NORTHWOOD FC   Saturday 24th August 2013   DAVENTRY TOWN FC

Calor Southern League Central Division

  Northwood 0  Daventry Town 3   


Scorers: Blake 24,
Cross 34, Ebans 90

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Jake Knight     1 Richard Morris
2 Danny McDonnell     2 Joe Coleman (84m)
3 Ryan Phillips     3 Ollie Wilkinson
4 James Burgess     4 Guy Sanders
5 Steve Brown     5 Liam Dolman
6 Craig White (75m)     6 Adam Confue
7 Jon-Jo Bates     7 Ross Oulton
8 George Nicholas     8 Ryan Howell
9 Niko Muir (60m)     9 Scott Cross (74m)
10 Ronnel Dennis (68m)     10 Josh Blake (74m)
11 Joakim Ehui     11 Chris Murphy
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Orlando Rodrigues     12 Marcel Simpson (84m)
14 Rashaun Raphael     14 Deqwon Ebanks (74m)
15 Oliver Sprague (60m)     15 Jamie Gould
16 Sonny Bailey-Aird (75m)     16 Neil Champelovier
17 Garry Senior (68m)     17 Ashley Robinson (74m)
      Referee: Adrian Piggott; Assistants: Simon Parbey & Dele Sotimirin      
  REPORT by Alan Evans     PHOTOS by James Brown  

Northwood’s opening-day win at Slough Town seemed a distant memory as they slipped to their second home defeat inside five days. With goalkeeper James Reading having been lured to join former manager Gary Meakin at Beaconsfield Sycob, the Woods secured the services of Boreham Wood’s former England Schoolboys keeper Jake Knight to take his place, but it was tough task for the youngster.

Not only were Northwood up against a side with a 100% record and a potent aerial threat, they were also without defensive lynchpin Brad Hewitt, ruled out with a groin strain. James Burgess filled in for him at the back while George Nicholas came in for the unavailable James McCluskey, and Ronnel Dennis started up front for the first time in place of Garry Senior, who had taken a knock in midweek.

The visitors were quickly out of the blocks, the Woods defended too deeply and after ten minutes, there was a warning sign as Josh Blake got his head to an accurate cross and the ball struck the crossbar with Knight a spectator. The keeper then made the first of several good saves, pushing out a snap-shot from Adam Confue, followed by a more routine stop after a long-range effort from Scott Cross.

After Chris Murphy had whipped a ball in that flashed past everyone and also the far post, Northwood had a golden opportunity to take the lead totally against the run of play when Dennis received a ball in space but he fluffed his lines in front of goal and was unable to beat goalkeeper Richard Morris.

That was a rare foray into the Daventry defence, and after Ryan Howell had steered a shot wide of the target, the visitors took a 24th minute lead when a long ball from Guy Sanders was met by a deft flick of the head from Blake and the ball looped over Knight and under the crossbar. It got worse for the Woods ten minutes later, when Cross worked himself some space out wide on the right and turned to hit a delicate chip shot which had Knight beaten again and increased the Daventry lead to 2-0.

Just before the break the visitors could have made the game safe when a cross from Murphy caused havoc in the box and a deflection could have crept over the line if it was not for an excellent clearance from Ryan Phillips.

In the second half, Northwood seemed more focused on trying to match their opponents, and they gradually started to stem the flow of attacks, with Burgess and Steve Brown looking more solid. Joakim Ehui began to find some success down the right flank and twice beat his marker before knocking in inviting crosses but no-one was prepared to attack the ball.

Substitutions were made but without changing what had become a dull affair but one of those, Deqwon Ebanks, did have a chance on 74 minutes as he was put through on goal after a quick break by Knight came out to block his shot well and the danger was cleared.

Ebanks then added some comedy to proceedings by picking up a yellow card for a languid case of “delaying the restart” after being flagged offside but he had the last laugh as he scored a third goal in the final minute. A corner led to him having three goes at converting with Knight blocking twice at close range but he was unable to thwart him on the third occasion.

It has been a really tough first week of fixtures for Northwood and now they go to North Greenford United on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon for a local derby which looks a difficult one based on their hosts form over the last week. Their opponents have taken points from away games at both Royston Town and Rugby Town, both sides that are fancied to challenge for honours this season, having led in both matches.