afc HAYES   Monday 27th August 2012   NORTHWOOD FC

Evo-Stik Southern League Central Division

  afc Hayes 0  Northwood 6   


Ajayi 24, Walker 32, Hutchinson 59,
Hawkins 61, 81, 85

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Ben Goode     1 James Reading
2 James Peake     2 Scott Raper
3 Alex Dumbuya (46m)     3 Danny McDonnell
4 Mick Vincent     4 Brad Hewitt
5 Sean Mangan     5 Reece Yorke
6 Ben Dyett     6 John Christian
7 Adam Willis     7 Jack Hutchinson
8 Chris Day     8 Craig White (50m)
9 Laurie Sheenan     9 Spencer Bellotti (69m)
10 Tony Mendy (46m)     10 Adamson Ajayi (74m)
11 Kurt Morlese (46m)     11 Romaine Walker
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Jordan Willis     12 Ricky Rogers
14 Shane Ely (46m)     14 James Fraser (74m)
15 Dan O'Connor (46m)     15 Dean Worman(69m)
16 Dan Mehmet (46m)     16 Oliver Hawkins (50m)
17 Neal Perrin     17 Victor Asombang
      Referee: A Ihringova; Assistants: D Sotimirin & J Amadon      
  REPORT by Alan Evans      PHOTOS by James Brown  

Northwood continued their topsy-turvy start to the new season by notching their first league win of the season in high-scoring style. Starting this Bank Holiday fixture rooted to the bottom of the table, the Woods swept aside AFC Hayes with an emphatic 6-0 victory which was their best away result for almost 34 years. Having returned to form with Saturday’s FA Cup 5-2 win at Aylesbury United, Manager Gary Meakin just made one change to the side with Adamson Ajayi returning from illness to replace Oliver Hawkins who was rested to the bench.

The Brook had seen plenty of changes to their side in the summer with new management and players but they had notched an excellent 3-0 win at Fleet Town the previous Tuesday and started this game in a lively fashion. Mick Vincent hit a long-range effort well wide and then the pacy Tony Mendy broke through the defence but was unable to hit his shot with any power. In between the Woods had been awarded a couple of free-kicks in dangerous areas but they came to nothing.

A good ball from Brad Hewitt led to the Woods first opportunity after 12 minutes as Spencer Bellotti hit a crisp shot on the turn which flashed only inches wide of the target. A minute later play switched to the other end when Hewitt failed to clear and Lawrie Sheenan had a half-chance but the Woods defender recovered well to block his effort.
Gradually, Northwood began to get their attacking play into gear with Ajayi and Romaine Walker really starting to threaten down the flanks. A couple of corners were forced in quick succession and from one, Brook ‘keeper Ben Goode let slip a Jack Hutchinson cross and a defender just managed to block Craig White’s shot as he looked to convert the loose ball. From the next corner Reece Yorke fired only just over the bar.
James Reading was first brought into the action after 21 minutes when he had to save a near-post shot from Mendy after the striker had robbed Scott Raper but the Woods were soon back in attack.

Walker was unlucky not to put the Woods in front when he pounced on a defensive error and chipped Goode but the ball came back off the crossbar and was cleared. But the Woods didn’t have to wait long for the opening goal as Ajayi cut in from the left and let fly with a cracking shot that flashed past Goode to open his account for the season against a former club.
It was 2-0 after 32 minutes as Walker raced into the box only to be bundled over by a naive challenge from Alex Dumbuya. The Assistant Referee made the decision and Walker dusted himself off to fire home from the spot.

AFC Hayes should have pulled one back four minutes later when a deep cross from Vincent saw Mendy get in front of his marker but flick a shot wide of the target. The Woods came back again with Hutchinson slipping a superb ball through to Walker, who was in on goal but his first touch let him down and the ball ran through to Goode.

The home side risked a triple substitution to start the second half, presumably to attempt to counter the pace of the Northwood attack, while Meakin made his first move by replacing midfielder White with striker Hawkins just five minutes in. The tall forward was soon causing problems for Brook, getting forward down the right well and squaring the ball to Bellotti, who only had to tap home but he miskicked wide in front of goal. Just two minutes later it was Hawkins' turn to look red-faced as he fired over the bar from six yards following a burst down the right from Ajayi.

The third goal finally arrived after 58 minutes as a great move saw teenagers Hutchinson and Walker combined with a series of passes which culminated with Hutchinson skipping past a defender and firing home for his third goal in three days. Brook were completely on the back-foot at this stage, Ajayi was drifting past defenders at will and next he cut inside and played a neat pass to Bellotti, who again somehow contrived to miss out on adding his name to the scoresheet from three yards as his effort was cleared off the line and scrambled away.

However, the Woods didn’t have to wait long to net the fourth goal, which came after 61 minutes. Walker raced past his marker and fired a fierce shot across Goode and when the ‘keeper could only parry the ball away, it was Hawkins who was on hand to tap in. Despite their comfortable lead, the Woods were battling for everything and when Bellotti got a foot in to put Hawkins through, he slipped the ball to Walker who hit a sweet shot but it slipped wide of the post.

Things got even worse after 65 minutes as Hayes lost Chris Day to injury and had to play the remaining time out with just ten men. Bellotti made way for James Fraser and then Dean Worman replaced Ajayi as the Woods looked to take advantage. It disrupted the pattern of play a little but the Woods remained on top and Walker almost caught Goode out with a shot which dipped and the ‘keeper did well to catch the ball cleanly just under the crossbar.

It was a case of damage limitation for Brook. Hutchinson had a shot blocked and then Hawkins flicked a header wide after a John Christian cross had picked him out. Then Walker slipped a good ball inside to Worman whose shot was well defended for a corner. The home side couldn’t keep it going, though, as some quick attacking play from Worman saw him cross and present Hawkins with another glorious opportunity, which he took to notch his second of the game after 81 minutes.

Four minutes later Hutchinson played another excellent ball through to Walker who found room for a strike which was at Goode but the ‘keeper did well to block and push the ball away from the danger area. It was Hutchinson once again who provided the cross for the sixth and final goal, chipping across from the left to find Hawkins, who has a simple chance to bury it with his head and complete a second-half hat-trick for the substitute. There could have been more but Goode produced two late saves to deny Worman’s strike and then Hewitt’s header but the Woods were satisfied with their day’s work and their first points of the season.

The 6-0 win was Northwood’s first six-goal away victory since a 7-1 success at Hazells (Aylesbury) in a Hellenic League First Division fixture back in October 1978. There have been plenty of five goal wins on their travels since then but a sixth goal has always eluded them until now.