POTTERS BAR FC   Tuesday 6th October 2015   NORTHWOOD FC

FA Trophy Preliminary Round Replay

  Potters Bar 0  Northwood 1  


Muir 40

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Connor Sansom     1 Berkley Laurencin
2 Joe Bennett     2 Omar Vassell
3 Luke Warner-Eley     3 Andy Lomas
4 Connor Sullivan     4 Mark Burgess
5 Liam Fowler     5 Jon Munday
6 Jordan Lawal     6 George Nicholas
7 George Root (68m)     7 Rob Hastings (87m)
8 Chris Doyle ©     8 James Burgess © (64m)
9 Charlie Nelson (73m)     9 Niko Muir
10 Dave Lawrence     10 Michael Murray (78m)
11 Evandro Delgado     11 Max Holland
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Karim Aissaoui     12 Perry Dicker
14 Jerry Maja (73m)     14 Louis Stead (78m)
15 Ashley Nathaniel-George     15 Joakim Ehui (87m)
16 Jack Lyons (68m)     16 Alex Nolan
17 Mike Underwood     17 Bayley Brown (64m)
      Referee: Dean Skipper; Assistants: Lee Grimsey & Spencer Brewer      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  




A long-awaited first goal of the season from Niko Muir and a penalty-save from Berkley Laurencin secured this FA Trophy replay tie for the Woods and they move into the next round where they will meet yet another fellow Division One Central side in Bedford Town. But there was a downside as well as no less than seven players were shown yellow cards, resulting in a big FA fine. Omar Vassell returned at right-back having missed the game on Saturday while Rob Hastings started in place of the injured Myles Stephenson. For the home side, goalkeeper Mike Underwood, who had kept his side in the competition at the weekend with some fine saves, failed a fitness test so was replaced by Connor Sansom. Youngster Luke Warner-Eley also came in to replace skipper Gary Jones at right-back and there was a late change to the team sheet which saw George Boot start instead of Jack Lyons.

The Scholars had scored after just 29 seconds in the original tie but there was no sign on such a fast start in this one. In fact the game was only a minute old when the Match Officials spotted some missing lines around the Northwood penalty-area so there a delay as the line-marker was wheeled out. This time it took seven minutes for the first shot on goal and it came from Michael Murray with an early tester for Sansom. He dealt with it comfortably enough though and just a minute later a poor ball out by Mark Burgess saw Evandro Delgado move into space and play a pass to Chris Doyle who have it a good thump but goalkeeper Laurencin held it well. Another minute and Dave Lawrence slipped a neat ball through to Charlie Nelson who then saw his effort well saved by Laurencin again.

On 14 minutes a forward pass from Niko Muir put George Nicholas into the box and there appeared to be a handball by a defender as he tried to get a shot at goal but the Referee brought it back for a late challenge on Muir. From Michael Murray’s free-kick, Doyle took evasive action by heading behind for a corner and from that Murray’s cross was knocked back across goal by Hastings at the far post but no-one managed to get the touch required. Then, it was a quick break from Potters Bar, led by the pacy Delgado who played in Lawrence but the former Woods striker fired wide of the target.

Laurencin was looking a lot safer after a few shaky games on his comeback from injury but he spilled a deep free-kick from Boot for a corner. When that came over, Nelson met it with a firm header but the Woods ‘keeper made up for the earlier error with a good save. Connor Sullivan then had a free header from another corner that was headed away by Vassell as the home side threatened to get on top of the game. But on 33 minutes a good move led to an Andy Lomas cross which Nicholas stretched for and therefore got no power on a header which looped into the arms of Sansom.

Hastings had a shot saved but the Woods got their noses in from on 39 minutes. Lomas combined well with Max Holland on the left to supply Murray whose neat touch found Muir in the box who turned and fired into the top corner. It seemed that Northwood would be taking that lead into the half-time interval, especially when Laurencin made another good save to dent Boot but from the corner, the ball hit a stray arm and the Referee awarded the home side a penalty. Nelson stepped up to take the spot-kick but Laurencin chose correctly and dived across to push the ball away.

Muir shot wide after a good ball from Nicholas shortly after the restart and then Nelson fired over with a good effort from distance and Potters Bar rallied well. A good ball from Lawrence saw Doyle get past Mark Burgess but shoot over the bar and then Laurencin got down low to deny Doyle again. By now the Referee, who had made no allowances for the wet and slippery pitch or the fevered atmosphere, was throwing a card at every foul and, along with a flurry of substitutions, there was very little action to report on for quite some time.

Sansom made a good save to deny Muir a possible second goal on 81 minutes after he raced into the box past a couple of defenders when latching onto a good ball from Nicholas and then Nicholas shot wide after a half-cleared corner. Potters Bar’s last chance to force extra-time came on 85 minutes as a long ball from Joe Bennett saw Lawrence get a sight of goal cutting in from the left but his low shot flashed across goal and wide of the far post.

Substitute Louis Stead could have wrapped it up soon after this as a ball from Holland put him in on goal but his attempted chip of the ‘keeper was too high. There was still time for two more yellow cards – an inevitable one for time-wasting even though there was no real evidence of it – but the Woods kept the clean sheet and won the place in the next round.