DAVENTRY TOWN FC   Saturday 28th December 2013   NORTHWOOD FC

Calor Southern League Central Division

  Daventry Town 2  Northwood 0  

Scorers: Confue 47, O'Grady 87

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Richard Morris     1 Tomer Sherman
2 Ollie Wilkinson     2 James Duncan
3 Josh Blake     3 Oliver Sprague (90m)
4 Marcel Simpson     4 Mark Burgess
5 Liam Dolman     5 Steve Brown
6 Adam Confue     6 James Burgess
7 Josh O’Grady     7 Joakim Ehui
8 Ryan Howell     8 George Nicholas
9 Tom Lorraine (71m)     9 Niko Muir
10 Luke Keen (76m)     10 Karl Oliyide
11 Tom James (85m)     11 Jerome Federico (61m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Ashley Deeney     12 Tommy Walsh
14 Scott Cross (76m)     14 Giles Townsend (90m)
15 Mykel Beckley (85m)     15 Jake Knight
16 Jamie Gould     16 Craig White
17 Ashley Robinson (71m)     17 Dave Lawrence (61m)
      Referee: David Avent; Assistants: Mark Wetherall & Wayne Bright      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  



After narrow away defeats at Rugby Town and Dunstable Town – the top two in the table – the Woods were hoping to reverse the trend as they travelled to Daventry Town who boasted a 100% home record after nine matches. George Nicholas came in to replace the injured Craig White, while Steve Brown was back from suspension and Dave Lawrence was on the bench after returning from abroad.

On a very heavy pitch, the Woods started brightly but had been unable to find a way past the home defence before a home attack led to Oliver Sprague’s risky tackle harshly being judged a foul and Nicholas picking up a booking for showing dissent at the decision. From the resulting free-kick, Mark Burgess headed the dangerous ball away for a corner.

This led to a spell of pressure from the home side and Tomer Sherman saved well from Ryan Howell before Tom Lorraine flicked a header wide after a cross from Tom James. Both sides contested every ball in the midfield area with neither getting on top but after 22 minutes, Niko Muir grabbed enough space for a shot on the turn which flashed wide of the target.

Another free-kick by James curled just over the bar for Daventry but on 33 minutes the Woods had their best chance of a first half goal. Muir was put through down the right by a good ball and he picked out Nicholas whose powerful strike was saved well by goalkeeper Richard Morris. The ball rebounded out to Karl Oliyide who then shot against the post but a flag was up for offside at that stage and wouldn’t have counted. More good work from Oliyide saw him put Joakim Ehui in on goal but his shot struck the side-netting as the Woods finished the half well.

The second-half was delayed by a floodlight problem which meant that all four pylons wouldn’t light up at the same time but this was eventually rectified and it commenced after a fifteen minute delay. Unfortunately, just two minutes after the restart, Daventry made the breakthrough as Luke Keen did well on the right, twisting and turning to get a cross in and Adam Confue arrived late in the box to fire a shot past Sherman.

Four minutes later James Burgess cleared a shot off the line to keep the Woods in the game and on 53 minutes they were almost level. A free-kick was played in by Sprague and appeared to hit an upraised hand as it came across but penalty claims fell on deaf ears. The ball though still came through to Mark Burgess at the far post and he powered a shot for goal but Morris was equal to it, blocking with his body.

Daventry went close with a wayward shot from Josh O’Grady and then Sherman saved from Howell while the Woods introduced Lawrence for Federico. Daventry introduced substitutes of their own but it was Lawrence who was having most effect.

After 79 minutes he got the better of Marcel Simpson but then knocked a cross which was headed away and then a long ball saw Lawrence favourite to reach it but Morris did well to slide in and block the ball on the edge of the box and the loose ball was cleared.

The Woods tried hard enough but the Daventry defence had the upper hand on the heavy surface and Northwood’s resistance was eventually extinguished after 85 minutes as Mykel Beckley found space on the left and squared for O’Grady to slot low into the corner.

Even then the Woods came close to pulling a goal back as Sprague’s ball put Oliyide in on goal but his strike was always rising and went over the bar. A late injury for Sprague added to Northwood’s woes who had failed to score in a game for the first time since the 3-0 defeat at Kettering Town back at the end of September; their last trip into Northamptonshire!

The side get a few days rest now before the New Year’s Day visit to Potters Bar Town and then Saturday’s home fixture against another of the play-off hopefuls – Slough Town.