Tuesday 23rd April 2013


Evo-Stik Southern League Central Division

  Royston Town 2   Northwood 2   

Collins 69, Malins 71

Phillips 53, Yorke 84

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Harry Reynolds     1 James Reading
2 Lewis Endacott     2 Scott Raper
3 Lee Wilson     3 Lee Grant
4 Joe De La Salle     4 Brad Hewitt
5 Jack Bradshaw     5 Reece Yorke
6 Ryan Ingrey     6 Craig White
7 Carl Edwards (63m)     7 Jon-Jo Bates
8 Tom Malins     8 Mark Burgess (74m)
9 Kaan Fehmi (63m)     9 Niko Muir
10 Matt Standen (63m)     10 Oliver Hawkins (79m)
11 Luke Robins     11 Ryan Phillips
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Ross Collins (63m)     12 Simon Huggett
14 Sam Spencer (63m)     14 Travonn St Leonce
15 Ryan Lockett (63m)     15 Jerome Federico (74m)
16 Taylor Parr     16 Danny McDonnell (79m)
17 Liam McDevitt     17 -
      Referee: Marc Wilson; Assistants: Jose Llorente &Hallam Cutmore      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  



Fresh from Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Godalming Town costing the Surrey side any chance of winning the title, the Woods faced another tough away trip, this time in midweek to play-off hopefuls Royston Town. For their final away game of the season, Northwood went with just one change to the starting line-up as Ryan Phillips came in for the unavailable Reon Thomas and they were still without injured pair George Nicholas and Hallelujah Basmel while Adil Salih was another unable to make the trip. There was a return to the subs bench, though, for Jerome Federico, missing for a few weeks while on holidays abroad.

A win for the home side would give them a great chance of pipping either Biggleswade Town or Beaconsfield Sycob for the final play-off spot but, on a bumpy and dry pitch as typical for this time of year, they never really looked up for the battle in a first-half which was comfortably dominated by a energetic Northwood side keen to avenge the home defeat suffered at the hands of the Crows earlier in the season.

The Woods were awarded an early free-kick for a foul on Jon-Jo Bates and Phillips curled his shot just over the bar and Royston were restricted to just a couple of wayward long-range efforts as Northwood pushed forward looking for openings. After 11 minutes Oliver Hawkins met a Phillips cross with a good downward header but the ball was scrambled away and from a quick break Tom Malins fed Kaan Fehmi but the Crows top scorer chipped a shot well over.

Midway through the half, Royston had their best spell with Matt Standen forcing a corner with a deflected shot and then, from the corner the ball fell to Lee Wilson who struck it straight at James Reading. But the Woods still looked most likely to break the deadlock and after a foul on Hawkins, Phillips had another attempt from the free-kick. Again it curled and dipped but though closer, it still finished the wrong side of the crossbar.

Northwood were almost gifted a lead on 32 minutes when another Phillips cross into the danger-area saw Wilson’s sliced attempt to clear loop up and over his goalkeeper but bounce just wide of his own goal. Just before the break, the home side went closest to snatching the lead when a deep cross was retrieved and cut back by Fehmi to Luke Robins and his whipped in ball saw Ryan Ingrey stab it towards goal but straight at Reading.

Into the second half and the Woods still looked in charge, with Hawkins heading over from an accurate cross from Niko Muir on 53 minutes. Just a minute later a deep cross from Bates picked out Lee Grant whose header back across goal was met by Phillips who rammed it home to give the Woods a deserved lead.

Very little was going right for the home side and after Fehmi picked up a yellow card for persistent infringements, he was one of three players substituted as Royston looked to change things around. It had an immediate effect as one of those introduced, Ryan Lockett found Robins with a long ball forward and the winger cut in and fired for goal, though Reading kept it out at his near post.

Then, on 69 minutes, the home side forced a corner and when the ball was sent in low by Lockett, it was turned in by another substitute, Ross Collins. Now level, the Crows had their tails up and within two minutes found themselves in front. Wilson’s cross saw the Woods defence missing and Malins stole in to head home powerfully.

Northwood were still in no mood to let the game go that easily though and Bates did well to take the ball past a couple of defenders before firing wide. Federico was introduced for Mark Burgess after 75 minutes and his pace produced immediate problems for the Royston defence as they conceded another free-kick just outside the box. Phillips stepped up and used his previous experience well as this time his strike was going in before goalkeeper Harry Reynolds dived across to save and then also recover to gather in the loose ball.

Northwood continued to press and Federico burst through the middle of two players only to be sandwiched and clipped by Sam Spencer who picked up a booking. The resulting free-kick was more central than the others so Reece Yorke took responsibility and went with power to rifle the ball into the top corner, give Reynolds no chance, and make it 2-2.

Both sides had a chance to win it in the closing stages of stoppage-time. Royston won another free-kick and Joe De La Salle struck it well with power but the ball flashed over the bar. Then, the Woods broke on the counter with Muir putting Federico in on goal. He chose to shoot rather than return the pass and his effort was kept out at the near-post by Reynolds.