ST IVES TOWN FC   Saturday 1st March 2014   NORTHWOOD FC

Calor Southern League Central Division

  St Ives Town 4  Northwood 5  

Dean 60,
Walters 81, 90, 91

Oliyide 2, 38, Lawrence 48
Federico 64, Townsend 70

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Barney McLaughlin     1 Berkley Laurencin
2 Mitch Hancock     2 James Duncan
3 Ashley White     3 Oliver Sprague
4 Dan Newman     4 Mark Burgess
5 Jordan Lambert     5 Steve Brown
6 Karl Gibbs (68m)     6 George Nicholas (74m)
7 Jason King     7 Jerome Federico
8 Lee Ellison     8 Craig White
9 Avelino Vieira     9 Karl Oliyide (64m)
10 Tom Meechan (64m)     10 Dave Lawrence
11 Dan Banister     11 Joakim Ehui
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Matt Waters (68m)     12 Giles Townsend
14 Will Fordham     14 Tommy Walsh (74m)
15 Jimmy Dean (64m)     15 Niko Muir
16 Warren Everden     16 -
17 Nick Bennion     17 Dan Daggett
      Referee: Andrew Tonks; Assistants: Mark Wetherall & Richard May      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  



The Woods notched what was their third successive away league victory but after conceding three late goals in ten minutes, they only just nervously held on to all three points. Northwood welcomed back Berkley Laurencin in goal after injury but were still resting injured top scorer Niko Muir, while James Burgess was unavailable so Craig White started his first league game since Boxing Day.

The pitch had passed a morning pitch inspection after some sterling work by the groundstaff but it was soggy and sticky, yet the Woods were quickly into their stride. Some clever footwork from Dave Lawrence on the right won an early free-kick and there was less than two minutes on the clock when Oliver Sprague delivered an angled ball for Karl Oliyide to get a slight deflection with his head that beat goalkeeper Barney McLaughlin.

Northwood dominated for long spells in the first half, with the pace of Joakim Ehui and Jerome Federico causing real problems for the home defence which always looked stretched. On five minutes a long ball put Federico through on goal but he overran it and after the ball ran loose off from the goalkeeper, Lawrence set up George Nicholas for a goalbound shot that was blocked three yards out by defender Ashley White.
Three minutes later Federico’s speedy run ended in a poor cross but the ball was only half-cleared and Nicholas tried his luck again, this time firing just wide. St.Ives began to settle midway through the half and Sprague cleared one dangerous ball in from Tom Meechan before Laurencin was finally forced into action by saving low down from a Avelino Vieira shot.

But the Woods still looked more dangerous on the break and when a good move saw Nicholas set up Ehui for a powerful strike, it was well saved by McLaughlin, though it was hit straight at him. On 38 minutes, Northwood gained a further advantage as a good ball saw Oliyide burst into the box and he finished with a good strike that beat the keeper at his near post. The home side looked to try to stage a comeback before the break and did go close when a defensive slip allowed Dan Bannister to shoot and when Jimmy Dean stuck out a boot it cannoned onto the post and away.

Disaster struck St Ives just three minutes into the second half, when great persistence from Lawrence saw him rob the goalkeeper of the ball twice and then shoot for goal. It was blocked by defender Jordan Lambert on the line but struck his left arm which was tucked into his side and a penalty was the result. There was a red card for Lambert, too, leaving the home team with ten men. With usual penalty-taker Muir on the bench, it was Lawrence who took responsibility for the spot-kick and although McLaughlin did well to save his effort, the ball bounced back to Lawrence, who stroked home a third.

Game over? Well, you would have thought so, and the Woods continued to pile on the pressure. McLaughlin saved a Lawrence free-kick which had been cleverly dummied by Federico but also spilt it and when it was worked back across, Nicholas also saw his shot saved. Northwood added a fourth goal after 64 minutes when Oliyide played a superb ball through for Federico who ran past the keeper and then squeezed home a shot from a tight angle and now there seemed no way back for St. Ives.

But Oliyide limped off to be replaced by youth teamer Giles Townsend, while the home side brought on the burly Jimmy Dean. Just two minutes later Vieira crossed from the right and Dean rose majestically to power home a header that gave Laurencin no chance. It was only a consolation surely, and it certainly seemed that way when Townsend added a fifth Northwood goal after 73 minutes, meeting a well-flighted corner from Sprague to net his first-ever senior goal.

A minute later ten-men St. Ives brought on on-loan Histon striker Matty Waters and the youngster made a real impact. When he knocked in a goal after 82 minutes following a quick break, it sparked a real upsurge in fortunes for the home team. Spurred by vocal encouragement from a sizeable crowd and assisted by some marginal refereeing decisions going their way, St Ives rallied. Northwood’s defence panicked, found they had run out of steam up front and when Vieira got the better of James Duncan, his cross was turned in at the second attempt by Waters.

Into stoppage-time and two minutes in, Waters found space to blast home and complete an opportunistic eleven minute hat-trick, narrowing the score to just one goal. It had been a stirring finale but St. Ives final effort was a wayward strike from Dan Newman and the Woods breathed a sigh of relief to have held on.

The side gets another week’s break now before the visit of play-off hopefuls Royston Town next Saturday afternoon.