BARTON ROVERS FC   Saturday 26th April 2014   NORTHWOOD FC

Calor Southern League Central Division

  Barton Rovers 0  Northwood 3  

Muir 32, 82, Oliyide 49

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Kyle Forster     1 Berkley Laurencin
2 Liam McDevitt     2 Giles Townsend (86m)
3 Kyle Lincoln (44m)     3 Oliver Sprague
4 Peter Gatti     4 Mark Burgess
5 Paul Andrews     5 James Burgess
6 Niran Vaughan (60m)     6 Craig White
7 Rhys Hoenes     7 Joakim Ehui
8 John Reynolds (46m)     8 George Nicholas
9 Kim Forsythe     9 Niko Muir
10 Keshi Anderson     10 Dave Lawrence
11 Jermaine Hall     11 Karl Oliyide (86m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Ricky Case (46m)     12 Jerome Federico (86m)
14 Bernard Christie (60m)     14 Dave Palmer
15 Luke Abraham (44m)     15 Tommy Walsh (86m)
16 Sam James     16 Tom Pegrum
17 Xavi Sweeney     17 Daniel Daggett
      Referee: Andrew Tonks Assistants: Paul Cooper & Jack Bloxham      
  REPORT by Alan Evans    PHOTOS by James Brown  



The Woods ended the season on a high note with this emphatic victory against a Barton Rovers side that only just missed out on a play-off place after an excellent campaign. Mark Burgess declared himself fit despite a hamstring problem to take his place alongside brother James at the back, with Steve Brown having been ruled out for the rest of the season a couple of weeks ago.

To reach the play-offs, the home side needed to produce a result better than Slough Town, who were at home to already relegated Chertsey Town – and they started brightly. Within the first minute, George Nicholas lost out in a tackle and the ball ran straight through to Kim Forsythe who stabbed a first-time shot wide of the far post.

The Woods rallied and Dave Lawrence played a neat ball through to Karl Oliyide in the box but the young attacker delayed his shot too long and was crowded out before he could strike. A minute later another excellent ball from Lawrence put Joakim Ehui in on goal but he shovelled his effort over the bar. Rovers tried to hit back and first a deep cross from Keshi Anderson was headed wide by Forsythe, before the same marksman saw another effort come back off the post.

But it was Northwood who started to gain an edge, and Niko Muir shot wide after Ehui had played a good Nicholas ball into his path. This was closely followed by another good move which ended when Craig White sliced his shot wide and then Nicholas combined well with Muir for a shot which also failed to find the target. But they finally struck after 32 minutes with Muir battling for space and then hitting a shot which goalkeeper Kyle Forster’s save could not quite stop the momentum of a ball that carried on into the net.

It was clearly a shock for Barton, and they finally tested goalkeeper Berkley Laurencin on 36 minutes when a long-range effort from Anderson forced the Woods keeper to tip the ball over the bar. Soon after, a free-kick was headed on by Jermaine Hall but again Laurencin was there to claim the ball safely. It was the Woods who went closest to adding to the scoreline before the break, though, as Mark Burgess dummied a free-kick and Lawrence came in behind him only to fire the ball over the bar. Then, another good sweeping move saw Oliyide cut in from the left but his shot was well saved by Forster.

The half-time news was that Slough were still being held by plucky Chertsey, so there was still all to play for as far as Rovers were concerned, and they changed their formation in order to try to go on the attack with Ricky Case replacing Joe Reynolds. But Northwood hadn’t read the script, as just two minutes into the second half a quick break saw Ehui knock in a fine cross having outpaced his marker, Lawrence’s volley flew back across the goal and Oliyide was on hand to head home.

Barton had little to offer at this stage, and they made a further change by bringing on recent capture BJ Christie as yet another attacking option, but it left them short on creation and the Woods found it more comfortable to keep the ball. Oliyide combined well with Muir to get through on goal but his shot lacked the power to beat Forster, who saved well.

Forsythe saw a header saved by Laurencin after Hall had retrieved a half-cleared free-kick but there was no way back for Rovers and the Woods should have notched a third when Nicholas missed a great opportunity having been set up by Oliyide on 75 minutes. The third goal did arrive, though, seven minutes later when Muir again scored with a fine solo effort, hitting a 20-yard shot that flew over Forster and into the corner for his 28th goal of a fine season for the 21-year-old marksman.

The Woods had completed the “double” over Barton, who had heard that an 80th minute penalty had seen Slough creep into the play-offs anyway.