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AFC Wimbledon Res. 4  Northwood Res. 0 

Saturday 2nd April 2011

Northwood Res.

Waterside Stadium,
Walton on Thames
Ben Dowsett
Kick Off
Kevin Ayodele
3.00 p.m.
Dominic Franklin
Ed Hatcher
Jack Cockburn
Prince Alozie
Jack Duffy
Timi Salako
Wayne Jackson
Patrick Lawrence
Courtney Francis
Mark Bennett (2)
Lucas Williams (4)
Alex Simmons (8)
Ali Hussain
Dujon Desagurante

The game against the Suburban League champions-elect was eagerly awaited, but the Walton Casuals ground with due respect was not  their own ground, which would have been better. However, the Woods got on with it and everything that could go wrong did.

First Jamie Lindsay was not available and Lucas Williams went to the wrong ground and got there as the half time whistle blew. Added to that, with two subs having to be used before half-time only a bolt from the sky was missing.

The game started with, as expected, the home side going off very quickly, and it took a little while for the Woods to get their game together. However, after good approach work from midfield through to the strikers, the ball was bouncing around and Courtney Francis should have opened the scoring but lobbed over the bar with the goal gaping.

Another half chance was created only to go begging as well. The ball was bobbing about when it got caught under the defender's feet, and the Wimbledon striker finished well, giving Ben Dowsett no chance.

A period of even play followed until new player Kevin Ayodele and then Timi Salako went down injured and changes had to be made. Cue the kids, and Mark Bennett and Alex Simmons came on to the reduce the average age of the team even further.

The game was going in favour of AFC, but the Woods were catching them on the break often and there was no time when AFC could switch off. At half time the players themselves led the discussion and was encouraged to do so. The management team had the final say and we all felt we could get something from the game.

After the break it was pretty even and Jack Duffy and Wayne Jackson were causing problems and working very hard. However, the wind was taken out  Woods' sails when Jacko dived full length to turn a goal-bound shot away after Dowsett had made a fine save. Jacko was given automatic red, but goalie Ben made great save from the penalty kick.

But our young side was further hurt when central defender Ed Hatcher also had to come off to be replaced by the much travelled Lucas Williams. Captain Pat Lawrence reverted to centre half and did rather well. The game was very stretched and the Woods players were finding it very tough going, but despite letting in another two goals, the heads did not drop and we were defiant to the end. The young Woods had a very hard lesson today, but if things could be learnt from it will prove to be worthwhile. The attitude of the team had been first rate, and there was lots to be optimistic about.