EGHAM TOWN   Saturday 5th December 2015   NORTHWOOD FC

Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central

  Egham Town 1  Northwood 1    

Debattista 86

Muir 84

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Jamie Norris     1 Berkley Laurencin
2 Hassan Sulaiman     2 Alex Nolan
3 Ryan Phillips     3 Andy Lomas
4 Reece Yorke     4 James Burgess ©
5 Luke Neville     5 Charlie Kennedy
6 Kurtney Brooks ©     6 George Nicholas
7 Chris Henry (78m)     7 Max Holland (88m)
8 Elliott Carey (85m)     8 Louis Stead
9 Brendon Matthew     9 Niko Muir
10 Jake Cass     10 Michael Murray (75m)
11 Basam Pashaj     11 Rob Hastings (70m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Ryan Parsons     12 Myles Stephenson (75m)
14 Callum Webb (85m)     14 Bayley Brown (88m)
15 Ollie Jones     15 Joakim Ehui (70m)
16 Tom Collins     16 Mark Burgess
17 Ryan Debattista (78m)     17 Steve Brown
      Referee: Elliott Howard; Assistants: Chris Bodell & John Perry      
  REPORT by Alan Evans    PHOTOS by James Brown  




The Woods extended their unbeaten away run to eight games but could have taken all three points having missed a first-half penalty and then letting a lead slip in the final five minutes. With Jon Munday ruled out with illness, James Burgess was called upon to play alongside Barnet youngster Charlie Kennedy at the back but in an otherwise unchanged side from that which had won at Arlesey Town a week earlier.

Egham Town’s side, under the management of former Woods pair of Gary Meakin and Greg Phillips included two players who had previously played for Northwood in Reece Yorke and Ryan Phillips.

And, on another day of gusty winds, it was Yorke who was in trouble early on, conceding a yellow card and a free-kick for a pull back on Niko Muir as he got past him after just three minutes. Michael Murray, the goalscoring hero from last week, tried his luck from the dead-ball and curled it up and over the wall but it failed to drop and the ball flew over the bar too.

Egham hit back with a couple of free-kicks of their own, both floated into the box and headed on with the wind but without any direction and they landed safely. Murray had another effort deflected but straight at home goalkeeper Jamie Norris and on 19 minutes Egham had probably their best chance of the half as another free-kick fell to an unmarked Brendon Matthew at the far post but he headed the ball across goal and wide of the far post.

Just a minute later an attempted clearance from Berkley Laurencin in the Woods goal, cannoned off the face of Matthew and luckily rebounded the wrong side of the post. But the Woods were doing well against the wind and after Muir’s effort from twenty yards was comfortably saved by Norris, he then got the better of Phillips down the right and despite a couple of attempts to pull him back, he battled on but shot wide of the near post.

After 34 minutes, Murray sprayed a good ball wide for the overlapping Alex Nolan. He got forward well and cut the ball back for Murray whose flick was handled in the box by Yorke for a clear penalty. It was Murray of course that had the opportunity of putting the Woods in front but it was a rare miss for the team’s top scorer as he drilled the ball up and over the crossbar. There was no further excitement in the first half and the Woods will have been fairly pleased to have kept another clean sheet against the wind and Muir soon tried his luck from distance early in the second period but his powerful strike again missed the target.

On 58 minutes, a couple of poor defensive clearances gave Jake Cass a sight of goal but he shot straight at Laurencin as Egham began to make some inroads. Chris Henry’s solo run across goal produced a shot that the Woods keeper had to get down low to save well and then the same player got past Burgess to cut back to Matthew whose weak shot was easy for Laurencin.

Joakim Ehui and Myles Stephenson replaced Hastings and Murray as the Woods looked for some fresh legs but the closest Northwood came to a goal was when Andy Lomas curled in a corner that caught a gust and Norris had to be alert to push the ball over the top. On 83 minutes Muir put a neat ball through for Max Holland who raced into the box but then stabbed a poor left-foot shot wide of the target with just Norris to beat but just a minute later Muir left nothing to chance as he battled into the box and held off a couple of challenges to fire across Norris and into the far corner.

The Woods were in front at last but it lasted less than two minutes. Northwood will be getting sick of the sight of Ryan Debattista who had replaced Henry as a substitute after 78 minutes. The striker had scored against Northwood for Harrow Borough, AFC Hayes and Beaconsfield Sycob in the past year or so and now he was to make it a fourth for four different clubs! Debattista picked up the ball in space twenty-five yards out and his shot swirled one way and then the other in the wind to leave Laurencin floundering as it flew in.

The Woods now have to have a go at matching their away form with some better results at home as they play twice at Northwood Park over the next week. On Tuesday night they entertain Godalming Town whose inconsistent start to the season has been improved recently with just one defeat in six games. Then, next Saturday, title-contenders St Ives Town bring their talented side to Northwood.