NORTHWOOD FC   Saturday 13th April 2013   CHERTSEY FC

Evo-Stik Southern League Central Division

  Northwood 2  Chertsey 3   

Basmel 6, Thomas 65

Carr 36, Knight 40, Kabuye 54

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 James Reading     1 Gary Ross
2 Scott Raper     2 Daniel Cox
3 Lee Grant     3 Steve Brown
4 Brad Hewitt     4 Mike Siemak
5 Reece Yorke     5 Matt Morris
6 Mark Burgess (82m)     6 Matt Powell
7 Jon-Jo Bates     7 Arafat Kabuye (80m)
8 Craig White     8 Rob Carrick
9 Hallelujah Beslem(59m)     9 Mark Knight
10 Oliver Hawkins     10 John Pomroy
11 Reon Thomas     11 Ricky Hodgson (71m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Adil Salih (82m)     12 John Pomroy (80m)
14 Niko Muir (59m)     14 Chris Payne (71m)
15 Lewis Davis     15 Ricky Hodgson
16 Ryan Phillips     16 Neil Woodyer
17 Juan Onieva     17 David Johnston
      Referee: Jon Panconi; Assistants: Phil Wilkinson & John McGroary      
  REPORT by Alan Evans     PHOTOS by James Brown  

The Woods threw away their chance of continuing with their recent winning form in a mad six minute spell towards the end of the first-half as Chertsey Town completed a quick-fire “double” over ten-man Northwood. Reon Thomas was given a start in place of Niko Muir, while several others remained sidelined but the Woods started well and had already gone close through an Oliver Hawkins header when they took a sixth minute lead. Thomas sprinted down the left and knocked in the perfect cross to be met by a firm header from young striker Hallelujah Basmel who gave goalkeeper Gary Ross no chance.

Basmel also showed he could provide the ammunition too when he crossed for Hawkins to have a header saved by Ross while Jon Jo Bates fired one effort wide before he looked to have scored after latching onto a Hawkins knock-down but Ross pulled off a fine diving save to deny him. Chertsey also picked up several early bookings as they struggled to cope with the pace and movement from the Woods front-line but they continued to stay in the game as Hawkins headed over from an excellent Lee Grant cross.

Rob Carrick finally forced James Reading into action with a long-range shot after 35 minutes but the game was about to turn. Just a minute later, Rob Carr twisted into the box and let fly with a shot which came crashing back off the bar. While the defence were slow to react Carr was quickest to slam home the loose ball and level the scores.

Four minutes later, a quick break released top scorer Mark Knight and although his effort was blocked for a corner by Brad Hewitt, when the flag-kick was knocked in, it was Knight who met it at the near-post with a neat flicked header and Chertsey were suddenly in front. A minute later, Scott Raper attacked and was fouled by a poor Carrick tackle out wide but reacted uncharacteristically by kicking the culprit in the back of the legs and was rightly sent-off leaving the Woods with a real mountain to climb for the second half.

But they started brightly after the break, with Craig White forcing Ross into an early save and then Bates sped onto a great pass from Mark Burgess but again the ‘keeper was out quickly to save at his feet.
Chertsey countered again though and increased their lead when Arafat Kabuye cut in from the left and neatly curled a shot across Reading and inside the far post for an excellent finish which surely won the game for his side.
The pressure continued, though, with the Woods making light of their lesser numbers and after Hawkins had seen a weak effort comfortably saved, Northwood did get back into the game after 65 minutes. A chip forward caught out the Chertsey defence and Thomas managed to get his toe to the bouncing ball which lifted it over Ross and into an empty net.  

After 73 minutes another attack saw Northwood moved the ball dangerously around the area and when Thomas shaped to shoot he was hacked down for a penalty. The Woods failure from the penalty-spot this season has been well-documented and the three minute delay while Thomas was treated probably didn’t help the nerves as Reece Yorke waited to take the kick that would level things up. He fired his kick down the middle, Ross dived to his right but the ball hit his trailing foot and the loose ball was cleared by a grateful defence.

Heads went down for a while, but the Woods came on strongly again in the closing ten minutes. Bates hit a shot which was always going wide but then substitute Adil Salih knocked in a great cross which appeared to give Thomas a real chance but the ball hit him and bounced straight to the ‘keeper.

Time was running out in the third minute of stoppage-time when Bates tried his luck from distance but Ross continued to earn his man of the match plaudits by saving well and keeping Chertsey in front to the end.