NORTHWOOD FC   Saturday 23rd January 2016   BEACONSFIELD

Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central

  Northwood 2 Beaconsfield 1   

Muir 44, Hastings 62

Minhas 51

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Berkley Laurencin     1 Sam Bunting
2 Alex Nolan     2 Tom Gant
3 Andy Lomas     3 Jordan Ford (65m)
4 Steve Brown ©     4 Tristan Campbell (83m)
5 James Budden     5 Alex Murray
6 Bayley Brown (55m)     6 Guri Demuria
7 Max Holland     7 Lee Togwell (c)
8 Shane Cojocorel (76m)     8 Aaron Minhas
9 Louis Stead (88m)     9 Aaron Berry (63m)
10 Niko Muir     10 Sam Deadfield
11 Rob Hastings     11 Ashley Artwell
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Joakim Ehui (76m)     12 Tope Fowudu (65m)
14 Georges Ehui (55m)     14 Callum Bunting (83m)
15 Jermaine Heron (88m)     15 Sanchez Commack (63m)
16 Mark Burgess     16 -
17 -     17 -
      Referee: xx; Assistants: x & x      
  REPORT by Alan Evans    PHOTOS by James Brown  

The Woods continued their excellent run of form with this narrow defeat of Beaconsfield Sycob who were always in a feisty game despite ending it with just nine-men after two red cards in the second half. With George Nicholas suspended, Mark Burgess was forced into one change from the last fixture two weeks ago against AFC Rushden & Diamonds with Barnet youngster Shane Cojocarel making his first start of his loan spell. He also started Max Holland in place of Joakim Ehui on the left.

And it was Holland who was quickly into his stride onto a through ball in the very first minute but having appeared to have evaded goalkeeper Sam Bunting’s challenge, his shot was deflected wide by the keepers leg. From the resulting corner, Steve Brown scooped a shot over the bar. Sycob also had an early chance, after just four minutes when Tom Gant got a cross in from the right and Berkley Laurencin was unable to collect. The ball ran loose but a miskick allowed Andy Lomas to clear away.

Both sides struggled to get to grips with the boggy centre of the pitch until midway through the half and Beaconsfield had a real chance when Sam Deadfield ignored claims of offside as he raced through only to hit a chipped shot that lacked the power to really test Laurencin who saved comfortably.  Just a minute later, the Woods looked as if they had snatched the lead when Holland cut in from the left and curled a shot that was heading for the top corner until Bunting just got enough of a touch on it to push it against the inside of the post. On another day it may have bounced in but this one dropped down and away from goal.

The game became more open as the half wore on. Niko Muir fired a shot wide and then Ashley Artwell did likewise for Sycob before Deadfield got the better of Steve Brown to get in an angled shot that was not far wide of the post. But the Woods were looking more dangerous and after Muir had seen one good strike pushed wide by Bunting for a corner, Louis Stead knocked in a deep ball, James Budden headed it back across goal and it was Muir who headed home from six yards.

Muir went close again soon after the restart but then Sycob levelled the scores after 51 minutes when Aaron Minhas steered a loose ball inside a post with Laurencin rooted to the spot. The Woods keeper was in action four minutes later though, keeping out an effort from Artwell after he had showed good skills to get past Alex Nolan.

Bayley Brown had struggled to make an impact in the game and was replaced by Georges Ehui for the substitute’s first action in a Woods shirt since signing from Burnham. The Woods rallied well with a fired-up Muir doing well before setting up Lomas but the left-back’s shot flew well over. And it was Muir again who was involved as Northwood regained the lead on 62 minutes, as he got the better of two defenders on the left before cutting the ball back perfectly for Rob Hastings to fire home his third goal of the season.

Just two minutes later, Beaconsfield gave themselves a much harder task when Gant reacted to the  lack of a free-kick given for a perceived four on skipper Lee Togwell with a volley of audible abuse directed at the Referee. A rare straight red card for abusive language followed but the ten men continued to press for an equaliser.  Substitutions followed for both sides but on 76 minutes the Woods could have wrapped up the points as a Lomas free-kick was met by Hastings but Bunting blocked his header, the loose ball was half-cleared off the line and Stead fired over the top.

After that, Northwood seemed content to sit back and look to hit on the break but they almost paid for that when Deadfield knocked a good ball across goal and Laurencin had to save from substitute Tope Fowudu’s touch at the far post.

Beaconsfield’s frustrations blew up in the closing stages though. Artwell’s over-exuberant challenge on Nolan earned him a straight red card just into stoppage-time and two further bookings followed as the Woods saw out the game to gain revenge for the heavy 4-1 defeat suffered at Holloways Park earlier in the season.

Northwood are now unbeaten in eight games since the end of November and with just one defeat in fourteen games, they are due to play the team that inflicted that defeat, Chalfont St. Peter, next Saturday. Before that tough game against the side currently in second place in the table, they have a chance of reaching the County Cup semi-final as they play at home to Spelthorne Sports on Tuesday night in the game rescheduled from last week.