BRACKNELL TOWN   Saturday 15th September 2018   NORTHWOOD FC

Bostik League South Central

  Bracknell Town 2  Northwood 1  

Davies 1, Cornell 52

Alfano 90

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Mark Scott     1 Luke Sheldrick
2 Jonathan Hathaway     2 Jack Gibbs (64m)
3 Ryan Parsons     3 Matt Cooper
4 Harrison Bayley     4 Chris Gosling
5 Matthew Day     5 Sam Tring
6 Carl Davies     6 Carl Pearce © 
7 Joseph Grant (81m)     7 Sam Jenkins
8 Kensley Maloney (74m)     8 Luke Alfano
9 Adam Cornell (68m)     9 Jorome Slew (80m)
10 Liam Ferdinand     10 James Ewington
11 Sebastian Bowerman     11 Miguel Matos (60m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 James McClurg (74m)     12 Kweku Conrad-Lucan (64m)
14 Gavin James (68m)     14 Cameron Ferguson
15 Kane Fitzgerald (81m)     15 Ned Clarke (80m)
16       16 Ben Andreos
17 -     17 Keir Dickson (60m)



Referee: Jonathan Bond; Assts: Tom Simmons & Chris Fernandes



  REPORT by Alan Evans   PHOTOS by James Brown  



Newly-promoted Hellenic League runners-up Bracknell Town have hit the ground running at the higher level and the Woods were unable to halt their progress as the Robins maintained their 100% league record by a narrow margin on their artificial pitch.

Sam Tring returned to the defence after missing out on the FA Cup ties against Kings Langley and there was a debut for youngster Jack Gibbs, dual-registered from Boreham Wood, at right-back in place of the injured Karl Stevenson. Jorome Slew also returned up front with Ned Clarke on the bench while Ben Pattie has been ruled out for a month with a hairline fracture in his foot, sustained in the final kick of the replay on Tuesday night.

The Robins looked well-drilled and purposeful from the first whistle and the Woods were caught out completely. A quick pass out to the right flank won a corner and from that the ball dropped in the danger area, Adam Cornell had two stabs at it which were blocked but player-manager Carl Davies stabbed in the loose ball from a few feet. There were just 39 seconds on the clock.

Bracknell never let up in a fast-paced start to the match and but for some solid goalkeeping by Luke Sheldrick, the match would have been put to bed in the first half. After 13 minutes the Division’s top scorer Liam Ferdinand exchanged passes with Cornell and was through on goal but Sheldrick saved well from his effort. Seven minutes later a long ball put Cornell through one-on-one again and this time the Woods ‘keeper pushed his strike wide of the post for a corner. From that there was a free header for Joe Grant but he directed it straight at Sheldrick.

Northwood were getting their share of possession but were not looking anywhere near as potent in front of goal. However, after 24 minutes Slew picked out Carl Pearce for a header which deflected wide and from the resulting corner, swung in by Chris Gosling, was missed by goalkeeper Mark Scott and Tring’s goalbound touch was headed off the line by Johnny Hathaway before Gibbs shot wide of the far post from the loose ball.

But that was only a temporary respite as the Robins surged forward again with a good flowing move leading to a shot from Seb Bowerman which was cleared off the line by Miguel Lopes De Matos and a minute later Grant tried his luck with a low strike which was comfortably taken by Sheldrick.

After 35 minutes, Tring lost out as Cornell spun him to get a run on goal once again and his shot across the keeper looked goalbound until Sheldrick stretched and produced a fingertip save that diverted it just past the upright.

But the Woods battled on to the break and at just 1-0 there was still all to play for. The home side were still full of confidence when the second half began though, and within a minute Grant had been put through on the right of goal but he fired into the side-netting.

Ferdinand then made space for himself just outside the box but saw his powerful shot crash back off the crossbar with Sheldrick beaten. The Woods needed to hang on and Sheldrick again came to their rescue as he got down low to push out another Ferdinand strike, but after 52 minutes the pressure finally told with one-time Northwood striker Cornell latching onto a pass from Ferdinand and letting fly from twenty yards with a shot that found the top corner to give Sheldrick no chance.

With the lead doubled, Northwood had work to do and Matt Cooper tried his luck from distance with an effort which wasn’t far away from the far corner of the goal and then, from a free-kick awarded for a foul on Gosling, Slew curled the ball well but Scott was behind it to make the save.

Substitutions followed, with Keir Dickson and Kweku Lucan both introduced having missed games through injury and illness respectively, and it appeared to have a positive effect. After 70 minutes, Tring got forward from defence to send a near ball through the James Ewington and the Woods top scorer appeared to do everything right as he slid the ball past the oncoming keeper but it bounced inches the wrong side of the post. It was a miss that the Woods would come to lament by the end.

Another free-kick three minutes later saw Dickson also get the ball past the defensive wall but again his effort didn’t have the power to beat Scott in goal and when the Woods were awarded a third free-kick in a similar position they changed it up. The ball was played wide to Slew, whose strike from an angle was kicked away by Scott.

Still the Woods pushed to get back into the game and after 80 minutes a good move saw Dickson and Ewington combine to put Gosling in on goal but his low shot was kept out with his feet again by the home keeper.

Time was running out on Northwood when out of nowhere, Luke Alfano notched his first goal for the club rifled home a stunner from 30 yards. That was in the second minute of stoppage-time but there was no time to find an equaliser.