FLEET TOWN FC   Saturday 10th October 2015   NORTHWOOD FC

Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central

  Fleet Town 1  Northwood 3    

White 58

Stead 46, Holland 49, 89

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Ryan Pryce     1 Berkley Laurencin
2 Brett Stanley     2 Omar Vassell
3 Aaron Blaxall     3 Andy Lomas
4 Chris Hall     4 Mark Burgess ©
5 Jack White     5 Jon Munday
6 Craig Davis (50m)     6 George Nicholas
7 Craig Stanley     7 Joakim Ehui (84m)
8 Ben White ©     8 Bayley Brown
9 Daryll Phillips (79m)     9 Louis Stead (93m)
10 Stuart Parker     10 Niko Muir
11 Josh Francis (75m)     11 Max Holland
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Ben Toye (75m)     12 Michael Murray (93m)
14 M Auge-Rancourt (79m)     14 James Burgess
15 Shaun Lancaster (50m)     15 Rob Hastings (84m)
16 Craig Martin     16 -
17 Jordan Westbrook     17 -
      Referee: Mark Meeten; Assistants: Adam Jones & Darren Eaton      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  




The Woods put in a much-improved attacking performance to notch their first League win for eight weeks against a Fleet Town side who had been unbeaten at home. Manager Mark Burgess was still without injured skipper Steve Brown, so continued to play himself in defence but made a few other changes to the starting line-up, resting James Burgess, Michael Murray and Rob Hastings to the bench in favour of a starting debut for youngster Bayley Brown, Louis Stead and Joakim Ehui.

The home side were without the services of top scorer Simba Mlambo, holidaying in Zimbabwe and were looking to bounce back from a heavy defeat at Molesey in the FA Trophy a week earlier.

The Woods looked to attack with pace from the start but it was Fleet who notched the first attempt on goal after seven minutes as Daryll Phillips flicked on a header and Ben White’s first-time strike whistled well wide of the target. Woods plugged away, and when George Nicholas played a clever ball into the box, where defender Brett Stanley, under pressure from Max Holland, made a hash of an attempted head back to goalkeeper Ryan Pryce who then spilled the ball. Holland was on it and perhaps should have buried the chance with a first-time shot but he tried to make more room and eventually his effort was blocked. Just a minute later a good run and cross from Omar Vassell saw Brown dive low to try to steer a header goalwards but the ball flashed wide.

Fleet still looked dangerous on the counter-attack and good work from Craig Stanley led to a shot flashing across the face of goal from White and then Phillips received the ball in space but panicked a bit by shooting too early and wide of the goal.

Niko Muir began to get into the game more and set up Holland for a shot at goal which Pryce got down low to save and soon after Muir’s own shot on the turn produced another solid save from the home keeper. Stead also tried his luck from distance but without the power to beat Price and then on 38 minutes the Woods should have been ahead. It was a quick, decisive break with Nicholas spraying the ball wide to Holland. The wingman raced past his marker and chipped a good ball to the far post where Nicholas appeared again to head it down where Andy Lomas had suddenly appeared in the middle of goal but he sliced his shot wide of the target.

Two minutes later Holland was provider again with a ball inside to Muir and some good movement got him a sight of goal but he fired over the bar. More of the same was needed by the Woods as the half restarted and that’s exactly what they served up. The half was just less than a minute old when Ehui made ground down the right and cut the ball back to Stead in space who swept a shot over the stranded Pryce and in off the underside of the crossbar.

Lomas forced Pryce into a good diving save three minutes later after a long run and from the corner, also taken by Lomas, Mark Burgess flicked a near-post header goalwards and Pryce did well to react and tip the ball over the bar. This time Stead took the corner from the left and Jon Munday headed towards goal with Holland getting an important touch in front of the defender on the line and the ball bounced up into the roof of the net for a second goal on 50 minutes.

Fleet Manager Craig Davis chose to take himself off at this stage and eight minutes later the home side were given a lifeline when Aaron Blaxall’s run and cross into the area struck Mark Burgess on the upper arm as he slid across to block and the Referee pointed to the spot. It was a harsh decision but White wasn’t concerned as he fired home the penalty to bring his side back in the game.

With confidence behind them, Fleet enjoyed a fifteen minute spell where they could easily have pulled level. A cross picked out Stuart Parker unmarked who tried an overhead-kick which could have gone anywhere but went straight at Berkley Laurencin in goal. Then, a ball down the line from Blaxall saw Parker skip past Burgess and pick out Phillips with a good cross but the striker’s header clipped the outside of the post.

But the Woods were soon back on top again. Holland cut in from the left and fired a good shot that was only just wide of the far post and then Ehui had a shot that was deflected but still arrowed straight through to Pryce in goal. Stead tried another long-range shot that went over the bar and then Muir broke well to set up Nicholas for a shot that was again saved by the over-worked home keeper.

It was into stoppage-time that the Woods bagged their third goal as Muir played Holland in down the left channel and although Pryce got something on it, his shot still flew in for his second goal of the game and his fifth of the season.