NORTHWOOD FC   Saturday 27th April 2013   UXBRIDGE FC

Evo-Stik Southern League Central Division

  Northwood 3  Uxbridge 0   

Grant 4, Muir 24
Hawkins 77


Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 James Reading     1 Matthew Elson-Bull
2 Lee Grant     2 Keon Mendoza
3 Ryan Phillips     3 William Wambeek
4 Brad Hewitt     4 Rob Fitzgerald
5 Reece Yorke     5 Mark Dennison
6 Craig White     6 Wayne Carter
7 Jon-Jo Bates (86m)     7 Nicke Kabamba
8 Mark Burgess (71m)     8 Kevin Warner (34m)
9 Niko Muir     9 Matthew Woods
10 Oliver Hawkins     10 Michael Murray
11 Jerome Federico (67m)     11 Tom Kanek
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Danny McDonnell     12 Joshua Christopher
14 Adil Salih (71m)     14 Callum Madigan (34m)
15 Simon Huggett     15 Craige Tomkins
16 Travonn St Leonce (86m)     16 -
17 Reon Thomas (67m)     17 -
      Referee: Andrew Dine; Assistants: Phillip Jones & Matthew Westlake      
  REPORT by Alan Evans     PHOTOS by James Brown  

Northwood’s first-ever Community Day proved a great success with their best league crowd of the season and an emphatic victory over local rivals Uxbridge being a fitting finale to an ultimately inconsistent campaign. With Scott Raper ruled out through suspension, the versatile Lee Grant switched seamlessly to the right-back role with Ryan Phillips dropping back to left-back and Jerome Federico starting on the left flank after a few weeks away on holiday.

The game was just 45 seconds old when Oliver Hawkins was scythed down by a high Rob Fitzgerald challenge and there were a few anxious moments before the Referee pulled a yellow rather than red card for the Uxbridge defender. Then, after only four minutes, Federico got down the right and knocked in a great cross which presented Lee Grant a great chance to head the Woods in front from which he made no mistake.

Two minutes later, Federico again sped down the right-hand side and knocked in a near-post cross which was met by a Niko Muir flick which bounced off goalkeeper Matt Elston-Bull and ricocheted back off Muir to go clear. Federico was enjoying himself down the right. A deep cross almost found Hawkins who stretched but could not quite reach a header and then he streaked past Mark Dennison and into the box only to shoot wide as Dennison recovered to put him under pressure again.

It was still all Northwood at this stage, with Muir next to go close with a strike that flashed only just wide of the post and the second goal arrived after 24 minutes. Federico played Bates in down the right and he knocked a good ball into Muir who swivelled to leave his marker for dead and fired low into the net.

Uxbridge were almost back in the game just three minutes later though as Michael Murray struck a typical free-kick over the wall but not quite accurately enough as it crashed back off the crossbar and was cleared. It lifted the visitors’ game a little, with Wayne Carter having a shot blocked and then Matt Woods seeing his effort loop up and into the arms of James Reading. A substitution followed, with Kevin Warner replaced by highly-regarded youngster Callum Madigan.

On 38 minutes Woods looked offside as he raced down the left onto a through-ball but with no flag he had time to cut in and shoot for goal but Brad Hewitt was on hand to clear off the line. But it was Northwood who went closest to extending their lead before the as a defensive slip allowed Hawkins to run through on goal and he jinked his way past two players but Elston-Bull was out quickly and managed to smother his shot for a good save.

Another substitution at half-time saw Murray replaced by the more mobile Craige Tomkins but the Woods were still on top and when a poor defensive header went straight to Muir he attempted a first-time shot which sailed well wide. Tomkins was put through on goal by an excellent crossfield pass but saw his shot pushed wide by a diving Reading before the Woods were denied what looked a sure penalty as Hawkins was felled but the big striker was left crestfallen by a yellow card for simulation.

Northwood were in control and brought on Reon Thomas and Adil Salih for the tiring Federico and Mark Burgess who had been playing all week with a hamstring strain. Uxbridge’s next effort on goal came on 74 minutes as Woods attacked on a solo run and let fly with a shot which was cleared off the line by Phillips. The loose ball was hit by Tom Kanek, and was probably going wide when Nicke Kabamba cleverly flicked it in from a few yards but he was offside and the goal was ruled out.

Two minutes later Bates robbed Fitzgerald as the defender dallied on the ball and looked likely to net his first Northwood goal but again Elston-Bull did well to grab the ball before he got his shot away.
After 77 minutes, Northwood forced a corner and when it was swung in, Hawkins rose highest to flick a header across goal and in for the third goal and his nineteenth of the season.

Uxbridge kept going to the end and enjoyed the better of the final ten minutes. Kabamba headed over from an excellent Tompkins cross and then Carter’s free-kick saw Fitzgerald twist to get a close-range header in on goal but it went straight into Reading’s grateful hands. It ensured that he kept what was only Northwood’s second home league clean-sheet of the season; the other one being back in late October.