turner headed a Hastings cross over the bar in their only real chance while St. Ives went close as Eason saw a free header pushed over the bar by Laurencin.

There was more drama to come. Ismael Ehui confronted and pushed a home player after the award of a free-kick to Northwood, an incident alerted to the referee by his assistant 50 yards across the pitch. His interpretation of this was enough for a red card to be produced which seemed totally unnecessary at the end of a hard slog of a match that had only seen a couple of bookings.

Having been on the road for a couple of weeks, the Woods now get back to Northwood Park for a couple of home games in succession, starting with the visit of Egham Town next weekend.