NORTHWOOD FC   Tuesday 26th March 2013   THATCHAM TOWN FC

Evo-Stik Southern League Central Division

  Northwood 2   Thatcham Town 1   

Onieva 9, Muir 83

Langford 58

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 James Reading     1 Aaron Bufton
2 Scott Raper     2 Josh Watkins
3 Lee Grant     3 Alex Charlick
4 Brad Hewitt     4 Matt Bowler
5 Reece Yorke (24m)     5 Ben McCready
6 Adil Salih     6 Danny Langford
7 Jon-Jo Bates     7 Callum Willmoth
8 Craig White     8 Charlie Hill (89m)
9 Niko Muir     9 Danilson Vicente (66m)
10 Juan Onieva (57m)     10 Sam Hamilton
11 Reon Thomas (46m)     11 Jack Coventry (66m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Ryan Phillips (24m)     12 Lee Hamilton (66m)
14 -     14 Chris Williamson (66m)
15 Travonn St Leonce     15 Liam Painter (89m)
16 Jerome Federico (46m)     16 Peter Raines
17 Oliver Hawkins (57m)     17 Ashley West
      Referee: Adrian Piggott; Assistants: Nick MacKenzie & Ernie Moore      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  

The Woods completed a “double” over lowly Thatcham but only after to a late goal from Niko Muir on a freezing cold evening at Chestnut Avenue. There were starting debuts for Spaniard Juan Onieva up front and Reon Thomas, who had joined the club from Tring Athletic. George Nicholas remained out with injury, while Mark Burgess was suspended and James Burgess was recalled by Harrow Borough. James Reading returned in goal following Garry Malone’s debut a week earlier.

Northwood made the ideal start as a ninth-minute free-kick fell to Reece Yorke and his strike was deflected past former Woods keeper Aaron Bufton by Onieva for his first goal for the club. Thatcham rallied well, with Danilson Vicente looking lively up front but he was denied early on by Reading and then had an effort ruled off for offside.
After 19 minutes Onieva went close to adding a second goal as he was unmarked to meet a cross from the right but he failed to connect and the ball was cleared for a corner.

Yorke was forced out of the action five minutes later having picked up a foot injury, with Ryan Phillips his replacement as Lee Grant moved into the centre of defence. But most of the first-half progressed without incident with only a Jon Jo Bates strike comfortably taken by Bufton of note.

Jerome Federico replaced Thomas after the half-time break, and top scorer Oliver Hawkins later came on for the tiring Onieva as the Woods enhanced their attacking prowess, and Muir saw a good low strike saved by Bufton.

But there was a real setback for Northwood when Thatcham scored an equaliser against the run of play on 58 minutes as the impressive Danny Langford netted with an accurate twenty-yard effort that nestled in the bottom corner.

The goal did seem to breathe new life into the game for the Woods, though, and they were quickly back on the offensive. Three minutes later a corner fell to Bates outside the box and after a miskick, Bates jinked his way inside the box and got in a shot, which was well saved by Bufton.

Thatcham made a double-substitution as they looked to up their own tempo but it was still Northwood who were dominating and Hawkins rose to head an Adil Salih cross goalwards but it was too close to Bufton who saved easily. After 76 minutes a good cross from Federico was met by Muir with a fine strike. Bufton kept it out but could only push the ball away, and Craig White should have scored from the rebound but skied his shot well over the bar.
Thatcham looked to hit back on the break, and substitute Lee Hamilton got a couple of shots off in quick succession but each time Reading saved at the near post. But the Woods got their noses back in front after 83 minutes as Hawkins slipped a good ball into Muir, who wrong-footed the keeper with a cool finish to make it 2-1.

There was a scare for Northwood three minutes later when Sam Hamilton looked to have got through on goal but the reliable Brad Hewitt got a tackle in as he prepared to shoot and the chance was gone.