UXBRIDGE FC   Saturday 8th December 2012   NORTHWOOD FC

Evo-Stik Southern League Central Division

  Uxbridge 1   Northwood 0   

Woods 52


Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Zaki Qualah     1 James Reading
2 Emmanuel Otira     2 Ricky Rogers
3 Chris Owens     3 Lee Grant
4 Rob Fitzgerald     4 Brad Hewitt
5 Mark Dennison     5 Reece Yorke
6 Wayne Carter     6 Tyrell Miller-Rodney
7 Mark Smith     7 Adamson Ajayi (76m)
8 Callum Madigan     8 Craig White (57m)
9 Matt Woods (74m)     9 Spencer Bellotti
10 Nicke Kabamba     10 Oliver Hawkins
11 Shaun Lucien (88m)     11 Romaine Walker
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Jake Lovell     12 Ryan Phillips
14 Craige Tomkins (74m)     14 Sam Beale (76m)
15 Kevin Warner (88m)     15 James Fraser
16       16 John Christian (57m)
17       17 Mark Burgess
      Referee: Adrian Waters; Assistants: Matt Hopton & Jamie Broughton      
  REPORT by Alan Evans      PHOTOS by James Brown  

The Woods’s run of four successive away league wins came to an end as they slumped to this narrow defeat with a poor performance at local rivals Uxbridge. Manager Mark Burgess drafted work-experience Brentford midfielder Tyrell Miller-Rodney into the starting line-up and Northwood started the game in a lively fashion. An early free-kick was only half-cleared and Miller-Rodney’s neat header put Adamson Ajayi in on goal but he saw his attempted cross blocked twice by some determined defending.

Then, a corner was flicked on towards goal and Spencer Bellotti reacted quickly to steer a shot goalwards but Uxbridge goalkeeper Zaki Oualah responded well to smother his effort. After this bright beginning, the home side began to settle and press forward themselves. On 11 minutes, a cross from Shaun Lucien had Mark Smith stretching for a far post header and the ball was well wide but a minute later Lucien tried his luck from distance and had James Reading scrambling across goal to push his shot wide.

Reading was kept busy, saving a close-range header from Nicke Kabamba and then a drive from Matt Woods as the Woods had to defend solidly to keep Uxbridge at bay. Home defender Rob Fitzgerald was booked for a crude challenge on Bellotti but Uxbridge were otherwise not really tested at the back as the Reds continued to dominate proceedings. Former Northwood skipper Wayne Carter rolled a free-kick into the path of Woods, who was not far wide with his effort while the Woods only attack saw Oliver Hawkins put through down the right but he had no support when he knocked in his cross and the chance was gone.

Kabamba went close with a shot that crashed against the crossbar and over the top before Smith got the ball in the net but from a clearly offside position. Northwood were looking to hold on to the half-time break and they made it but only after Reading had made a fine save to deny Carter after Callum Madigan had latched onto a poor header out by Ricky Rogers and set up his captain.

Northwood really needed to pick up the tempo of the game after the break but they finally fell behind after 52 minutes when Smith found plenty of space on the right and fired in a dangerous cross which Reading could only push across goal for the predator Woods to score from a couple of yards. It was no more that Uxbridge deserved for their domination and the Woods would need to respond if they were to get anything from the game. John Christian replaced Craig White and although Northwood began to get a grip on the midfield, their flair players, Ajayi and Romaine Walker, were looking ineffective and there was no quality in the supply to the forwards.
It was still Uxbridge who were going closest at this stage and after 64 minutes Woods robbed Rogers and raced into the box before being denied by another good save from Reading.

Only in the final fifteen minutes did Northwood begin to threaten but with only a one-goal deficit, they were actually looking to salvage a point. Bellotti had shot wide with a hopeful strike but it was on 85 minutes that they recorded their best effort. Miller-Rodney strode forward and threaded a great ball through to Bellotti who timed his run well. His low drive looked goalbound but Oualah got down well and managed to divert the ball inches wide of the post.

In the final minute Lee Grant knocked in a free-kick and Brad Hewitt headed down but it dropped to the ‘keeper and Uxbridge held on to their narrow advantage through to the final whistle.