FLEET TOWN   Saturday 29th September 2012   NORTHWOOD FC

Red Insure Cup First Round

  Fleet Town 0  Northwood 4   


Bellotti 23, 26, 74
Hawkins 39

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Ryan Pryce     1 Jack Middleton
2 Phil Moore     2 Danny McDonnell
3 Nick Hutchings     3 Ryan Phillips (47m)
4 James Scott     4 Ricky Rogers
5 Gavin Miller     5 Reece Yorke
6 Craig Davis     6 Scott Raper (63m)
7 James Pilgrim     7 Dean Worman
8 Ben White (19m)     8 James McCluskey
9 Pat Cox     9 Spencer Bellotti
10 Jack White (78m)     10 Oliver Hawkins (55m)
11 Danilo Cadete     11 Jack Hutchinson
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Mark Watkins     12 Jack Ward (55m)
14 John Symons     14 John Christian
15 Marc Vockins (19m)(78m)     15 Romaine Walker (47m)
16 Louis Wilson (78m)     16 Adamson Ajayi (63m)
17 Harry Davies (78m)     17 James Reading
      Referee: Aaron Moody; Assistants: Simon Maynard & Guy Pointer      
  REPORT by Alan Evans      PHOTOS by James Brown  

The Woods completed a successful week with this comfortable Red Insure League Cup victory over an out-of-form Fleet Town side. Manager Gary Meakin used the match to give game-time to those who have been mainly restricted to substitute appearances this season so both Dean Worman and Ricky Rogers started their first games of the campaign while there was a new arrival in goal in former Brentford youth teamer Jack Middleton. At just 23, Scott Raper was the oldest player in a very young-looking Woods line-up that included four teenagers.

Northwood were quickly on the offensive with Worman firing just wide after a Ryan Phillips free-kick had dropped to him and then a poor pass across his own area by home skipper Gavin Miller almost saw Spencer Bellotti steal in for a goal. The home side thought they had taken the lead with their very first attack as a well-worked free-kick saw Pat Cox head the ball back across goal and Jack White headed in but the goal was ruled out for a push. Soon after, Nick Hutchings flicked a Danilo Cadete cross goalwards but Middleton made a good stop at the near-post. The Woods ‘keeper was also tested by a deflected Cox shot which saw him change direction swiftly and save comfortably but after those disappointments, Fleet were pushed back again.

James McCluskey, starting his second game of the season, fired a free-kick wide and then Jack Hutchinson played Oliver Hawkins into the box and his shot on the turn was cleanly saved by home goalkeeper Ryan Pryce. It was entertaining stuff and after 21 minutes Hutchison went for goal himself with a low strike which had Pryce at full stretch but he kept it out well. Two minutes later a good move saw Hutchinson drive forward again and play a good ball through for Bellotti to run onto. The striker went direct to goal and drove a hard, low shot past Price to open the scoring and bag only his second goal of a fairly barren season to date. Having ended that bleak spell, Bellotti then notched a second just three minutes later, the grateful recipient of another assist from Hutchinson who squared the ball neatly into his path to fire home.

The Woods were playing some neat football at this point and after a long spell of pressure they added a third goal on 39 minutes as McCluskey chipped in a free-kick and Hawkins met it perfectly with a powerful downward header that bounced up and gave Price no chance. Before this game, neither of the Woods two main forwards had scored a goal in a game that they had started this season; now both had ended that unwanted statistic.
Fleet’s defensive frailties had been exposed and they were also losing their discipline, picking up a series of yellow cards. But the Woods were unable to add to the scoreline before the break as Bellotti had a good effort blocked after Hawkins had headed another McCluskey free-kick into the danger-zone while McCluskey also had another long-range strike pushed wide by Pryce.

Romaine Walker replaced a limping Phillips soon after the restart and Hawkins had an early effort saved by Pryce but there was not the same tempo to the game in the second-half. Fleet had Hutchings booked for simulation while Rogers became the first Woods player to be cautioned soon after; both were to lead to trouble for those individuals later in the game. Northwood then saw Hawkins limp off to be replaced by another newcomer in Jack Ward who was also released by Brentford in the summer and he was quickly into the action with a deflected effort on goal that Pryce was equal to. Raper was next to be injured and the third substitute introduced was Adamson Ajayi, so Ward was then deployed at the back as the Woods found themselves severely short on defenders.

It was perhaps no surprise that Fleet had their best chance of the game soon after as a long-ball into the box picked out Cox unmarked but he put his header over the top. Almost immediately, Ajayi broke down the centre and lobbed the oncoming ‘keeper but saw his effort clip the top of the crossbar. Then, on 70 minutes, Worman combined with Walker to shoot and the ball deflected to Bellotti who converted but it was ruled out for a suspicion of handball.

Five minutes later, Bellotti did complete his first-ever Northwood hat-trick when some more good work from Ajayi put him in on goal and after Pryce had blocked his initial effort, he recovered the ball well and shot past two retreating defenders to make it 4-0. Just a minute later, things got worse for the home side as Hutchings picked up a second yellow for a foul on Danny McDonnell but the Woods were unable to take advantage before the numbers were evened up as Rogers was also sent-off having delayed a restart after a free-kick had been awarded.

Worman had a good strike saved by Pryce late on but the game petered out a little towards the end as Northwood had booked their place in the Second Round but they will need to hope that the injuries to Phillips, Hawkins and Raper clear up quickly with two important home games coming up in the next week.