NORTHWOOD FC   Tuesday 9th April 2013   FLEET TOWN FC

Evo-Stik Southern League Central Division

  Northwood 3   Fleet Town 1  

Hawkins 27, 63, Basmal 36

Cox 54

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 James Reading     1 Ryan Pryce
2 Scott Raper     2 Phillip Moore (84m)
3 Ryan Phillips     3 Nick Hutchings (74m)
4 Brad Hewitt     4 James Scott
5 Reece Yorke     5 Lewis Leonetti
6 Adil Salih     6 Gavin Miller
7 Craig White     7 Ben White
8 James Burgess (60m)     8 Craig Davis (78m)
9 Niko Muir (86m)     9 Patrick Cox
10 Oliver Hawkins     10 Harry Davies
11 Hallelujah Basmel (72m)     11 James Field
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Lee Grant     12 Stanley Staines (74m)
14 Mark Burgess     14 Ben Smith (78m)
15 Reon Thomas (72m)     15 Daniel Hutchings (84m)
16 Lewis Davis (86m)     16 Oliver Short
17 Jon-Jo Bates (60m)     17 -
      Referee: Peter Georgiou; Assistants: Mike McDermott & Mark Tweed      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  

The Woods made it six wins from their last nine league games as they enter the final few weeks of the season. Brad Hewitt returned to the defence after missing the defeat at Burnham and Adil Salih, James Burgess and Oliver Hawkins were also returned to the starting line-up with Mark Burgess, Lee Grant and Jon-Jo Bates given a rest while Juan Onieva was unavailable.

There was an early chance for Hawkins as he got on the end of a Ryan Phillips corner but flicked his header wide of the target. It wasn’t the start of a dominance for Northwood, though, as although they enjoyed plenty of possession, they were unable to penetrate a solid Fleet defence. That is, until midway through the first half when a series of attacks saw the visiting goalkeeper forced into a couple of saves in quick succession but as Fleet failed to clear, Salih chipped the ball back across goal and Hawkins picked his spot with a neat header into the corner.

Having taken the lead, the Woods attacked with more confidence and then added a second goal after 36 minutes. Salih was involved again and when Niko Muir chipped the ball back from close to the post, it was Hallelujah Basmel that knocked the ball in from just a few yards for the eighteen year old’s first goal for the club. Fleet tried to rally and Harry Davies did finally test James Reading but without the power to best the Northwood ‘keeper and before the half came to a close, Hawkins headed one effort across the face of goal and just wide before blasting a Salih cross miles wide.

The Woods looked likely to add to the scoreline after the break and Muir had a low shot comfortably saved by Ryan Pryce and the ‘keeper then held a Hawkins header just below the bar before Gavin Miller cut out a dangerous Scott Raper cross. But things turned a little on 54 minutes when a long throw caused a bit of panic in the Northwood defence and Patrick Cox pounced on the loose ball to fire past a wrong-footed Reading to reduce the arrears.

Buoyed by the goal, Fleet lifted their game a little and the Woods needed to be solid at the back to ensure that they were not breached again. At the other end, Basmel poked a shot over the top before being replaced by Bates and the two-goal cushion was restored after 67 minutes when a corner from Bates was met by a firm header downwards by Hawkins that bounced up into the roof of the net.

Muir almost got on the end of a couple of half-chances created by Hawkins and Raper but Fleet refused to lie down and Ben White had a shot blocked while Reading was forced into a save low down to deny James Scott.

There was a strange incident after 85 minutes as Cox shot for goal at the far post following a corner and although Reading appeared to keep it out while standing on the goal-line, Cox immediately picked the ball up to claim a goal. The referee clearly disagreed and gave a free-kick for the handball.

Youth team striker Lewis Davis made a second fleeting appearance for the final few minutes but the Woods were happy to play out the game and claim another three points as they look for a place in the top half of the table.