NORTHWOOD FC   Saturday 5th October 2013   AFC HAYES

FA Carlsberg Trophy Preliminary Round

  Northwood 2  AFC Hayes 3   

Muir 16, Lawrence 47

Shennan 14, Lawal 67, Cass 79

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Jake Knight     1 Ben Goode
2 Ramil Sheriff     2 Jerome Eccleston
3 Ryan Phillips (84m)     3 Charlie Crane
4 James Burgess     4 James Walters (74m)
5 Steve Brown (94m)     5 Charlie Goode
6 George Nicholas     6 Mitch Gough
7 Joakim Ehui     7 Jordan Lawal
8 Craig White     8 Jake Cass (86m)
9 Niko Muir     9 Lawrie Shennan
10 Dave Lawrence     10 Romayne Thomas
11 Sonny Bailey-Aird     11 Lee McManus (60m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Mark Burgess (94m)     12 Joseph Debayo (74m)
14 Oliver Sprague     14 Paul Underwood (86m)
15 Rashaun Raphael     15 Tashan Jordan (60m)
16 Aaron McLeish (84m)     16 Steve Loveridge
17 -     17 Lucas Williams
      Referee: Oli Doulton; Assistants: A Anastasiou & Peter Nagy      
  REPORT by Alan Evans     PHOTOS by James Brown  




Since first playing in the FA Trophy thirteen years ago, the competition has rarely been much of a fundraiser for the Woods, and after this narrow defeat you still have to go back to their best run of three wins in 2009/10 to find their last victory. But unlike last year’s heavy defeat at home to Leatherhead, Northwood had every chance to taste success in this entertaining local derby and will consider themselves unlucky to have missed out on the winners trip to Chatham Town in the next round.

With Jon-Jo Bates suspended and Reece Grant not allowed to play by his parent club Wealdstone, there was a long-awaited first start for Dave Lawrence while Steve Brown was back in defence. Manager Mark Burgess also stood down so George Nicholas returned to the midfield.

After a slow start to the game, it was the visitors who made the first attacking move on 11 minutes as a long-range effort from Romayne Thomas had Jake Knight diving to his right to push the ball around the post. From the resulting corner, the ball was cleared out to Mitch Gough, who fired wide. The Woods responded with Sonny Bailey-Aird cutting in from the left, but his shot was straight at goalkeeper Ben Goode who saved comfortably.

AFC Hayes were in front on fourteen minutes when star striker Lawrie Shennan found space to slip through the defence and rifle into the roof of the net with a clinical finish. Northwood rallied quickly and were level two minutes later when Niko Muir latched onto a good ball, went past the keeper and then picked his shot between two covering defenders.

Knight made an excellent reflex stop to block a good strike from Jordan Lawal after Joakim Ehui’s attempted clearance was blocked in the box. Ehui then made his presence felt at the other end, starting and finishing a move that linked with Lawrence and ended with a fine save from Goode. It was the start of a good, attacking spell from the Woods.

Muir fired across the goal and wide after another good move and then Lawrence did well to get into the box but saw his shot blocked. The attacks continued with Craig White flicking a header wide after a neat ball in from Ramil Sheriff. Just before the break, Ryan Phillips got forward on the left and found Muir whose shot on the turn was again wide of the post.

It seemed that Northwood’s inability to hit the target might prove costly but within a couple of minutes of the restart, Muir flicked on a ball into the box and Lawrence was quick to pounce and finish with a crisp shot inside the post that gave the Woods the lead.

Lawrence and Brown were both booked within the next ten minutes and the Woods seemed to lose their impetus. Although Phillips had a free-kick well saved by Goode, the visitors also went close on two occasions through Jake Cass, one scooped shot dropping just over and a free-kick being pushed over the bar by Knight.

The equaliser came on 67 minutes but was a self-inflicted wound by Northwood. Lawrence stood over a free-kick thirty yards from the Hayes goal but in trying to play a one-two with White, the ball cannoned into the path of Tash Jordan who sprinted forward. It caught the defence out and Jordan did well to draw players across before slipping the ball to Lawal, who fired inside the post for a classic counter-attack goal.

The Brook then went on to regain the lead after 79 minutes. A corner was cleared to Cass just outside the box, and he showed an excellent touch to volley a chip back across goal and into an empty net.

Panic set in for the final stages but the Woods lacked composure in front of goal. Bailey-Aird had two efforts, a shot and a header, which failed to hit the target and then a last gasp strike from Nicholas, latching onto a headed clearance from Charlie Goode, went straight at Ben Goode.

The visitors had held on to claim valuable prize money and a winnable tie in the next round.