Northwood 0  Harrow Borough 1

Thursday 28th July 2011


Sam Styles
Aaron Silcott
Daryl Brown
Liam Fowler
Peter Lyall
Warren Gladdy
Ashley Harewood
James McCluskey
Oliver Hawkins
Richard Worrell
Rob Ursell
Lee Grant (3, 6m)
Scott Raper (2, 46m)
Sam Sharples (8, 46m)
Garry Senior (9, 60m)
Aaron Lansiquot (7, 46m)
Murray Williamson (6, 65m)
Byron Bubb (10, 46m)
Jack Hutchinson (11, 75m)
Tony Russell (1, 46m)

Gary Meakin’s side continued their preparations for the new campaign with a hard fought contest with Ryman Premier League side Harrow Borough, managed by former Woods manager Dave Anderson, who recently succeeded long serving Borough favourite David Howell at Earlsmead.

The game featured the return in the centre of defence for Peter Lyall, a man who featured on a few occasions for Northwood towards the back end of last season, and in Scott Orphanou a return to Chestnut Avenue a few months after departing. Orphanou had his contract terminated by mutual consent, and subsequently landed himself a trial with Harrow Borough. His performance in this game would not have done his chances of gaining a contract any harm.

The match began with a very high tempo as both sides set about trying to stamp their authority on the proceedings. Northwood have had a good pre season to date with 2 wins and 2 draws, scoring 17 goals in the process but this would undoubtedly provide their greatest challenge to date.

Northwood were playing very neat interchange passes, with as expected, midfield maestro Rob Ursell pulling the strings. Northwood suffered a blow very early on however when new signing Darryl Brown was replaced after only a few minutes by ex Bedfont Town man Lee Grant at left back. Harrow were finding a lot of space, as Aaron Silcott was often getting caught infield, and it was that space exploited down the left that ultimately led to Borough being a goal to the good. Ronayne Marsh–Brown played the ball inside and Scott Orphanou found space before unleashing a seemingly nothing shot which Sam Styles could only parry into the net. An uncharacteristic error by Styles who has performed well since his move from Oxhey Jets.

A couple of minutes later and Harrow should have been further in front when a long throw by Marsh–Brown was flicked down by Orphanou into the path of Daniel McGonigle who somehow dragged his shot wide from about 4 yards out. Harrow were dominating proceedings and Northwood were struggling to get hold of the ball, as Borough were carving out ball after ball on a lovely playing surface at Chestnut Avenue. Borough were unfortunate not to add to their lead when Marsh–Brown played through an advancing midfielder who got ahead of Liam Fowler and finished beautifully into the bottom corner, only for the linesman to raise his flag for offside, the decision was unfortunate on the visitors as it was marginal call – Northwood definitely the beneficiary there.

Northwood’s best chance of the first half fell to Richard Worrell who, after being played in by James McCluskey, found some space, and was through 1 on 1 only to curl his shot over. In truth he should have done a lot better. Aaron Silcott was then yellow carded after a series of late lunges; frustration was definitely kicking in for the Woods.

Meakin made a number of changes at the interval with Scott Raper, Aaron Lansiquot, Sam Sharples and Tony Russell coming on. But the second half started just like the first did, with Borough having plenty of the ball  and after Fowler had brought down a Harrow attacker, a free kick was awarded. The free-kick was whipped in with some menace and power and was unlucky not to find the top corner as it crashed off the bar. Northwood’s best chance of the second half fell to Garry Senior who beat the offside trap and was played through, only for him to rush his shot, as he unleashed from well outside the box – his tame effort crept wide. It was a big moment in the game, because Senior could have taken it into the box – it was a chance Northwood would rue.

Harrow Borough then felt they should have had a penalty when Warren Gladdy brought down Davies only for the referee to wave play on. Lansiquot was then played through by Player of the Year Scott Raper, but was challenged well by the goalkeeper, just as he was about to get his shot away. Tony Russell was then forced into action in the Northwood goal when he superbly kept out a point blank header.

Ultimately however, Northwood were below par. They couldn’t really get themselves into the game and failed to land sufficient attempts on goal. Harrow were the ones who controlled the midfield and in truth they should have put the game to bed before the break. Northwood however will look back to the Worrell chance of the first-half and the Senior opportunity of the second as their key moments.

Northwood’s pre season to date has been excellent, but this has without a doubt provided the toughest challenge to date. There will be more tests in the next 4 pre season matches, as the Woods play 3 games against higher opposition, but it gives Meakin a great chance to get his squad into shape in time for August 13th.