BARTON ROVERS   Saturday 20th October 2012   NORTHWOOD FC

Evo-Stik Southern League Central Division

  Barton Rovers 2  Northwood 1   

Lansiquot 8, Case 40

Ajayi 23

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Richard Wilmot     1 James Reading
2 Rhys Hoenes     2 Danny McDonnell 
3 Phil Smeaton     3 Ryan Phillips (57m)
4 Tommy Hull     4 Brad Hewitt
5 Paul Andrews     5 Reece Yorke
6 Nick Leach     6 John Christian
7 Ricky Case (77m)     7 Jack Hutchinson
8 Anton Blackwood     8 James McCluskey (57m)
9 James Bent     9 Oliver Hawkins
10 Aaron Lansiquot (84m)     10 Adamson Ajayi (71m)
11 Colm Kierans     11 Romaine Walker
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Sam James (84m)     12 Lee Grant (57m)
14 Johnny MacNamara     14 Craig White
15 Dylan Gittens (77m)     15 Dean Worman
16 Luke Rowland     16 Spencer Bellotti (71m) 
17 Pete Duffy     17 Leon Osei (57m)
      Referee: Nigel Phillips; Assistants: Matthew Lawrence & Richard Hart      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  

Northwood often save their worst performance of the season for trips to Sharpenhoe Road and this was no different as they succumbed meekly to a determined Barton Rovers side that ended a run of ten successive defeats. Manager Gary Meakin kept faith with the starting line-up that had beaten Woodford United convincingly last weekend but they never played with any kind of tempo or fluency in this poor show.

After a good move in just the second minute had seen Ryan Phillips and Adamson Ajayi combine to put Romaine Walker in on goal, the winger chipped to Oliver Hawkins at the far post but he couldn’t reach it. He rescued the ball and cut it back to James McCluskey who fell over the ball under pressure. Barton then took the lead after eight minutes in their very first attack and, inevitably, it was former Woods striker Aaron Lansiquot who fired them in front, cutting in and hitting a low shot past James Reading.

Northwood appeared to have little idea of how to attack down the hill and it was Rovers who looked most likely to score again with Ricky Case finding plenty of space with good movement around the box. Yet, it was the Woods who levelled after 23 minutes when Jack Hutchinson did well to get to the bye-line and cut the ball back for Ajayi to volley home neatly.

Reading saved with his legs to deny a long-range effort from Rhys Hoenes while Oliver Hawkins got on the end of a Danny McDonnell through-ball but shot wide of the post. Hawkins then got a good head on the end of a McCluskey corner but goalkeeper Richard Wilmot collected it comfortably and it was Barton who then finished the half on top again.

After 34 minutes Lansiquot skipped past Phillips and hit a first-time shot which was always going just wide before Hoenes had a near-post effort blocked by Reading at the near-post. Rovers then regained the lead after 41 minutes when advantage was played following a foul by McCluskey in the centre and the quick break stretched the Woods defence. When the ball came in, Case had time to turn and fire past Reading to make it 2-1. Case almost notched a second two minutes later when set up by Lansiquot but he hit his shot straight at Reading, who saved well.

Northwood needed to hit back quickly in the second-half if they were to rescue the game and Hutchinson got forward quickly but shot wide. Then the game turned inside a few minutes. McDonnell was rather harshly booked after winning a tackle against the marauding Phil Smeaton but then, just a couple of minutes later, made a stupid scything attempt to tackle the same player with a second yellow the only option for the referee.

Down to ten men, Meakin made immediate changes by bringing on Lee Grant and the returning Leon Osei for Phillips and McCluskey and switching to an adventurous formation. They were almost immediately rewarded as Grant and Osei combined to put Ajayi into the box but his cross into the danger-zone found John Christian unable to get a shot off.

Though the Woods huffed and puffed in their attempts to get back into the game, there was little quality about their attacks and accurate passing was certainly lacking. Gambling on numbers upfield, with Spencer Bellotti also introduced for Ajayi, it left the defence open to counter-attacks and in fact Barton looked more likely to add to the scoreline. After a foul on Christian was ignored, the home side broke quickly but wasted the opportunity and a good effort from substitute Sam James was palmed away by Reading.

Northwood now have to pick themselves up for the tough away trip to Rugby Town on Tuesday night. The Warwickshire side are unbeaten in six matches.