CHESHAM UNITED   Saturday 8th September 2012   NORTHWOOD FC

FA Cup with Budweiser First Qualifying Round

  Chesham United 0   Northwood 1   


Walker 80

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Shane Gore     1 James Reading
2 Scott Thomas     2 Scott Raper
3 Daniel Braithwaite     3 Ryan Phillips
4 Mark Lambert (81m)     4 Brad Hewitt
5 Rob Bartley     5 Reece Yorke
6 Danny Talbot     6 John Christian
7 Dave Fotheringham     7 Jack Hutchinson (90m)
8 James Potton (86m)     8 Craig White
9 Michael Chennelle     9 Spencer Bellotti
10 Simon Thomas     10 Adamson Ajayi (94m)
11 Bruce Wilson (70m)     11 Romaine Walker (88m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Matt Lench (86m)     12 Ricky Rogers (94m)
14 Sam Barker (70m)     14 Lee Grant
15 Tim Shaw     15 Dean Worman
16 Claude Seanla (81m)     16 Oliver Hawkins (90m)
17 Joe O'Donoghue     17 Danny McDonnell
18 Max Farrelly     18 Kyle Matthews
19 -     19 James Fraser (88m)
      Referee: C O'Donnell; Assistants: J Wynne & A Rayment      
  REPORT by Alan Evans      PHOTOS by James Brown  

A late penalty was enough to see the Woods through to the next round of the FA Cup at the expense of top Southern League Premier side Chesham United. The Generals missed out on promotion in the play-off last season and had started the new campaign very positively, lying in second place with a 100% home record to date. Add to that the 6-0 League Cup defeat that Chesham inflicted on the Woods back in January and everything suggested that the home side were right to be confident of a comfortable victory.

There was little in the first twenty minutes that suggested otherwise, as Chesham dominated the early stages. After eight minutes a good attacking move saw James Potton set up Simon Thomas for a chance but he hit a poor shot across the goal and wide. Northwood forced a corner on their first attack two minutes later and when Potton’s clearing header dropped to Reece Yorke just outside the box he tried his luck with a powerful volley but it was never likely to test goalkeeper Shane Gore.

Though the Generals had enjoyed plenty of possession, the Woods were defending stoutly but after 14 minutes John Christian lost the ball in midfield and Bruce Wilson quickly threaded a ball through to Michael Chennells, who curled a shot goalwards but it finished well wide of the target. Two minutes later a deep cross by Wilson found Potton with a free header and he looked certain to score, but the Woods had a let-off as the ball crashed down off the crossbar and goalkeeper James Reading gratefully gathered the rebound.

Just after this Adamson Ajayi was dispossessed and Chennells quickly fed Potton who raced into the box and fired towards goal but Reading had narrowed the angle well and blocked his effort. After 22 minutes Romaine Walker made his first contribution to the game, when a tricky run ended with an inauspicious dive which resulted in the first and only, yellow card of the game. It was the start of a better period for the Woods, though, and three minutes later Scott Raper broke down the left and slipped a good ball through for Ajayi. The speedster cut inside his marker and then hit a good strike but it flashed just wide of the near post.

Christian tried his luck from long-range soon after and that wasn’t far wide while Chesham responded with a Daniel Braithwaite cross being met at the far post by tall striker Thomas but his nodded effort failed to hit the target. Northwood went closer still after 33 minutes as Walker’s corner was met by a firm header from Yorke but Wilson was well-placed to head off the line. Ajayi made another attacking run across the area and slipped a good ball through to Spencer Bellotti but his strike was blocked and then he blasted well over from the rebound.

The Generals hit back again when a long ball caught out Raper as it was played behind him for Wilson to run onto. He knocked in an excellent cross which Thomas couldn’t quite get a touch to, and then Chennells followed up but could only find the side-netting from an angle.

Before the break the Woods again threatened the Chesham goal as Christian combined with Jack Hutchinson to play Ajayi into the box. He rode one tackle to get through on goal but Gore had read the situation well and was out quickly to block at his feet.

Again Chesham were quick out of the blocks in the second half, with Dave Fotheringham robbing Yorke out wide and knocking in a dangerous cross which Raper did well to clear. Then a long ball from Chennells saw Thomas’s header blocked for a corner and Potton’s centre fell to Thomas, whose side-footed shot came back off the foot of the post.

The Generals seemed downhearted by yet another chance going begging, and the Woods really began to get a grip on the game at this stage with Craig White dominating the midfield area. After 68 minutes Walker broke forward in a promising attack but though he made some room for himself, his shot was blocked and trickled through to the keeper.

Potton was denied by a good saved from Reading two minutes later but Northwood were still making inroads, and they were rewarded after 79 minutes when Walker made a typical jinking run into the box and went down under a rash challenge from Mark Lambert. This time the referee had no doubt that contact had been made and he pointed to the spot. Walker got up to take the important penalty himself, and with just ten minutes remaining he sent Gore the wrong way and put the Woods ahead.

The prolific goalscorer Chennells has had a slow start to his Chesham career since joining from Windsor in the summer, and he met a free-kick with a flicked header that went wide just two minutes later and this proved to be the home side’s last real chance.

After 83 minutes Gore saved well when Yorke got his head to a Walker free-kick as Northwood looked to secure the tie. Substitutions were made, and in the third of six minutes of stoppage-time added on, Ajayi set up Oliver Hawkins but he blasted his shot well over the bar.

The Woods were left to celebrate an excellent victory as they booked their place in the Second Qualifying Round for the first time in seven years, while Chesham can concentrate on their promotion bid.