Aveley 1  Northwood 1

23rd February 2009






Mitch Swain 1
Danny Power 2
Ryan Tackley 3
Mark Burgess (Capt.) 4
Michael Peacock 5
Bradley Hewitt 6
John Christian 7
Anthony Page 8
Rob Ursell 9
Solomon Henry 10
Gary Burrell 11
Danny Brown (10, 69m) 12
Hugo Figueiredo (9, 77m) 14
Lee Holland (2, 90m) 15
- 16
Simon Dean 17
Ryman League One North
Mill Field,
Kick Off
7.45 p.m.
Hewitt 26
Thomas 98
Henry, Power
Sent Off


1 James Marrable
2 Ryan Doyle
3 Sam Holloway
4 Matt Johnson
5 John Maskell
6 Richard Ketchell
7 Junior Dadson
8 Nicky Wettner
9 Neil Richmond
10 Petrit Elbi
11 Joao Carlos
12 Christian Wheeler
14 Glen Golby
15 Sean Thomas (10, 60m)
16 Leon Diaczuk  (2, 84m)
17 Bradley Barnes



Match Report
by Alan Evans


The Woods were denied all three points at Mill Field as leaders Aveley snatched a dramatic and very late equaliser in the eighth minute of stoppage-time at the end of an absorbing fixture.

Kyle Matthews was ruled out with injury so Rob Ursell, back from his exertions with the England Futsal side, took his place, while Ryan Tackley and Gary Burrell started in preference to Lee Holland and Hugo Figueiredo.

The Woods were full of confidence on the back of a long unbeaten league run which stretches back twelve matches and more than three months, while the Millers had lost just twice all season and were strong favourites for the title.

There was a talking point almost immediately as Solomon Henry, two-goal hero of Saturday’s victory over Maldon Town, caught home goalkeeper James Marrable when challenging for a through-ball. It was enough of a foul to warrant a yellow card, according to the Referee, though it looked accidental to those nearest to the action. After a four minute delay for treatment, play resumed and the home side tried to gain the upper hand with a couple of long-range strikes from Joao Carlos but without really threatening.

Northwood were playing some good attacking football of their own by now with probing runs from Ursell and Anthony Page, but it was Mark Burgess who was first to record a shot on goal, failing to hit the target from 20 yards.

The opening goal came after 27 minutes and was a result of a free-kick given rather fortuitously in Northwood’s favour. As the home side looked to clear a high ball inside their own half, Danny Power stuck his head in to the challenge and the kick was given for the high foot against him. Ryan Tackley knocked in a fine ball and Brad Hewitt guided a header gently over the ‘keeper and under the crossbar.

Just six minutes later, it could have been 2-0 as Page slid a ball through to Henry, who raced in on goal. He was about to pull the trigger when defender John Maskell slid in with a well-timed tackle to deny him.

Aveley’s best chance of the half followed almost immediately, as good work down the right from Petrit Elbi and Junior Dadson gave Neil Richmond a sight of goal at the near post but he scooped the ball over the top.

The Woods were happy to contain the home side for the remainder of the first half, with the Referee dropping a clear clanger when he only requested an extra two minutes of added time to be played.

The Millers came out for the second half with a renewed sense of purpose, and after 51 minutes Nicky Wettner fired in a good shot which Mitch Swain punched away.

Just a minute later, Ursell dummied a ball from John Christian which allowed Henry in on goal again, but though he lifted his shot over Marrable and into the net, play was pulled back for a very close offside decision.

After 61 minutes, Northwood again went close to extending their lead as Burrell knocked a ball through to Henry, and his shot had Marrable diving at full-length to push it away with a defender first to the loose ball and clear for a corner.

Three minutes later a long-throw from Power saw the home ‘keeper fumble his catch and Hewitt did well to find space for a shot which was well blocked by a defender and the recovering Marrable. From the resulting corner, the unfortunate custodian was flattened by his own defender and needed further lengthy treatment. Unluckily for Henry, he was close by and the Referee, guessing wrongly that he had been the culprit, was given another lecture and a warning to the effect that if he breathed in the wrong direction again he would be off.

It meant that Dave Anderson was pretty much forced into a substitution which took off Woods’ only forward, to be replaced by Danny Brown, with Burrell moving up front.

From then on, the Woods found it difficult to hold the ball in attack, and Aveley gradually built up the pressure, with Northwood’s defence slipping deeper and deeper. The Millers should have equalised, but missed two glorious chances with Richmond and Simon Thomas the main culprits, the latter flicking a shot wide just inches from goal.

Northwood defended heroically with some timely blocks and interceptions, while Swain was also in good form to repel several dangerous crosses into the danger-zone

The Referee was keen to make a game of it still, and awarded Aveley a couple of hotly-disputed free-kicks around the edge of the box, but they came to nothing as the ninety-minute mark arrived.

Then, more controversy as up went the number eight from the dugout area. Not for a substitution but to show that there was still plenty of time for the home side to get an equaliser. They needed every last drop of that eight minutes but get there they did. In the 98th minute a long ball dropped just over the head of Michael Peacock and into the path of Thomas, who took the ball past Hewitt at pace and showed a cool head to slot home and make it 1-1.

Even then, the Referee managed to find another couple of minutes to play and the Woods did force a corner thanks to the persistence of substitute Lee Holland but that came to nothing and finally the whistle blew to end the contest.

The first of three difficult away games in succession had seen the Woods just denied a win but still pick up a point and they now go to other play-off and title hopefuls East Thurrock United and Waltham Abbey in the space of four days, starting this Saturday with confidence intact.