KINGS LANGLEY FC   Monday 31st August 2015   NORTHWOOD FC

Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central

  Kings Langley 2  Northwood 0    

Cox 47, Weiss 90+10


Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Rob Partington     1 David Moran
2 Jack Pattison     2 Omar Vassell
3 Callum Adebiyi (73m)     3 Andy Lomas
4 Danny May     4 Nick Turner
5 Stuart Deaton     5 Steve Brown ©
6 David Femiola     6 George Nicholas
7 Gary Connolly ©     7 Joakim Ehui (63m)
8 Ollie Cox (73m)     8 Perry Dicker (77m)
9 Mitchell Weiss     9 Louis Stead
10 Alex Campana (90+5m)     10 Michael Murray
11 Connor Toomey     11 Rob Hastings (57m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Tom Carter (73m)     12 Liam Baker (77m)
14 Jack Stevens     14 Max Holland (63m)
15 Bill Stevens (90+5m)     15 Myles Stephenson (57m)
16 Ollie Cole (73m)     16 -
17 -     17 -
      Referee: Richard Kendall; Assistants: Ian Stewart & Stuart Pater      
  REPORT by Alan Evans    PHOTOS by James Brown  

After Saturday’s heroic exploits in the FA Cup, the Woods were knocked back down to earth with this Bank Holiday defeat being their first loss away from home this season. The caretaker management of Jamie Hand and Max Howell kept faith with the same starting line-up that has played at the weekend against opposition that had exited the FA Cup with a narrow home defeat at the hands of unbeaten AFC Rushden & Diamonds. The Woods had beaten their hosts in the FA Cup a year ago, though needing extra-time in a replay, but the Kings had enjoyed an excellent season and secured a second successive promotion.

With seven points behind them already this season, they had started the new campaign in confident form and although Northwood started well, they were unable to find any early way through a solid back-four. It was the home side that recorded the first effort on goal after twelve minutes as Alex Campana found some space for a shot but it flew over the bar.

Both sides continued to cancel each other out as neither could find much freedom on a tight, narrow pitch and promising attacks tended to be cut out with passing accuracy also at a premium. On 23 minutes a Campana corner was headed over by Mitchell Weiss but then the Woods had their most threatening spell. Louis Stead was played in on goal but he delayed shooting for too long and his eventual effort on goal took a deflection and carried through to goalkeeper Rob Partington.

A minute later Joakim Ehui did well chasing a ball down to the right corner and after robbing a defender, he cut it back to Michael Murray whose attempted delicate chip of the ‘keeper was wayward. A counter-attack released Weiss in goal but some solid defending and a block tackle saw the ball run out for a corner but then some clever work from Stead saw him burst into the box and take a tumble, only to be booked for simulation.

After 39 minutes, a through-ball saw Ehui just beaten to the shot by Partington and the clearance dropped to Murray whose attempt to beat the back-tracking ‘keeper cleared the bar. It seemed like the Woods were to take a lead a minute later as Omar Vassell played a good ball through to Rob Hastings and his whipped in cross looked sure to find the unmarked Stead before one-time Woods defender Jack Pattison stuck out a foot and deflected it wide for a corner. The pressure continued as Stead knocked in a fine cross and George Nicholas headed over the bar; though an offside flag would have ruled it out anyway.

Just before the break, the Kings went close in similar fashion with Gary Connolly heading over from an Olly Cox cross and then just over a minute into the second-half, the home side took the lead. Connor Toomey made inroads down the left and knocked in a dangerous cross with Cox getting some sort of touch and deflecting the ball past David Moran in goal.

As they did on Saturday, Northwood tried to hit back quickly but Ehui’s strike was poked well wide of the target and then Campana forced Moran into action with the ‘keeper diving across to push the ball wide. Murray had two efforts on goal in quick succession, the first being blocked and with the second arrowed towards the far corner before Partington got across to palm the ball wide.

Perhaps an equaliser should have come on 56 minutes as Murray’s well-angled cross picked out Perry Dicker but the youngster steered his header wide of the goal and then the Woods made their first change of the afternoon with Myles Stephenson replacing the out-of-sorts Hastings. Stead was next to go close, latching onto a neat ball from Dicker but driving his well-struck shot just wide while Kings were again more accurate as Weiss went for goal and again forced Moran into a save, albeit a comfortable one.

Ehui was replaced by Max Holland as the Woods continued to search for the bit of quality that might turn the match around and the substitute was involved in a four-man move that also involved Stephenson and Stead but the ball was rolled to Nicholas and his drive lacked the power to get past the diving Partington.

The home side made substitutions of their own and Tom Carter made quite an impact, first by seeing a shot crash back off the crossbar and then being the second player of the match to be yellow carded for simulation. The Kings were frustrating the Woods as time ticked on and it seemed more unlikely that an equaliser was imminent while Moran only just kept out a strike from Cox.

Murray floated a free-kick wide of the target, Andy Lomas was miles over from distance and the Woods seemed to be heading for defeat. Moran got lucky when his poor kick-out cannoned off Weiss and bounced just wide of the post but there was still ten minutes of stoppage-time to follow.

It was to no avail for Northwood though as they failed to score for the first time this season. There was plenty of effort and they gambled towards the end. Holland won a free-kick out wide in the 99th minute and Murray whipped it across well but Partington managed to punch away any danger. Vassell then tried a long-throw that Brown headed on but the ball was cleared long and Weiss raced thirty yards towards goal before poking a shot past Moran to wrap up a 2-0 victory for the Kings.