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Northwood U18 3  Wealdstone U18 3

Thursday 21st January 2016

 

NORTHWOOD UNDER 18 Ryman Youth League
 
 
   
Team line-up

 

1 Charley McInerney
2 Rowland Smith
3 Matt Parsons
4 Will Holland
5 Albie Shehan-Cozens
6 Dylan Noble
7 Runako Connell
8 Dylan Louis
9 Freddie Buckley
10 Jack McDonnell  
11 Jamie Roche  
Substitutes  
12 Elliot Wells  
14 Pearse White  
15 Youel Emmanuel  
16 Ross Keogh  
17 Michael Brown  
     

After the cold frosty last few days, a thaw gave the opportunity for our first game on grass for five weeks; the pitch was in good shape but a little soft on top. Once again, there were one or two late arrivals to the requested Northwood meet time, but the remarkable fact of the evening was the number of players who arrived believing the pitch was going to be quite hard and brought only moulded boots. 

Louis Moriarty was injured and Myles Martin unavailable, but apart from that we had pretty much a full squad to select from. Runako Connell was selected for his Ryman League debut after joining us from Wembley FC during the week.

Wealdstone had the best of the early possession, they were more creative, their movement off the ball was better, and on 15 minutes, created the first real scoring opportunity, Number 9 Ali cutting inside of Matt Parsons, driving into the box, but shooting over the Woods bar. Rawn Seale took possession from a Tyrece Wolfe throw on the Northwood right, cut back inside and drove a low shot which was well saved by Charley McInerney. The first Northwood chance went to Jack McDonnell on 20 minutes after Rowland Smith slipped the ball up the line, Runako moved the ball inside to Jack, who only managed to hit the side netting. Jamie had a few opportunities but ruled just offside; he and Freddie were getting a little frustrated. Northwood had to improve the quality and speed of their passing.

Northwood should have taken the lead on 35 minutes, a Jack McDonnell free kick to the back post found the unmarked Albie Sheham-Cozens, but he only managed to hit the outside of the post. Wealdstone still playing the more fluent football and took the lead on 43 minutes, when Liam Brannagan converted a spot kick after Charley McInerney had taken down a Wealdstone attacker going away from goal. On reflection a fair half time score line on the run of play. 0-1.

The second half was not four minutes old when Wealdstone scored their second, Stanley Anum converting a good through ball after Northwood lost possession in the opponents’ half. This galvanised Northwood and for the first time in the match they were confident in possession, winning first phase, above all the  communication was better and it wasn’t long before Jack Fosberry in the Wealdstone goal was called into real action, a Freddie Buckley low shot well saved low to his right.

Michael Brown came on at centre forward on 60 minutes and the Freddie pushed out to the right, Northwood calculating that a 4-3-3 would improve attacking options. This worked, and on 63 minutes a through ball cleared by Wealdstone only found  Jamie Roche, a former Wealdstone player, who chipped the visiting keeper to make it 1-2 . Not long after that Albie Shehan won the ball in defence and made his way past several Stones challenges before trying to slide Freddie Buckly into the box, what could have been 2-2 ended with a Ben Jones interception who found Rawn Seale, who should have been marked much tighter. Rawn’s control and mazy run through two Northwood defenders ended in an accurately placed shot into the far corner of the Northwood net: 1-3.

Although it was a quality finish, it was poor defending. The game was end to end, chance after chance to both sides, Wealdstone having a shot cleared off the line, a miraculous stop by Rowland Smith after a great save by Charley McInerney kept Northwood in the game. By now Northwood had three strikers on the field, Elliot Wells, Michael Brown and Freddie Buckley. In the final 15 minutes Northwood bombarded the Wealdstone goal, and Pearse White grabbed his first of the season on 86 minutes when a cross from Freddie directed to Michael Brown was cleared by Ben Jones, Pearse finishing well at the back post.

Michael Brown was back to his best, with some great runs down the left.  Freddie Buckley had another shot cleared off the line on 88 minutes, what drama!! Wealdstone seemed comfortable at 3-1, so  when Jack McDonnell was sent through by Will Holland, the keeper saved only for Freddie to follow up and make it 3–3 on 89 minutes...but still more drama to come! In the last minute a through ball from Jack McDonnell found Freddie one on one, but he pushed the ball agonisingly just past the Stones’ post.

It was a great second half which had coaches and spectators on both sides applauding the skill, energy, and commitment from both sets of players - true entertainment value! The massive positive is that the goal drought is over with 10 goals scored in the last three games. It took real determination to get back into this game and I praise all the players for their hard work – well done boys!
MOTM: Freddie Buckley

Report by GARRY MORIARTY