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Kintbury Rangers 1  Northwood Youth 3

Thursday 26th November 2009

Northwood Youth

Kintbury FC
Will Norris
Kick Off
Ricky Rogers
7.30 p.m.
D Cole-Parkes
Jack Dodds
Billy Bittman-Myers
Charlie Creasy
Mandela Gbo
Swaries, Rogers, Lema
Dene Gardner
Stefan Khailat
Kevin Lema
Andre Swaries 
Jonas Charles
J Adjei-Dawkins
Julian Cole
Morton Urdal

Northwood Allieds finally made the long 140 mile round trip to Kintbury Rangers for the re-arranged league cup Round 1 match which was postponed 2 weeks earlier due to the poor weather. Woods on paper were strong favourites against lower league opposition who were struggling in their own division, but this match proved to be far from a straightforward affair!

Matters began badly when one car got lost on the long journey and arrived with three players right on the 7.30 scheduled kick-off!!! Woods started the match with the bare 12 players and a hasty re-shuffle handed debut starts for Dene Gardner and Mandela Gbo as a new central midfield partnership.

What followed was not a pretty affair and on a difficult surface neither side managed to get the ball down and pass with any fluency or shape. Woods edged a scrappy first half and went in with a deserved 1-0 lead through Andre Swaries, who reacted first in the six-yard box to stab home a ball spilled by the home keeper following an excellent deep free kick delivery from Ricky Rogers wide on the right.

Woods spurned numerous other good chances with Stefan Khailat, returning from a three-match suspension picked up whilst playing for the reserves, proving the main protagonist. He marginally failed to reach a driven Kevin Lema cross/shot in the six yard box early on and flashed a shot wide on the end of a jinking run. Will Norris spared our blushes late on with a point blank save right on the line from a player unmarked far post from a deep cross from the right. Half-time 1-0.

The half-time message was simple - get the ball down and play the simple pass, but sadly matters got worse and as the half progressed the home side grew more and more in the ascendancy. The inevitable equaliser came on the hour when we failed to close down in the middle of the park and a long range effort was well saved by Will only for the Kintbury forward to react first and smash home the rebound. The next 10 minutes were like the Alamo, as Woods lost their shape and the home side looked very much favourite to go on a pinch a famous victory.

A combination of our woodwork and the heroics of Will Norris in goal somehow kept the scores level and the inevitable changes followed. Around 70 minutes Jonas Charles and AJ replaced Mandela Gbo & Charlie Creasy respectively in the midfield in an attempt to restore some shape and stability. This proved to be reasonably successfull and gradually Woods began to get a foot hold and retain some possession.

Against the run of play, from an initial corner which the home side defended and part cleared, AJ fired a cross to the far post, and Kevin Lema out muscled the full back to draw a fine piont blank save from the home keeper, which then fell to Ricky Rogers in the six yard box to smash home into the empty net. The last 10 minutes saw a real cup tie with the home side really pressing for a deserved equaliser and Woods hanging on.

The tie was settled late on when on the counter attack Kevin Lema, moved out wide following late introduction of Julian Cole for the tiring Andre Swaries, gambled from deep on a ball over the top, managing to win the race and nip in between defender and goalkeeper, to walk the ball into the empty net. Final score 3-1, which was very harsh on the home side and flattered Northwood, who clearly suffered following the long away journey and failed to produce anywhere near the level of performance they are capable of.
MOM - Will Norris (Goalkeeper)  -  Tells it All!!!!!!!