NORTHWOOD FC   Saturday 13th October 2012   WOODFORD UNITED

Evo-Stik Southern League Central Division

  Northwood 5  Woodford United 1   

Hawkins 5, 69
Christian 51, 54
Ajayi 67

Fountain 15

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 James Reading     1 Jamie Brassington
2 Danny McDonnell     2 Martin Hutchcox
3 Ryan Phillips     3 Michael McGannon
4 Brad Hewitt     4 Tommy Kinch
5 Reece Yorke     5 Chris Jackson
6 John Christian (71m)     6 Callum Convey (74m)
7 Jack Hutchinson     7 Tom Fountain
8 James McCluskey     8 Logan Roberts
9 Oliver Hawkins (71m)     9 Howard Forinton (41m)
10 Adamson Ajayi     10 Josh Blake
11 Romaine Walker (71m)     11 Aaron Hinds
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Lee Grant     12 Scott Liebsher (41m)
14 Craig White     14 Gokan Ulker
15 Dean Worman (71m)     15 Rashid Koriya (74m)
16 Spencer Bellotti (71m)     16 Amos Kabeya
17 Jack Ward (71m)     17 -
      Referee: Craig Green; Assistants: Andrew Connor & Craig Melinn      
  REPORT by Alan Evans      PHOTOS by James Brown  

A four-goal blitz in twenty second-half minutes saw the Woods notch a comfortable win over bottom club Woodford United, who were losing their ninth successive league game. Manager Gary Meakin was forced into one change from Tuesday night’s game with injury victim Scott Raper ruled out for some time with a broken foot, so in came youngster Danny McDonnell at right-back.

It was the visitors who went close very early as they were awarded a free-kick just outside the box and Callum Convey saw his curling effort crash back off a post with goalkeeper James Reading unable to get there. But after just five minutes, the Woods were awarded a free-kick of their own and when James McCluskey delivered, Oliver Hawkins headed in off the post.

The visitors refused to buckle, though, with the strike partnership of Josh Blake and Aaron Hinds causing a few problems with their movement and they will have been heartened when they levelled after 17 minutes. It came from yet another free-kick, rather harshly given for a handball on the ground by McDonnell and when the ball was pumped in to the six-yard box, Reading hesitated and Tom Fountain converted from just a few feet. It was only Woodford’s third league goal of the season.

Northwood looked to regain the lead quickly, with McDonnell getting forward well down the right and knocking in a cross which found Romaine Walker at the far post. He blasted a shot which was blocked by John Christian, but the ball rebounded back to him and then went down as he tried to move the ball past goalkeeper Jamie Brassington but penalty calls went unheard by the referee.

Adamson Ajayi was having a very quiet half but one good run and lay-off set up McCluskey for a chance, though his effort was poor and failed to hit the target. McCluskey then did better with another strike, on target but at the keeper, and then Ajayi hit a shot wide. Half-time was approaching when the Woods won another free-kick and McCluskey again tested the keeper with a low drive but Brassington was equal to it.

The second half saw Northwood up the tempo and Ajayi suddenly burst into life with a run and cross which Hawkins headed down and goalwards but the keeper saved well. Three minutes later it was Ajayi again with a similar run but this time he cut in and went for goal himself with a shot which flashed only just wide.

Northwood were getting closer, and they took the lead after 51 minutes as a short corner was worked across by Walker who then cut the ball back to John Christian, who hit the net with a crisp strike from twenty yards. Just three minutes later Ajayi’s run down the left saw him cross to the near post and Christian was there to volley neatly past Brassington for his second goal.

Woodford were restricted to just the odd free-kick which both Convey and Chris Jackson looked dangerous from, but they could do nothing to stop the Northwood onslaught. After 67 minutes Christian returned the favour by putting Ajayi in on goal and he looked to have missed his chance as he turned across a defender but he recovered and fired home the fourth goal.

Christian went close to his first-ever hat-trick for the club two minutes later as he let fly again from distance but Brassington managed to push the ball out and the loose ball was cleared. But almost immediately, Jack Hutchinson retrieved the ball out wide on the left and sent in an accurate cross which allowed Hawkins to flick a deft header past the keeper for his second of the game.

The Woods then made a triple substitution with twenty minutes to go as Dean Worman, Jack Ward and Spencer Bellotti came on to replace Walker and goalscorers Christian and Hawkins. On 76 minutes McCluskey knocked in another free-kick which saw Ward get in a good header but the ball finished the wrong side of the upright and shortly after Reece Yorke got on the end of another free-kick and when his direct strike was touched on by poacher Bellotti, the goalie did well to keep it out.

Dean Worman was making inroads down the right and put in a couple of good crosses before going for goal himself after 80 minutes, with Brassington tipping his powerful strike just over the bar. Yorke shot wide from another free-kick and then Woodford were reduced to ten men on 85 minutes as substitute Scott Liebsher was red-carded for a stamp on McCluskey. Northwood continued to look for more goals, with Hutchinson having a shot blocked for a corner and from that, Brad Hewitt headed wide.

Overall, it was three valuable points, the Woods' first league win in six weeks and they will be looking to build on that in their next two league matches; both away from home.