NORTHWOOD FC   Saturday 17th October 2015   BEDFORD TOWN FC

Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central

  Northwood 1  Bedford Town 2  

Murray 95

Lester 28, Roberts 37

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Berkley Laurencin     1 Tyler Reading
2 Omar Vassell     2 Jack Jones
3 Andy Lomas     3 Kyle Lincoln
4 Mark Burgess ©     4 Tommy Hull ©
5 Jon Munday     5 Dan Crowe (66m)
6 George Nicholas     6 Kyle McNulty
7 Joakim Ehui  (69m)     7 Javia Roberts
8 Bayley Brown (54m)     8 James Peters
9 Niko Muir     9 Christian Lester (76m)
10 Louis Stead     10 Bilal Yafai
11 Max Holland     11 Josh Bamford (57m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Michael Murray (54m)     12 Nat Lewars
14 James Burgess     14 Jamie Osbourne (76m)
15 Rob Hastings (69m)     15 Stefan Powell (66m)
16 Myles Stephenson     16 Daril Ngwala (57m)
17 -     17 Matt Clifford
      Referee: Adrian Gillett; Assistants: H Gilroy & Lukauskis      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  

After three away wins inside a week, the Woods’ home form continues to evade them as they slipped to another home defeat and it is now two months since their last win at Northwood Park. The Eagles were playing their first game under new management, and the players were clearly keen to impress but there was also the added pertinence of the fact that the two sides were due to meet again in the FA Trophy in two weeks’ time.

Bedford were the first on the attack with striker Christian Lester getting on the end of a header across goal from Tommy Hull but he hooked the ball well over the top. At the other end, visitors goalkeeper Tyler Reading was the first in action as he dived across to push wide a good strike from Louis Stead but a minute later a quickly-taken corner gave the Eagles a chance with James Peters firing across goal but wide of the far post.

On 21 minutes Bedford should have been in front as Dan Crowie headed the ball across to an unmarked Lester but he headed straight at goalkeeper Berkley Laurencin who gratefully clutched the ball to his chest. But the visitors didn’t have to wait long for the opening goal with Roberts providing the cross where Lester had again slipped his marker and he flicked the ball home from six yards on 28 minutes.

Two minutes later the Woods tried to hit back as Muir picked up a ball from Stead and tried a shot on the turn but fired well over. Back came the Eagles again though with Lester firing across goal and wide before they doubled their lead after 37 minutes. A ball across provided Josh Bamford with a chance from close range and although his first touch was poor it rolled to an unmarked Roberts who touched it in with the Woods defence appealing for an offside decision that never came from the assistant referee.

Northwood rallied as half-time approached. Muir fired a shot straight at the keeper and then Mark Burgess headed home from a free-kick, only for his effort to be ruled out for an offside flag. So it was a frustrated Woods team that would have looked to battle back from two goals down at the start of the second-half and they went at Bedford in determined fashion. Muir’s run and cross was missing a touch in the middle and Joakim Ehui latched onto a good ball from George Nicholas but saw his effort cleared off the line.

Ehui returned the compliment when touching on a Muir cross to Nicholas but he fired wide and on 55 minutes the Woods increased their attacking prowess by replacing Bayley Brown with Michael Murray. When Muir’s cross was only half-cleared by Hull, the ball sat up nicely for Andy Lomas but he crashed his shot well over but then Lomas turned provider with a good, sharp cross from the left and Ehui missed a great chance by touching it wide of the near post.

Muir had another effort saved by Reading on 69 minutes and then Lomas produced another great cross which cried out for a header from substitute Rob Hastings but instead he chose to go with a shot and he miscued. Three minutes later Hastings got another chance when Omar Vassell played in a good ball and he got his shot on target but Reading saved well. A Murray free-kick on 78 minutes was headed back across goal by Jon Munday for Nicholas to head for goal but it lacked power and only looped up to the ‘keeper as time was running out for the Woods.

With time running out, Murray flicked on a Muir cross and Max Holland fired over from close range as Northwood continued to misfire in front of goal. It was the fifth minute of stoppage-time when a ball finally ran loose in the box for top scorer Murray to tap in from close-range but that was too little, too late for the Woods to push for an even later equaliser.