LEIGHTON TOWN   Saturday 24th October 2015   NORTHWOOD FC

Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central

  Leighton Town 0  Northwood 3    


Muir 9,
Stead 21, 65

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Aaron Bufton     1 Berkley Laurencin
2 Pierre Hazet     2 Omar Vassell
3 Matt Hall     3 Andy Lomas
4 James Hatch ©     4 Mark Burgess
5 Jordan Jenkins     5 Jon Munday
6 Curtis Shaw     6 Bayley Brown
7 Dave Brown(90m)     7 Max Holland (69m)
8 Ben Gallant     8 James Burgess © (46m)
9 Russell Bull     9 Niko Muir
10 Alex Woodfine (59m)     10 Louis Stead
11 Craig Maisiri (28m)     11 Rob Hastings
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Yamin Mousli (59m)     12 Michael Murray (46m)
14 Dave Birch (90m)     14 Myles Stephenson (75m)
15 Hateley Mercer     15 Joakim Ehui  (73m)
16 Drew Mitten (28m)     16 George Nicholas
17 Matt Brady     17 -
      Referee: Mark Wardell; Assistants: Luke Scott & Danny Johnston      
  REPORT by Alan Evans    PHOTOS by James Brown  




The Woods travelling roadshow continued as they notched their fourth successive away win in all competitions thanks to an early Niko Muir strike and two classy free-kicks from Louis Stead. George Nicholas joined Steve Brown on the injury list so Bayley Brown continued his education in central midfield while Rob Hastings was preferred to Joakim Ehui wide in attack.

The home side came into the game on the back a good win over Beaconsfield Sycob a week earlier and were the first to get a sight of goal on six minutes as James Hatch hit an angled shot that flashed across the box but always wide. But it was the Woods who had settled quickest, getting into a good, attacking tempo and they were rewarded just two minutes later when Niko Muir got ahead of the defence and took the ball past one-time Woods keeper Aaron Bufton before slotting into an empty net.

Leighton were run off their feet for a while with their only respite being a long-distance thump from Hatch that lifted over the bar. Northwood pressed well and after 18 minutes Jon Munday headed a corner back across goal and Muir looked likely to hit a second but his strike took a deflection and sailed wide for a corner.

Just two minutes later, the Woods won a free-kick twenty yards out and in the absence of Michael Murray, it was Stead that took the opportunity, curling it around the wall and inside Bufton’s left-hand post to double his side’s advantage. The home side were forced into an early substitution but the Woods continued to edge things but Leighton did have a couple of half-chances with balls across the box, though striker Russell Bull was unable to connect with a couple of efforts.

On 36 minutes it could have been three as a free-kick was cleared out to Max Holland who then beat his marker on the right before cutting the ball back. Mark Burgess dummied and Hastings came in with a clean strike but it flew over the bar. Hastings then did get one in the net only for it to be ruled out by an offside flag. Berkley Laurencin was finally called into action just before the break when saving well at the foot of the post when substitute Drew Mitten struck a good shot but the Woods were still comfortably ahead at half-time.

Murray replaced James Burgess for the second half, which meant a bit of a reshuffle but it was still Northwood who led the way and they created a series of chances. Holland was put through on goal after 54 minutes but saw his shot well-saved by Bufton who spread himself well. Murray’s well-flighted free-kick looked ideal for Brown’s diving-header but he put it wide of the target and then both Muir and Murray miskicked in front of goal on the hour mark.

A rare Leighton corner saw Hatch head wide at the far post but on 64 minutes the Woods went three goals ahead from another free-kick. This time it was nearer 30 yards out and Stead went over the wall but the ball curled into the top corner to give Bufton no chance.

Two minutes later Laurencin tipped a good strike over the bar as Leighton rallied but it was only a brief respite. Bufton punched out a well-struck Murray free-kick and then Holland got on the end of a Burgess knock-down but shot wide of the post.

On 74 minutes a mistake from the home ‘keeper presented Hastings with a great chance but his shot lacked the accuracy to beat the covering defender but Bufton then made amends by saving again from Muir at close-range.

Laurencin was then in need of some repairs as it was spotted that he was bleeding from a cut to his chin that had been sustained when saving at the feet of an attacker. There was a delay of five minutes or so as a makeshift head bandage was knocked up by physio Annika Holman and the Woods keeper returned looking ready for Halloween!

Northwood saw the game out well and could have added a fourth in the closing-stages as Hastings was put through on goal once again but it was the first week of the season that the pacy winger last netted and he was denied by the legs of the diving Bufton. The win takes the Woods back into the top half of the table but they now have to start to regain their form at Northwood Park as they face a run of five successive home games over the next seventeen days.