Northwood 4  Bury Town 3

18th March 2008


Mitch Swain 1
Lee Holland 2
Ryan Tackley 3
John Christian 4
Bradley Hewitt 5
Danny Murphy (Capt.) 6
Michael Gordon 7
Rodney Hicks 8
Matt Baxter 9
Sean Sonner 10
Abdul Yoki 11
Bill Fishenden (GK) 12
Rico Grimm (10) 14
Jerome Hall 15
Gary Edwards 16
Manny Sackey (6) 17
Ryman League One North
Chestnut Avenue,
Kick Off
7.45 p.m.
Baxter 16, 26, 66, Tackley 45
Barrett 27, 79, Bugg 41
Sent Off

Bury Town

1 Dean Greygoose
2 Stuart Walker
3 Ashley Sloots
4 Michael Steward
5 Gavin Johnson
6 Tom Bullard (Capt.)
7 Lee Smith
8 Daniel Cornwell
9 Sam Reed
10 Liam Barrett
11 Steve Bugg
12 Ryan Foster (4)
14 Scott Chaplin
15 Joji Kawaguchi
16 Luke Bailey (3)
17 Sean Greygoose (GK)



Match Report
by Alan Evans

On-loan striker Matt Baxter bagged a hat-trick despite missing a penalty as the Woods dented Bury Town’s play-off hopes with this entertaining victory by the odd goal in seven.

The striker had a good few days, scoring his first goal for the club at Wivenhoe on Saturday, celebrating his 20th birthday on Sunday, and then claiming his first Ryman League hat-trick.

Colin Payne made just one change from the starting line-up, with recent signing Rodney Hicks making his starting debut in place of Dwane Williams, who had picked up a knock late in the game at the weekend.

It was a very fast and open contest from the start with both sides playing plenty of attacking football, but neither managed to threaten a goal until the Woods took a 16th minute lead. Abdul Yoki made strides down the left and sent over a deep cross which was retrieved by Michael Gordon. He chipped the ball back across and there was Baxter, ghosting in to head home.

Bury looked to hit back and went close after 25 minutes when a free-kick was played short to former Colchester United defender Gavin Johnson, who fired a low shot which Mitch Swain did well to get down to and hold.

Within a minute, Northwood extended the lead when an excellent header forward from John Christian saw Baxter steal in and cleverly lob goalkeeper Dean Greygoose from the edge of the penalty area.

This time, the response from the Suffolk side was more emphatic. Just a minute later, an attempted punch-out of a corner from Swain dropped to Daniel Cornwell just outside the box and he hit a fierce drive which Bradley Hewitt managed to clear off the line.

Then, on 29 minutes, another cross from Lee Smith saw Liam Barrett get in front of Swain to steer a header into an empty net to make it 2-1.

Back came Northwood again, though, with a long ball from Lee Holland setting Sean Sonner away, and he burst into the box only to be tripped from behind by Tom Bullard.

A yellow card and a penalty was the decision, the Woods’ first in the league this season, but Baxter, with a fifteen minute hat-trick beckoning, saw his kick saved low down by Greygoose, the 43-year-old former Crewe ‘keeper defying his years with his initial save, and then his kicking away of the ball as it invitingly ran back towards Baxter.

Bury stormed forward again, with top scorer Sam Reed having a good shot on the turn well saved by Swain and then Cornwell drove a shot wide of the target. When Smith had a shot deflected wide for a corner, the ball was only half-cleared and Steve Bugg was able to head home Stuart Walker’s ball back into the box.

As had happened after each goal, the play suddenly switched back to the other side and the Woods attacked right up to half-time. With just seconds to go to the break, a perfectly-flighted Danny Murphy corner was met by Ryan Tackley, who steered his header back across goal and just under the crossbar.

It had been an action-packed opening forty-five minutes, but it showed no signs of stopping when play restarted as the Woods were quickly back on the attack.

After 47 minutes a cross from Christian slid across the six-yard box with neither Baxter or Sonner able to get the required touch. Yoki retrieved the ball and set up Murphy for a shot which was well stopped. The ‘keeper also kept out a Baxter effort a minute later and then it was Bury’s turn to surge forward.

Northwood were fortunate when Bugg’s header came back off the crossbar and into Swain’s hands and then, in quick succession, Smith chipped wide after a good move from Johnson and Reed hit a poor shot after taking advantage of Swain’s hesitation to come for a through ball.

But the Woods still looked dangerous on the counter-attack and they increased their lead after 66 minutes when Gordon beat his marker to whip in a cross which Baxter chested over the line to finally complete his hat-trick.

The young striker almost added a fourth in similar circumstances ten minutes later when he latched onto another pull-back from Gordon, but this time he steered his shot across the face and just wide of the far post.

After 79 minutes, Bury were suddenly back in with a shout though as Murphy blotted an otherwise excellent game by upending Barrett just inside the box. The youngster picked himself up to fire home his second from the penalty-spot, and at 4-3 it was suddenly all to play for in the final ten minutes.

Thankfully for the home supporters, the defence looked strong in those closing stages and it was actually Northwood who came close to adding to the score after 83 minutes when Sonner flicked on a Murphy corner and Tackley, looking for his second of the game, saw his effort from six yards blocked and scrambled away to safety.

So things continue to improve on the pitch for Colin Payne’s side, with just two defeats in their last eighteen league games, and those were to the two sides battling it out for the title.