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WIMBORNE TOWN FC   Saturday 15th November 2014   NORTHWOOD FC

FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round

  Wimborne Town 2  Northwood 1  

Gamble 14, 73

Lawrence 78

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Jason Harvell     1 Berkley Laurencin
2 Tom Biles     2 Omar Vassell
3 Ian Oliver     3 Andy Lomas
4 Billy Maybury     4 Mark Burgess
5 Adam Costello     5 Nick Turner
6 Jon Blake     6 Perry Dicker (73m)
7 Matt Kemble (86m)     7 Joakim Ehui
8 Jamie Davidson (91m)     8 Will Hudson
9 George Webb (81m)     9 Michael Murray
10 Mark Gamble     10 Rob Hastings
11 James Stokoe     11 Sam Byfield
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Max Brimson (86m)     12 Dave Lawrence (73m)
13 Ben Field     14 Tommy Walsh
14 Jack Lufton (81m)     15 Steve Brown
15 Zach Phelps (91m)     16 George Nicholas
16 -     17 Ismael Ehui
      Referee: Antony Foster; Assistants: Graham Matthews & K Williams      
  REPORT by Alan Evans    PHOTOS by James Brown  



The Woods played their part in another pulsating FA Trophy tie down in Dorset but a lack of cutting edge in front of goal cost them dearly despite swathes of attacks putting the home defence under a great deal of pressure. Mark Burgess had his plans for the game severely disrupted when both top scorers were ruled out as Ismael Ehui failed to recover from his hamstring injury and Nana Asamoah became unavailable. Jordan Lawal was also missing due to work so the squad was down to the bare bones with only two substitutes available.

Wimborne were missing skipper Scott Arnold as the Magpies looked to continue with their recent form which had seen them notch five successive wins including their excellent away victory at Dorchester Town in the previous round. But it was the Woods who started on the front-foot, with recent addition Will Hudson establishing control in the midfield and Sam Byfield quickly causing problems down the left flank.

Byfield combined well with Andy Lomas on the left but a shot was well wide and after 10 minutes a flowing move saw Perry Dicker slip a good ball into Michael Murray but his effort was blocked and Rob Hastings was unable to get the loose ball under control. A better chance came four minutes later, Hudson won the ball in midfield and sprayed it wide to Joakim Ehui, whose tricky run left Ian Oliver flailing. His cross picked out Murray but his first-time shot from six yards was too direct at goalkeeper Jason Harvell and he managed to keep it out.

Just twenty seconds later, Wimborne had taken the lead with their first effort on goal. It came direct down the centre with James Stokoe playing the ball to Jamie Davidson who neat flick released experienced striker Mark Gamble and the top scorer made no mistake with a cool, clinical finish from just outside the box.
It was a big setback for Northwood but they were soon back in their stride and after 20 minutes, the impressive Lomas overlapped Byfield again and a neat ball put him in for a clear strike at goal but Harvell was equal to it again pushing his shot away and Ehui was unable to keep the ball down when he pounced on the rebound. A minute later, a short corner saw Hudson chip the ball into the box and Nick Turner’s header was again safely gathered by the home keeper.

Wimborne were still looking dangerous on the counter-attack though and some good work on the left gave Oliver the space to go for goal but he drove his shot wide of the far post. Then, a neat chip forward from Davidson saw George Webb dive to reach a header which looked goalbound until Berkley Laurencin dived low to get both hands to it and gather it safely. Gamble was presented with another opportunity soon after but this time he shot wide of the target.

Hudson drove forward again to find Murray on the edge of the box but he found Harvell in the way of his shot at goal and after 32 minutes, another good ball from Hudson saw Hastings get just ahead of the two central defenders to poke a shot at goal but the home keeper was down to pull off another good stop.
The dangerous Gamble flicked a Matt Kemble cross wide of the near post as the match continued to entertain but the closing stages of the first-half again belonged to the Woods. A Byfield cross flew across goal without the necessary touch and then a Murray free-kick saw Burgess steal in for a header but he failed to connect with any power and Harvell was across to keep it out yet again.

Half-time was approaching and a Murray corner saw Hudson lay the ball off to Byfield whose low, hard shot was deflected by Hastings but wide of the post. Jon Blake headed over from a corner on a rare Wimborne attack but Northwood continued to look for an equaliser. Hastings fired just wide after latching onto a Murray flick before Hudson tried his luck from long-range but Harvell saved comfortably and the half finished as Oliver picked up a yellow card for a scything tackle on Ehui.

Despite the heavy conditions, the pace of the game continued after the break, with Byfield presented with a good early chance but he ran it too far and Harvell gratefully collected the ball. The Magpies went close to doubling their advantage on 48 minutes when Webb cut in from the left and shot for goal but Laurencin made a fine save to push the ball wide.

The successful combination of Lomas and Byfield continued to produce dividends and five minutes later that combination saw Lomas in on goal but his left-foot strike flashed inches wide of the far post and the Magpies had survived another good chance. Northwood were leaving gaps at the back as they gambled on finding a goal to level things up and Kemble twice sliced shots well wide from promising positions before Turner cleared a Davidson shot off the line and Laurencin saved well as Gamble tried to knock in the loose ball.

The end-to-end action continued. A Murray free-kick brought an unorthodox save at the near-post by the overworked goalkeeper and then a pacy run and cross from Hastings was deflected but straight at Harvell. Back at the other end, a Blake header saw Gamble through one-on-one but Laurencin came out and dived to grab the ball off his foot as he looked to jink past him.

What followed was a series of half a dozen corners forced by a wave of Northwood attacks but the Magpies’ defence stood firm and the only time that a goal was threatened, Harvell was again there to push out Byfield’s goalbound strike.

Perhaps the Woods were gambling too many player forward and they paid for it on 72 minutes as Wimborne’s own form of Gamble burst forward again into space down the left. Laurencin had also raced out of goal hoping to reach it first but misjudged his dive by a second and clipped the Magpies forward just on the edge of the box. Gamble confidently stepped up and sent the Woods keeper the wrong way from the spot and Northwood suddenly had a mountain to climb.

Dave Lawrence came on for Dicker to add some more attacking flair to the side and he was almost immediately booked for a crude block but on 78 minutes a neat one-two with Murray saw him fire a crisp shot into the far corner and suddenly it was game on again. The Woods only needed one goal again to force a replay, but Wimborne slowed the game down as much as they could with a touch of unpunished time-wasting and the expected couple of substitutions, meaning they couldn’t build much impetus.

Turner was thrown forward to bolster the front-line but again the home side defended doggedly and the only real chance came on 89 minutes when Ehui chipped the ball across to find Murray whose shot crept the wrong side of the post.

The final whistle was a real disappointment for the side who had worked so hard to get a positive result from the cup-tie and they will now have to use that effort and flair when they get back to league action next weekend.