Wednesday 14 November 2007
Isthmian Veterans Cup First Round

Woods supporters were treated to a trip down memory lane as the Northwood Veterans took on their Molesey counterparts in the Isthmian League Veterans Cup. The Woods line-up, under the watchful eye of manager Geoff Foster, contained an abundance of former favourites from the last twenty years, whose combined appearances for the club totalled over 1500, whilst accounting for more than 300 goals!!

And it was a marksman of recent times who led the way with four goals, Steve Hale showing all his old predatory skills to ensure Woods a safe passage into the next round, where they will meet cup holders Metropolitan Police. However, the evening wasn’t so memorable for two of the “old boys” as Jeremy Billins and Lee Randall succumbed to injury inside the opening ten minutes.

Northwood goalkeeper Ken Lavender was soon in the action and he rolled back the years with a smart save to deny Andy Cortell. Woods were generally playing the more composed football and they deservedly took the lead on 15 minutes, Garfield Blackman crossing for Hale, who shot home from close-range.

Dave Nolan was seeing plenty of the ball on the right flank but he showed all his customary prowess in front of goal as he shot wide with only ‘keeper Dave Elberwhite to beat following a mazy run into the box!! But after soaking up the Northwood pressure, Molesey created a couple of openings before the half-time break, Paul Scapton shooting over when well placed, whilst Cortell saw his shot from the edge of the tipped over the crossbar by Lavender.

Woods came out strongly after the break, the half-time oxygen working wonders. Dave Fox shot against the crossbar for Northwood before Hale headed wide from Paul Rogan’s cross. Blackman was the next to go close for Woods as he latched onto Steve Payton’s through-ball but he shot across the face of goal from an acute angle. However, Northwood weren’t to be denied and Hale scored his second of the evening on 54 minutes after good work from Rogan.

Molesey looked for a way back into the game, and they weren’t far away from breaking their duck as Tony Fisher sent a diving header narrowly wide of the upright. But Northwood were looking increasingly dangerous as Molesey began to tire. Elberwhite pulled off a flying save to divert Fox’s fierce drive, whilst defender Andy Pimm bravely blocked Andy Edey’s goal-bound shot.

However, the Northwood pressure finally told as Hale added to his brace with two further goals in the 74th and 76th minutes, Nolan and Blackman providing the respective assists. The Northwood rearguard remained resolute with the central defence pairing of Gary Williams and Paul Watkins determined to ensure a clean sheet on their return to Chestnut Avenue. And so the score-line remained, with Richard Elderfield and Ged O’Loughlin fully playing their part in a fine team effort to ensure a successful debut in the Isthmian Veterans Cup.

Northwood: Ken Lavender, Steve Payton, Lee Randall, Gary Williams, Paul Watkins, Dave Nolan, Paul Rogan, Jeremy Billins, Andy Edey, Garfield Blackman, Steve Hale, Richard Elderfield, Dave Fox, Ged O’Loughlin.

Molesey: Dave Elberwhite, John Norton, Dean Webb, Andy Gayson, Andy Pimm, Peter Lelliot, John Ford, Andy Boxall, Bryan Littleproud, Andy Cortell, Paul Scapton, Kevin Sweeney, Steve Arndt, Tony Fisher, Lee Barringer