BURNHAM FC   Tuesday 19th November 2013   NORTHWOOD FC

Red Insure League Cup Second Round

  Burnham 6  Northwood 2  

Scorers: Couch 19, 47, 68, 85
Blake 45+3, Malloy 82

Muir 57, 75

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Liam Burgin     1 Danny McNicholas
2 Sam Boultwood     2 Alex Nolan (70m)
3 Tom Baddeley     3 Oliver Sprague
4 Harry Baddeley (46m)     4 Mark Burgess
5 John Gray     5 George Nicholas
6 Josh Webb     6 James Burgess
7 Ryan Upward (84m)     7 Joakim Ehui
8 Lee Togwell     8 Craig White
9 Adam Martin     9 Aaron McLeish (77m)
10 Ryan Blake (70m)     10 Jack Smith (56m)
11 Aaron Couch     11 Karl Oliyide
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Emmanuel Sam (84m)     12 Ryan Phillips
14 James Dobson (46m)     14 James Duncan
15 -     15 Koran Goldson (70m)
16 -     16 Harry Smart (77m)
17 Dan Molloy (70m)     17 Niko Muir (56m)
      Referee: Adrian Piggott; Assistants: Dan Simpson & Paul Andrews      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  




The Woods’ unbeaten run came to an abrupt end in this Red Insure Southern League Cup tie, with Premier Division side Burnham proving too strong for an injury-hit Northwood side on a freezing night and in an atmosphere plus a crowd of just 27, more suited to a friendly fixture.

Mark Burgess was still without his two main-choice goalkeepers so 17-year-old Danny McNicholas kept his place between the sticks but Steve Brown and Ramil Sheriff were missing at the back and both Michael Murray and Dave Lawrence were out having been taken off on Saturday. Karl Oliyide had recovered from illness but both Alex Nolan, son of former Woods favourite Dave Nolan, and Wealdstone youngster Jack Smith were brought in for Northwood debuts. Two others, Harry Smart and Koran Godson, were also signed on the day to take a place on the subs bench alongside top scorer Niko Muir who was rested.

On arrival at The Gore, it was clear that Burnham were having their own selection issues with players having received news of budget cuts that eventually meant a late decision on a teamsheet and with several experienced players not appearing on it, including former Woods defender Reece Yorke. They went with their own youth goalkeeper in Liam Burgin and gave debuts to defenders Sam Boultwood and Harry Baddeley.

One area where the home side seemed unaffected though was in attack and they quickly had the Woods makeshift rearguard at full stretch with Ryan Blake and Aaron Couch showing excellent movement. McNicholas made a couple of important saves early on and Oliver Sprague cleared one effort off the line while the Woods only early attack saw Aaron McLeish put through on goal but he slipped his shot wide of the post.

The Blues continued to pressurise and after 19 minutes they took a deserved lead through Couch who slotted in from close-range. Northwood rallied immediately with Oliyide cutting in and seeing his effort saved by Burgin closely followed by another chance for McLeish who slotted wide again. Things quietened down for a while but before the break McNicholas made a excellent save when Blake burst through down the middle one-on-one, though he could do nothing to stop Blake netting in stoppage-time of the first-half after he was set up by Couch.

Nothing suggested that the Woods would be able to get back into the game and three minutes after the restart Couch bagged his second of the game after Blake returned the favour with an accurate ball in. McNicholas palmed another shot from Adam Martin over the bar soon after but just a minute after Muir replaced Smith up front, the in-form striker got on the end of a Joakim Ehui cross to power home a header and give Northwood some hope.

It didn’t last long, though, as Burnham added a fourth goal on 69 minutes, Couch completing an opportunistic hat-trick after some clever footwork from James Dobson. ¬†Game over? Well, not quite as six minutes later Craig White played a good ball to Mark Burgess, and he set it up neatly for Muir to blast home his second and make the score 4-2.

Smart replaced McLeish on 77 minutes and four minutes later, substitute Goldson made a pacy run down the right, crossed for Smart who turned sharply but with the whole goal to aim at, directed his shot straight at Burgin, who kept it out and the ball was cleared.

Had that gone in, there may have been a real chance of an upset but it wasn’t to be as, with defensive duties long forgotten by now, Burnham countered and scored twice in quick succession through young substitute Dan Molloy and then Couch once again who netted a fourth goal to complete a great night.

Despite that, the Woods went close twice in the closing stages. Muir almost made it a hat-trick when he rifled a great strike from 25 yards that crashed back off the crossbar and then Oliyide broke into the box from the left but shot just wide of the near post.