AYLESBURY UNITED   Saturday 25th August 2012   NORTHWOOD FC

FA Cup Preliminary Round

  Aylesbury United 2  Northwood 5   

Sawyers 77, Yorke og 89

Hutchinson 13, 56,
Walker 30, 67, Yorke 68

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Jack Sillitoe     1 James Reading
2 Lee Bircham (59m)     2 Scott Raper (69m)
3 Zack Reynolds     3 Danny McDonnell
4 Jack Wood     4 Brad Hewitt
5 John Mulholland (69m)     5 Reece Yorke
6 Ben Baines     6 John Christian
7 Warren Garcia     7 Jack Hutchinson (72m)
8 Joey Acheampong     8 Craig White
9 Ian Cooper (71m)     9 Oliver Hawkins (61m)
10 Stacey Field     10 Spencer Bellotti
11 Steve Hatch     11 Romaine Walker
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Greg Williams (59m)     12 Dean Worman
14 Marcus Sawyers (71m)     13 Mitch Swain
15 Craig Townsend (69m)     14 Ricky Rogers (61m)
16 Tony Joyce     15 James Fraser (69m)
17 Tom Barnett     16 Victor Asombang (72m)
      Referee: R Smith; Assistants: P Parkins & J Killen      
  REPORT by Ken Green      PHOTOS by James Brown  

The Woods moved comfortably into the first qualifying round of the FA Cup with Budweiser when they ran out 5-2 winners against Aylesbury United, but not before the Spartan South Midland Leaguers had caused them plenty of problems, particularly during the opening stages of the game. United were unbeaten so far this season, with seven points from three games and a 4-1 win over Enfield in the extra preliminary round.

Northwood manager Gary Meakin gave a starting debut to ex-QPR full-back Danny McDonnell, who replaced former skipper Ronayne Marsh-Brown, who has been released. Reece Yorke wore the skipper’s armband as Lee Grant was again ruled out through injury, and there was a seasonal first start for Spencer Bellotti in attack.

Woods started promisingly, and when Scott Raper linked with Jack Hutchinson, the latter fired in a dangerous low cross but Bellotti narrowly failed to connect. But as the home side pushed forwards, a poor clearance from Scott Raper went straight to Ian Cooper, who should have done better than blazing wildly high.

On 12 minutes home full-back Lee Bircham was booked for upending Romaine Walker in a midfield position. The free-kick was quickly pushed to young Jack Hutchinson, who had time and space to take a quick touch before driving a 25-yard shot into the bottom corner of Jack Sillitoe’s net to give Woods the lead.

A few minutes later Aylesbury threatened again when Stacey Field knocked the ball goalwards from a difficult angle on the right, and James Reading was relieved when it landed on the roof of his net. But as the game progressed Northwood took tighter control of the proceedings, and when the busy Hutchinson drove forwards on the right flank, his cross found Oliver Hawkins, whose flicked header was destined for the bottom corner before Sillitoe made an fine diving save.

Bellotti had a good effort charged down, whilst at the other end an effort from Ben Baines was deflected wide by Raper. Then on the half hour Christian played a neat ball through to Walker, who took it in his stride before letting fly from the edge of the box and into the far corner of Sillitoe’s goal, and Woods were two goals to the good.

Seven minutes from the break Hutchinson went close to grabbing a third goal when he hit a 20-yarder which curled just the wrong side of the post. Straight after the restart Aylesbury signalled their intention to make a match of it when Cooper got forwards quickly and turned in the box, where the impressive stand-in skipper Reece Yorke snuffed out the danger.

A quick break eleven minutes into the second period just about ended the game as a contest; Hawkins and Walker were involved in setting Hutchinson free on the right flank, and he drove in a cross-shot which narrowly eluded the head of Bellotti – but also eluded keeper Sillitoe and found its way into the net for Northwood’s third goal.

Woods were flying now, and a corner found Christian, whose volley was just off target. Hutchinson, Bellotti and substitute Ricky Rogers were involved in another flowing move, and only a brilliant Sillitoe save prevented another goal. But goal number four did arrive in the 67th minute. A long ball from Raper on the right found Walker out on the left, and he shimmied towards goal in familiar style before shooting home.

A minute later it was 5-0, a quick free-kick finding Yorke at the right of the goal, and the centre-half’s powerful effort soon nestled in Sillitoe’s net. Gary Meakin made some substitutions in the closing stages, and on 75 minutes former Northwood reserve player Marcus Sawyers curled home a fine effort for United.

There could have been a sixth for Northwood, when Christian thumped an effort against the post, then Woods were reduced to ten men when Spencer Bellotti was forced off with an ankle injury. Two minutes from the end Aylesbury scored a second consolation when Warren Garcia got in a shot following a corner, and the ball deflected off Yorke to find its way into Reading’s net. And still there was time for Meakin’s men to threaten number six, James Fraser getting through the middle only to send his shot narrowly the wrong side of the post.

The Woods can be pleased with a decent FA Cup victory after the disappointment of two opening Southern League defeats, and can look forward to a first qualifying round tie at Premier Division Chesham United on Saturday week.