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Northwood 0  Binfield 3

Saturday 28th August 2021

 

NORTHWOOD
     
     
   
1 Montel Joseph ©    
2 Ryan Avery    
3 Aaron Petch    
4 Leo Decabo    
5 Arnold Linturn (60m)    
6 Gradi Milenge    
7 Shakeel Morris    
8 Declan Nche    
9 Ismael Ehui    
10 Matt Ayres (75m)    
11 Matteo Esposito (64m)    
Substitutes  
12 Ezekiel Williams    
14 Matt Surmon (60m)    
15 Tristan Noel (75m)    
16 Sam Coles (64m)    
17 Tom Unsworth    
 


Binfield: Harvey Rackley-Hayes, Jack Thomson-Wheeler, Elliot Legg (Jamie McClurg 68m), Jack Broome, Liam Gavin, Joe Gater , Ollie Harris, Kian Duncan, Sean Moore (Callum Bunting 82m), Liam  Tack (Joel Valentin 71m), Josh Helmore

   

The Woods went into their first home league game of the season buoyed by the confidence gained from their midweek FA Cup replay win but proved no match for newcomers Binfield who were playing their first-ever away game in the Isthmian League after their summer promotion.

Manager Ben Murray named an unchanged starting line-up for the third match in succession with just a couple of tweaks to the substitutes bench and the side started pretty well. Declan Nche tried an effort which flew well over the bar and on 12 minutes Matteo Esposito tested visiting goalkeeper Harvey Rackley-Hayes with a fine strike but the ‘keeper was equal to it with a flying save to tip the ball over the bar.

Binfield gradually made inroads themselves though Ollie Harris blazed over the bar from a good position but it all changed with one moment of madness after 20 minutes. Gradi Milenge knocked a ball back to Montel Joseph a bit too firmly and to his wrong foot and the Woods keeper’s first touch bounced kindly into the path of Binfield skipper Sean Moore who gratefully tapped into an empty net.

The Woods struggled to recover from the setback and the visitors grew in confidence themselves having suffered a shock FA Cup defeat at Northwood’s neighbours Harefield United a week earlier. On the half-hour, Esposito lost possession on the halfway line and a quick break saw Josh Helmore race down the left and knock in a far-post cross. Moore nodded the ball back into the danger-zone and it was Liam Tack who swept the ball home for 2-0.

Northwood could have hit back soon after this as Ismael Ehui was put through down the right channel but Rackley-Hayes did well to spread himself and make a fine save to stop the Woods getting back into the game before the break.

Photos by JAMES BROWN & LEN KERSWILL

It then went the other way on 40 minutes as Helmore again found plenty of room down the left to cut in and fire past Joseph at post near post to pretty much kill the game off at 3-0 before half-time.

The Woods set about trying to reduce the arrears in the second-half with Ehui working hard to bring his fellow attackers into the game but they were never quite on the same wavelength in this game and it was Binfield who created the better opportunities. Moore was denied by a good challenge from Nche and then Jack Broome skied his effort before changes were made – Matt Surmon replacing Arnie Linturn at the back and Sam Coles coming on for the out-of-sorts Esposito.

Joseph pulled off his best save of the match soon after this, clawing away a free header from Moore and the tall striker also headed over the bar on 70 minutes when it looked easier to score.

After 74 minutes, Shakeel Morris, having a very quiet game by his standards, found Ehui in the box and his shot flashed wide of the near post. The Woods were rallying a little and with ten minutes to go there was finally a shot on target as Rackley-Hayes was down to push away a low left-footed scuffed effort from Nche after a corner was half-cleared.

On 87 minutes, a good move saw full-back Ryan Avery with a chance on goal but his radar was missing with a shot that only just missed the corner-flag and then a late corner gave a headed chance which also flew over.

In the end, it proved a comfortable win for Binfield who took their gifted chances to take this match away from the Woods in the first-half and they looked good value for the three points.

Report by ALAN EVANS