AYLESBURY FC   Tuesday 15th April 2014   NORTHWOOD FC

Calor Southern League Central Division

  Aylesbury 0  Northwood 2  

Oliyide 61, Muir 73

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 James Weatherill     1 Berkley Laurencin
2 Robert Tomlin     2 Giles Townsend
3 Kevin Mealor     3 Jerome Federico
4 Sam Bateman     4 Mark Burgess
5 Conner Baker     5 James Burgess (88m)
6 Ben Stevens     6 Tommy Walsh
7 Gareth Price     7 Joakim Ehui
8 Ben Bateman (77m)     8 George Nicholas
9 Brian Haule (73m)     9 Niko Muir (79m)
10 Ken Fey     10 Michael Murray (79m)
11 Lamar Simpson     11 Karl Oliyide
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Greg Copcutt (73m)     12 Dave Lawrence (79m)
14 Fraser McLachlan (77m)     14 Oliver Sprague (79m)
15 Ollie Hogg     15 Dave Palmer (88m)
16 Sean Sonner     16 Luke Fox
17 Jacob Lowe     17 Daniel Daggett
      Referee: Michael Hayden; Assistants: William Davis & Dane Johnston      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  


As an exercise to put Saturday’s capitulation against Marlow behind them, this bloodless victory at Aylesbury was just what was required for the Woods, who maintained their unbeaten away league record in 2014.

With the shock news that central defender Steve Brown had been ruled out for the season with a broken jaw after being attacked while on holiday in Portugal, Mark Burgess and his brother James both returned to defence with youngster Giles Townsend switching to right-back to replace the unavailable James Duncan. Oliver Sprague was also rested with Jerome Federico asked to stand-in at left-back against the club he started the season with. Craig White was also unavailable so there was a second start of the season for Tommy Walsh in midfield. Michael Murray returned up front with Dave Lawrence still nursing a foot injury.

Aylesbury had a string of players missing from their line-up, but having defeated play-off hopefuls Barton Rovers 2-0 at the weekend should have been full of confidence, yet it was Northwood who started brightly.

In fact, the Woods dominated throughout the first half, playing some neat football despite a hard and bumpy pitch surface and always stretching the home defence. Joakim Ehui latched onto a Murray lay-off and fired a first-time shot which was always wide and then Niko Muir hit a good effort on the turn which also flashed wide of the post. Murray then tried his luck from a free-kick awarded centrally, but his effort clipped the outside of the post with goalkeeper James Weatherill nowhere.

Two minutes later Ehui and Muir combined before the latter hit a shot which was inches past the upright but he should have passed with two players unmarked to his left. The Woods hit the target for the first time after 25 minutes when Muir’s attacking run saw the ball fall to George Nicholas but his strike was saved by Weatherill.

The home keeper had a let-off four minutes later when a bouncing ball saw Muir checked on the edge of the box as Weatherill came out to clear but nothing was given. Then some slick passing saw Muir play Karl Oliyide through. His shot was blocked but he chipped the rebound back in to the far post where Nicholas had a header deflected wide.

With half-time approaching, Northwood had failed to make their dominance pay but they went close just before the break as Muir ran onto a through ball and chipped the keeper but the ball ended just over the bar. After a one-sided first-half it was Aylesbury who had the first attack of the second period but after Lamar Simpson had found Ken Feyi with a cross, his powerful shot was headed clear by Mark Burgess without troubling Berkley Laurencin in goal.

It was only a brief respite for the home side as Weatherill saved low from another Nicholas strike and then Townsend flicked a header wide from a Murray corner. The opening goal finally arrived on 61 minutes as Townsend’s run and cross caused a problem in the Aylesbury defence and Oliyide was quick to pounce and drive a low shot inside the post for his sixteenth goal of the season.

Weatherill made a good stop from a Murray strike two minutes later and then Oliyide had a great chance for a second as he raced onto a chip but his touch was poor and it ran through to a relieved goalkeeper.

After 71 minutes Simpson showed good pace again for the home side as he cut in but drove his shot wide of the far post as the Moles tried to rally.

But the Woods were in no mood to concede and they were soon threatening again. This time Nicholas did well with a ball through to Muir whose effort was palmed away by the keeper. Murray was onto the loose ball and as he looked for space to shoot he was taken down in the box for a penalty. Muir stepped up to fire home from the spot and take his tally to twenty-four for the campaign.

Ehui hit another effort into the side-netting but the Woods were content to run the clock down in the closing stages with the only glimmer of a chance for Aylesbury coming when a bobble caused a miskick from Laurencin but the opportunity was wasted.