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Leighton Town Res. 3  Northwood Res. 2

Wednesday 28th August 2013

 

NORTHWOOD RESERVES Suburban League
North Division
 
 
   
Team line-up

 

1 Dira Ejibe
2 Michael Doyle (46m)
3 Rashaun Raphael
4 Mark Burgess
5 Rob Brooks
6 Freddie Brooks
7 Ryan Lee
8 James Burgess
9 Aaron McLeish
10 Charlie Parker (57m)  
11 Aron Ruszel (66m)  
Substitutes  
12 Luke Fox (66m)  
14 Tom Pegrum (46m)  
15 Josh Lambe (57m)  
16 -  
17 -  
     

After an opening day 4-4 draw, the Woods reserve side travelled away to Leighton Town on Wednesday night looking for their first win. There were several first team squad players who could have done with ninety minutes but several pulled out on the day and with the Under-18s due to play the following evening, Dave Fox had to rely on a few late call-ups. First team manager Mark Burgess was one of those who did have a needed run-out, along with Rashaun Raphael and new signing Aaron McLeish, a recent arrival from Chalfont St. Peter.

In a fast-paced first half, it was Northwood who looked more dangerous at the start, with McLeish causing problems and a fourth minute shot crashed back off the near-post but Leighton also looked good going forward and Chris Doggett jinked his way into the box but then straight at debut keeper Dira Ejibe. Ejibe was then back in action to push away a good strike from Aiden Murray, but the Woods then had another good spell which ultimately led to the opening goal after 19 minutes. A long ball saw Mark Burgess put Ryan Lee away down the right and his cut-back was met by Mark Burgess with a shot which took a deflection, either off McLeish or a Leighton defender, which wrong-footed goalkeeper Nick Claessen.

But Leighton were clearly up for a battle and after a few near misses, they levelled on the half-hour. Some poor defending out wide saw the ball delivered from the right and Billy Perry smashed the ball home from close-range. Northwood surged back again towards the end of the half, with Mark Burgess slipping a ball down the line for McLeish and his pacy run and cut back saw Lee in on goal but he lacked composure and blasted over. Lee almost made up for it in the final minute, winning a tackle and taking a quick shot but Claessen saved at his near post.

Into the second half, and the Woods were back in front on 51 minutes as Lee threaded a neat ball through to the pacy McLeish, who took his time and rounded the keeper before firing past a defender on the line to make it 2-1.
Two minutes later, some sloppy play in midfield saw the ball given away and a quick pass to Charlie Fryer saw him blast the ball past Ejibe to level things up again at 2-2. The game slowed at this stage, substitutions were made and the Woods lost their way a little, relying on million dollar balls to try to create chances and it never quite worked.

Their best chances of taking the points came when a McLeish ball put substitute Josh Lambe into the box but he was well tackled by Owen Forsythe in the act of shooting, and then James Burgess hit a low free-kick straight at Claessen and without the power to beat him.

It was on 82 minutes that the home side took the points as a free-kick was pumped to the far post and after a header crashed down off the bar, it was stabbed home from close-range just to force the ball over the line. A couple of late efforts from Murray were comfortably saved by Ejibe and Leighton had no real problems in holding on to the win. 

REPORT by Alan Evans