SLOUGH TOWN   Thursday 21st February 2013   NORTHWOOD FC

Red Insure Southern League Cup Round Four

  Slough Town 2  Northwood 1  

Smith 34, 68

Walker 88

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Jamie Jackson     1 James Reading
2 Sean Fraser     2 James Fraser
3 Danny Murphy     3 Lee Grant
4 Adam Logie      4 Brad Hewitt
5 Kyle Anthony     5 Reece Yorke
6 Dave Woozley     6 George Nicholas
7 Ashley Deeney (56m)     7 Jerome Federico
8 Adam Martin     8 Mark Burgess (79m)
9 Danny Burnell (2m)     9 Oliver Hawkins (85m)
10 Ed Smith     10 Niko Muir (60m)
11 Joe Chandiram     11 Dean Worman
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Ryan O'Toole (2m)     12 Ryan Phillips
14 Sam Bateman (56m)     14 Ricky Rogers
15 Alex Brown     15 Travonn St Leonce (85m)
16 Jake Parsons     16 Bradley Wilkinson (79m)
17 Stuart Swift     17 Romaine Walker (60m)
      Referee: Mark Mellor; Assistants: Neil Morrison & Ernie Moore      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  

Billed as a match that no-one wanted to win and factually very few people bothered attending on a freezing night, the two sides played out a competitive quarter-final in the Red Insure Southern League Cup with Slough edging their way into the last four. The rules of the competition this year state that a club must start seven players who have started one of the previous two competitive matches and the Rebels showed their feelings against this rule by starting with exactly seven but then substituting top scorer Danny Burnell within two minutes of whistle.

The Rebels bossed the start of the game, with the experienced pairing of Adam’s Logie and Martin running the centre of midfield. Their only early chance came when Martin was given too much room on 14 minutes and he fired a shot past James Reading but the ball crashed back off the crossbar and Ryan O’Toole was ruled offside as he went for the loose ball.

Gradually, Northwood began to threaten and it was the pace of Jerome Federico that caused the problems to an otherwise solid Slough defence. He swept past former Woods defender Danny Murphy and knocked in a far post cross, which Dean Worman met but he directed a weak shot straight to goalkeeper Jamie Jackson. The game opened up more after this, with O’Toole shooting straight at Reading when well placed while Worman then had another strike saved by Jackson, but Slough made the breakthrough after 34 minutes as Ed Smith received a through-ball in space and he curled a shot around Reading and inside the post for an easy goal.

The Woods responded well, with Federico’s run being ended by a trip from Dave Woozley just a foot outside the area. From the free-kick Lee Grant curled a shot across goal which clipped the bar and bounced to safety. With half-time approaching Grant got forward well on the flank and knocked in a good cross which Niko Muir headed just wide from a good position.

The game looked there for the taking after the break as Slough appeared to sit back but after an early Worman shot had drifted wide, Northwood never really looked likely to take advantage. The Rebels still looked dangerous on the break, and Joe Chandiram worked himself into a good position when drifting past Mark Burgess and George Nicholas but he then fired well wide.

Murphy found space for a shot which Reading saved well on the hour as Romaine Walker replaced Muir and, with Federico having drifted out of the game, he immediately looked most likely to unlock the Slough defence. A Walker free-kick picked out Oliver Hawkins who headed back across goal but just out of the reach of Brad Hewitt. Then Hawkins latched onto a long ball and cut in across goal with a strike that flashed only just over the bar.

It was beginning to look like Northwood had a real chance but Slough were then gifted a chance on 68 minutes as Worman collided with substitute Sam Bateman as both chased a ball that was going out for either a corner or a free-kick. It looked totally accidental but Referee Mark Mellor instantly pointed to the spot. Ed Smith didn’t mind that it was a soft decision though and stroked home the penalty for his second of the game.

Reading then made a fine save to deny O’Toole as the Rebels looked to put the game to bed and manager picked up a booking for dissent as decisions continued to flow in favour of the home side. He was substituted soon after, replaced by Bradley Wilkinson and the Woods did keep plucking away for the final stages. Good work from Worman led to a ball that put Walker in on goal, but he shot over the bar. Then Walker’s resurgent form showed again as he dribbled his way past several challenges on the left before cutting the ball back but Slough were able to clear the danger.

Smith almost completed a hat-trick when he swept a Bateman cross towards goal but the ball came back off the post and then the Woods found a lifeline. It was after 88 minutes that Walker waltzed his way through the centre of the Rebels defence and lifted a shot past Jackson into the top corner to reduce the arrears.
But Slough’s experience allowed them to shut up shop for the few minutes that were left and the Woods dreams of League Cup glory faded away with Walker booked for dissent and Nicholas for what seemed an innocuous foul.