NORTHWOOD FC   Tuesday 28th January 2014   SLOUGH TOWN FC

Calor Southern League Central Division

  Northwood 0 Slough Town 2   


Smith 25, Cornell 30

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Berkley Laurencin     1 Jake Somerville
2 Sam Flegg (71m)     2 Sean Fraser
3 Oliver Sprague     3 Ryan Parsons
4 Mark Burgess     4 Dave Woozley
5 Steve Brown (82m)     5 Adam Foulser
6 George Nicholas     6 Leigh Rumbold
7 Jerome Federico     7 Adam Cornell (59m)
8 James Burgess (71m)     8 Jamie McClurg
9 Niko Muir     9 Ed Smith
10 Dave Lawrence     10 Darren Wheeler
11 Karl Oliyide     11 Warren Harris (80m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Giles Townsend (82m)     12 George Short (80m)
14 Craig White (71m)     14 Sebastien Castello
15 Tommy Walsh     15 Jake Parsons
16 James Duncan     16 Scott Harris (59m)
17 Joakim Ehui (71m)     17 Matt Bonnett
      Referee: Gareth Viccars; Assistants: Mat Filipiak & Stuart Pater      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  




Slough Town gained revenge for their opening day loss at the hands of the Woods by turning the tables in this hard-fought and highly competitive fixture at Northwood Park. On a Tuesday night when most other matches in the area fell victim to the wet weather, the Woods pitch was perfectly playable and both sides would have been happy to get back into action after a wash-out at the weekend.

The Woods gave debuts to two players, both arrived from Hendon on dual-registration basis. Replacing the impressive Tomer Sherman, who has returned to his homeland of Israel, was the experienced Berkley Laurencin who has over 150 appearances behind him with the Ryman Premier side. He becomes the seventh goalkeeper to take his place between the sticks this season while defender Sam Flegg replaced the injured James Duncan at right-back. Slough Town had endured several injury problems in recent months as their promotion bid floundered a little but they were close to their full-strength side for this game and they started brightly with Warren Harris causing a few problems down the flank.

They were defended well though and it was the Woods who recorded the first effort on goal after 15 minutes as Karl Oliyide found space to shoot and Slough goalkeeper Jake Somerville failed to hold, only claiming the ball safely at the second attempt. Two minutes later a lack of communication between the ‘keeper and defender Adam Foulser almost caused the visitors real problems as the ball ran loose but it bounced away from danger. From that the Rebels countered quickly and Ed Smith crossed for Adam Cornell to steer a header towards goal which Laurencin collected comfortably.

The game was being played at a fast and furious pace and Oliyide was next to go close with another good run and low shot being well saved by Somerville, followed by another from Jerome Federico whose angled effort was again blocked by the keeper.

Dave Lawrence also had a shot that failed to find the target but Slough then suddenly grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and scored two crucial goals in a six minute period. The first, on 25 minutes, was a fine solo effort as Smith showed some fine footwork on the edge of the box to pick his way past two challenges and then neatly stroked the ball inside the post to give Laurencin no chance.

Then, after 30 minutes, the Rebels forced a corner and when Darren Wheeler crossed towards the edge of the area, one-time Northwood striker Cornell’s header had the defence ball-watching and it sailed past the keeper for a two-goal lead.

Northwood looked to hit back before the break and launched a series of attacks. Two minutes later, Niko Muir got his head to a well-delivered free-kick and Somerville dived across to make a fine save. George Nicholas tried his luck from distance but was unable to hit the target and then Federico did well with a run and cross which found Oliyide but the youngster put his effort the wrong side of the post.

Just before half-time, Federico found some joy down the flank again and Muir met his cross well with a fine shot but this time defender Sean Fraser managed to block and deny the Woods top scorer. There was still time for Oliyide to go close again but Slough had managed to hold on to their lead at the break.

Northwood came out for the second half with the same determination and tempo and Oliyide was still working hard to find an opening. After 52 minutes a typical run saw him jink into the box where he lost control under pressure from two defenders but the ball ran loose to Lawrence who slid the ball wide of the goal. Five minutes later Muir turned provider with a run and first-time cross from the right and Lawrence looked favourite to knock it past the ‘keeper but defender Ryan Parsons just took it off his toe to concede a corner.

Slough still looked threatening on the break though and after 63 minutes a good ball from Leigh Rumbold saw Smith in on Laurencin but the Woods ‘keeper did well to block his flicked effort. Back came Northwood again with Federico combining with Nicholas and when the winger went down under a strong challenge, the ball ran loose to Nicholas whose excellent strike was pushed over the top by Somerville who, unfortunately for the Woods, was fast earning the man of the match accolade.

Jamie McClurg had a chance to put the game beyond reach soon after this but could only hit his shot straight at the ‘keeper from a good position and the Woods then made a double-substitution, bringing on Craig White and Joakim Ehui for James Burgess and Flegg.

Muir had a shot deflected just over the top and soon after was left frustrated again when denied by the ‘keeper as he palmed his effort over the bar once more. The normally accurate Lawrence was having an off day in front of goal and he put another shot wide on 77 minutes as Northwood sustained their attacking play and Slough continued to defend well. Three minutes later another attack led to a scramble around the area and the ball rolled to Nicholas who hit a good low strike that looked goalbound but again Somerville was able to react quickly and block his effort from just a few yards away.

The Woods took risks in the final stages but were just unable to find the breakthrough with substitute Giles Townsend firing over after a free-kick caused problems in the Slough area being their final chance. The Rebels tried to take advantage of the gaps left at the back and David Woozley had a late header well saved by Laurencin while the Northwood debutant also came out of goal to block a late chance for Wheeler.

Northwood will consider they were unlucky to not have got something out of this game, losing an unbeaten home record that has stretched back to early October but the visitors certainly played their part and will have been delighted with all three points.