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NORTHWOOD FC   Saturday 14th March 2015   UXBRIDGE FC

Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central

  Northwood 0  Uxbridge 0



Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Berkley Laurencin     1 Paul McCarthy
2 James Burgess     2 Kevin Ayodele
3 Andy Lomas     3 Ryan Phillips
4 Mark Burgess ©     4 Dave Thomas
5 Steve Brown     5 Mark Dennison
6 Dave Lawrence     6 Wayne Carter ©
7 Joakim Ehui     7 Danny Julienne
8 Jordan Lawal     8 Lewis Cole
9 Ismael Ehui     9 Matt Woods
10 Michael Murray     10 Chris Moore
11 Nana Asamoah (70m)     11 Jake Groves (55m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Omar Vassell     12 Jon Jo Bates (55m)
14 Rob Hastings (70m)     14 Curtis Chappell
15 Perry Dicker     15 Charlie Samuels
16 Jordan Payne     16 Kevin Warner
17 Liam Baker     17 Rourke Pickford
      Referee: Adrian Gillett; Assistants: Neil Fyfield & Keith Kennett      
  REPORT by Alan Evans     PHOTOS by James Brown  

Northwood’s Community Day brought a tremendous turn-out through the ages of the Woods Youth set-up with boys and girls of all ages taking part in games, training, being mascots, ball-boys and also undertaking a Sponsored Run in an effort to raise much-needed funds. At 2pm, all of those Northwood players took their place for a new “One-Club” photographs which will be used for promotion purposes over the next year.

The almost-finished refurbished clubhouse was busy and vibrant and visitors Uxbridge played their part by having their own youth partners Sandgate FC also taking part in some of the activities.

With both sides sitting in mid-table, a close game was expected and of course with the visitors still being run by former Woods manager Tony Choules, there is always a bit of added spice to the fixture. Uxbridge’s starting line-up included six ex-Northwood players and this was added to by Jon-Jo Bates on the bench while Mark Burgess made just a couple of changes to the side that had beaten AFC Hayes a week earlier. With Niko Muir unavailable, Michael Murray returned to the eleven and Nana Asamoah was given the nod ahead of Rob Hastings.

The game was competitive from the start but it was Uxbridge who looked more likely to find a breakthrough in a pretty dull first-half. Matt Woods found some early space but shot wildly wide and then Lewis Cole’s chip clipped the bar before Wayne Carter’s long-range effort flew over the bar.  Northwood’s first chance came when a free-kick gave Michael Murray a target but he only found the defensive wall with his effort.

On 33 minutes there was a short fracas as a tangle between Steve Brown and Woods led to yellow cards for both players and six minutes later came the only real talking point of the half. A good ball played Nana Asamoah through on goal and as he just got ahead of Mark Dennison, the former Woods defender checked him just outside the area. On another day it might have been a red card but the Referee thought that Asamoah didn’t have full control of the ball and opted for a yellow. The resulting free-kick from Murray again failed to beat the wall, and half-time arrived without either goalkeeper forced into action.

Could the second-half burst into life? Well, Ismael Ehui began it by shooting well wide from his first chance and then, on 49 minutes, Dave Lawrence found Ismael Ehui just outside the box and he brought out a diving stop from keeper Paul McCarthy at last. Uxbridge countered immediately as the ball was lost in midfield and a quick pass put Woods through on goal. He evaded the challenge of Berkley Laurencin well and then shaped to shoot only to be dispossessed by a timely tackle from Mark Burgess.

The game had picked up a little on the entertainment scale. Danny Julienne had a shot deflected wide for Uxbridge before Murray’s deep free-kick was headed only just wide by Brown at the other end.

The Woods pressed briefly. Asamoah took over free-kick duties but his effort still hit the wall, though deflecting for a corner. Then from that centre, Brown dummied neatly to allow it to run through to Lawrence but he skied his shot into the cemetery. In return, Chris Moore hit a crisp turn and shot wide of the post.

The goalless draw was looking favourite as the game entered the last ten minutes. On 85 minutes a Murray cross picked out Lawrence for a header but it lacked the power to beat McCarthy. Three minutes later, a cross from out wide from Murray clipped the top of the Uxbridge bar and then the final minute saw Lawrence’s drive deflected onwards by substitute Rob Hastings but without the placement or power to get past the keeper.

The Community Day Raffle followed in the bar after the game and thanks go to organiser Lisa Bennett and all her helpers who made this an excellent promotion for Northwood Football Club.