NORTHWOOD FC   Tuesday 21st January 2014   UXBRIDGE FC

Calor Southern League Central Division

  Northwood 2 Uxbridge 1   

Lawrence 51, Oliyide 90

Madigan 50

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Tomer Sherman     1 Paul McCarthy
2 James Duncan (46m)     2 Emmanuel Otira
3 Oliver Sprague     3 Lewis Wallace
4 Mark Burgess     4 Dave Thomas
5 Steve Brown     5 Mark Dennison
6 George Nicholas     6 Wayne Carter
7 Joakim Ehui (72m)     7 Will Wambeek
8 James Burgess     8 Callum Madigan
9 Niko Muir     9 Matt Woods
10 Dave Lawrence     10 Chris Moore
11 Karl Oliyide     11 Craige Tomkins
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Giles Townsend (46m)     12 Max Hubbard
14 Craig White     14 Danny Julienne
15 Jake Knight     15 Kieran Knight
16 Tommy Walsh     16 Kevin Warner
17 Jerome Federico (72m)     17 Rourke Pickford
      Referee: Chris Phillips; Assistants: Mark Tweed & Paul Andrews      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  

A late goal from youngster Karl Oliyide earned the Woods the three points that extended the club’s unbeaten home run to nine matches and lifted the club back into the play-off positions. The match was swiftly rearranged after being postponed on Saturday, and this gave goalkeeper Tomer Sherman a last chance to appear for Northwood prior to his return to his Israeli homeland a couple of days later.

The change made to the starting line-up saw a return from Joakim Ehui, with Jerome Federico taking a turn on the substitute bench. Conversely, former Woods striker Chris Moore was able to take his place in the Uxbridge side for the first time since returning to the club after a spell with Ryman Premier side Wealdstone.

The Woods started well enough, with Niko Muir quickly involved and after seven minutes he cut in from the right and laid off a great ball to Oliyide, who should have scored but mis-kicked in front of goal and put his effort wide of the post. Having survived that scare, Uxbridge enjoyed plenty of possession and, combined with some robust challenges, it meant that Northwood’s attacking prowess was somewhat blunted and there was very little goalmouth action at either end.

Callum Madigan was booked for a foul on James Duncan while Ehui shot well wide and then Dave Lawrence latched onto a Muir pass but his shot lacked the power to beat goalkeeper Paul McCarthy. Muir then got on the end of a ball from Duncan but failed to hit the target. Duncan had to succumb to his injuries at half-time, and was replaced by youth teamer Giles Townsend for the second half which, despite the falling rain, provided some better entertainment for the crowd.

Just five minutes in, Matt Woods found some space down the right and when his cross rebounded across the box, Madigan was unmarked and he fired the visitors in front with his side’s first shot on target of the game.
Uxbridge were still congratulating themselves a minute later when Muir jinked his way across the midfield area and knocked a good ball into the box, where Lawrence coolly took a touch before sliding a shot past McCarthy for a quick equaliser.

The game was always a little feisty and the Woods were unable to find any natural rhythm to their attacking exploits. Lawrence tried a shot from distance which flew well over but just after George Nicholas picked up his customary caution, he almost gave the Woods the lead on 70 minutes. A good ball put him into the box and he drove a low shot across goal but saw his strike tipped onto the post and wide by the diving McCarthy.

Two minutes later some fresh legs were introduced, with Federico brought on to replace Ehui and the Woods suddenly had a new outlet on the right. It took some time to have an effect though but Federico won a corner on 82 minutes which led to Nicholas shooting just wide. Muir then latched onto an Oliver Sprague ball and forced McCarthy into action but he saved comfortably, and after 85 minutes Uxbridge wasted a chance of their own when Madigan was slipped into the box only for his shot to the near post finding the side-netting.

Suddenly, the Woods stepped up a further gear for the closing stages. After 86 minutes Townsend drove forward from defence and found Federico on the right, and he cut the ball back to Nicholas. His shot was blocked and it ran loose to Oliyide, but McCarthy saved well.

Two minutes later, Federico raced past his marker and knocked in a great cross to the far post where Nicholas was able to turn the ball in, but the flag was up correctly for a marginal offside decision and it seemed like the Woods might have to settle for a point. But still they pushed forward and Federico did well with a turn and shot from the edge of the box a minute later which saw McCarthy stretch to tip the ball just over the bar.

From the corner, Lawrence knocked it in short and Oliyide surprised everyone by rising highest to head the ball home from six yards and put the Woods in front as stoppage time approached.

It proved to be enough for Northwood to gain revenge for the 5-1 reverse that they had suffered at Honeycroft earlier in the season, and they showed some great spirit after falling behind soon after half-time. They now go to Aylesbury on Saturday, a ground where they have lost on all three previous occasions, looking to end that sequence and maintain their position in the top five.