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Northwood 0  Basingstoke Town 1

Tuesday 19th October 2021

 

NORTHWOOD
     
     
   
1 Dan Purdue    
2 Adam Cash ©    
3 Pablo Velasco    
4 C J Fearn    
5 James Gurteen    
6 Ryan Avery    
7 Shakeel Morris    
8 Matt Ayres    
9 Ismael Ehui (66m)    
10 Leo Decabo (66m)    
11 Gio Palmer (83m)    
Substitutes  
12 Sam Coles (66m)    
14 Matteo Esposito (66m)    
15 Matt Surmon    
16 Arnold Linturn    
17 Declan Nche (83m)    
 


Basingstoke: Paul Strudley, Daniel Williamson, Aiden Lewis, Anton Rodgers , Nathan Smart, Daryl Wollers, Dandre Brown, Benjamin Cook (Mckoy Palmer 88m), Conor Lynch (Stefan Brown 79m), Bradley Wilson (George Reid 71m), Simon Dunn

   

Battling Northwood slipped to a second home defeat in four days as unbeaten Basingstoke claimed the points with a single goal win in monsoon conditions at the Fenton Civil Engineering Stadium.

There was one change from the team which started in the weekend defeat against Sutton Common Rovers with Farnborough loanee CJ Fearn coming into the midfield with Declan Nche reverting to the bench.
The contest began with rain sweeping across the pitch but undeterred, the hosts were quickly into their stride as Shakeel Morris had an early shot which was dealt with by visiting keeper Paul Strudley before the latter turned away Ismael Ehui ‘s free-kick with the faintest of touches which was missed by the match officials.

Having been on the defensive in the opening minutes, Basingstoke began to show their credentials by putting Northwood under a sustained spell of pressure – Brad Wilson going close on a couple of occasions while D’Andre Brown tried his luck from distance before Conor Lynch headed narrowly over.

Woods withstood the Dragons’ pressure, maintaining a solid shape which was underpinned by the three-man central defensive unit with the added protection provided by Fearn as he sat in front. And this provided a platform for Northwood to ask further questions of the Basingstoke rearguard as Morris was ushered off the ball in the box amid appeals for a possible infringement before the same player was set up beautifully by Fearn, but Strudley got down well to keep out the low shot.

Both sides continued to make light of the unrelenting wind and rain with the superb playing surface standing up to the test and there were chances at either end before the close of an entertaining half – Fearn making a timely block to divert Lynch’s goalward shot before Strudley was quickly off his line to deny Morris as he looked to latch onto Decabo’s through-ball.

The home side had a good chance early in the second half; Ehui should have done better when he leant back and shot over from good position after being teed up by Morris.

Having more than matched their highly fancied opponents in the opening period, it was disappointing for Woods to concede so early after the restart, James Gurteen misjudging an attempted interception affording Ben Cook the opportunity to send over a pinpoint cross which was delightfully met on the volley by Lynch to put the Dragons ahead on 50 minutes.

Buoyed by the goal, Basingstoke went close to adding a second as Northwood conceded possession in a dangerous position, Wilson not far away with a curling shot which cleared the far upright.

Woods made a double substitution on 67 minutes with Sam Coles replacing a struggling Ehui and Decabo making way for Matteo Esposito. And the hosts regrouped as they looked to get back in the game, Fearn seeing his long-range shot well saved by Strudley.

Northwood proceeded to enjoy plenty of possession but the final ball was lacking the necessary quality to beat a well drilled defensive unit who are well versed in keeping clean sheets. The hard-working Gio Palmer left the field on 83 minutes with Nche his replacement, the final throw of the dice for Woods as they looked for the goal which their performance warranted.

Sadly, there was to be no reward for Northwood on an ultimately frustrating evening. Lots of positives to take away from the game but Woods know they need to start getting points on the board as they contemplate a weekend trip to the Channel Islands and the club’s first visit to Guernsey.

Report by ROBIN PIPER