NORTHWOOD FC   Saturday 3rd October 2015   POTTERS BAR FC

FA Trophy Preliminary Round

  Northwood 1  Potters Bar 1   

Munday 90+2

Lawrence 1

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Berkley Laurencin     1 Mike Underwood
2 Alex Nolan     2 Joe Bennett
3 Andy Lomas     3 Gary Jones ©
4 Mark Burgess     4 Connor Sullivan
5 Jon Munday     5 Liam Fowler
6 George Nicholas     6 Jordan Lawal
7 Niko Muir     7 Jerry Maja (76m)
8 James Burgess © (72m)     8 Chris Doyle
9 Myles Stephenson (46m)     9 Charlie Nelson (85m)
10 Michael Murray     10 Dave Lawrence
11 Max Holland (76m)     11 Evandro Delgado
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Joakim Ehui (76m)     12 Luke Warner-Eley (76m)
14 Rob Hastings (46m)     14 Karim Aissaoui
15 Bayley Brown     15 Ashley Nath-George (85m)
16 Louis Stead (72m)     16 Connor Sansom
17 Jordan Payne     17 -
      Referee: Andreas Anastasiou; Assistants: L Koskas & A Demetriades      
  REPORT by Alan Evans    PHOTOS by James Brown  

A last-gasp header from defender Jon Munday earned the Woods a deserved replay in this FA Trophy tie having trailed from the very first minute of the match. With skipper Steve Brown ruled out with injury and Omar Vassell unavailable, there was a return in defence for manager Mark Burgess, while Alex Nolan appeared for the first time this season at right-back. There were other changes too with Myles Stephenson and Niko Muir starting in place of Rob Hastings and Louis Stead.

Potters Bar’s side included four ex-Northwood players, including regulars from last season in Jordan Lawal and Dave Lawrence, and it was the latter that made a huge impression after less than a minute. The visitors gained possession and raced down the left with the trick Evandro Delgado getting the better of Nolan. He cut the ball back to Lawrence who caught it sweetly and the ball whistled past Berkley Laurencin in goal to make it 1-0 after just 29 seconds.

The Woods were soon on the attack looking for a quick response though and when a corner was only partly-cleared by Lawal, George Nicholas latched onto it from the edge of the box but fired just wide. The Scholars’ sipper Gary Jones was booked early on for a pull back on Nicholas and then a deep Michael Murray free-kick picked out Munday at the far post but he nodded his header just over the bar.

Max Holland’s trickery on the left then saw him set up Nicholas for another driven shot low but it flashed wide of the post and next Nicholas found space for a solo effort himself which was on target this time but straight at goalkeeper Mike Underwood who gathered safely. But despite all that pressure, the Woods were getting no joy in front of goal and after 25 minute, Potters Bar could have doubled their lead as a free-kick from Jones found Jerry Maja completely unmarked but his header was kept out by Laurencin.

A few minutes later and it was back at the other end again with Muir hooking a corner back into the danger zone and this time is was Nicholas who met it with a far post header but it was the same result as the ball flew over the bar.

Andy Lomas was next to get forward and send and he sent over an inviting cross which could have attracted three different Northwood players to get on the end of it but none of them did. On 39 minutes, Nolan made a great attacking run, exchanging passes with two others before finding Murray on the edge of the box. He struck his shot cleanly but saw the ball cannon back off the base of the post and then Muir hit his shot wide from the rebound.

Hastings replaced Stephenson, who had taken a knock, at half-time and was quickly into the game, putting over an excellent cross from the left which was met by a good, downward header from Holland at the far post but Underwood saved well. Hastings had another shot deflected wide and from the resulting corner, delivered by Lomas, a combination of Mark Burgess and Munday both tried to force the ball home but it stayed out.

On 54 minutes, another chance came the way of the visitors though as Charlie Nelson did well down the left and a cross again picked out a man unmarked. This time it was Chris Doyle and he struck it well on the half-volley but the ball flew over the goal. Two minutes later it was back at the other end again as a quick ball released Hastings down the right and his cross picked out Muir at the near post but his shot was well blocked by a diving Underwood who was quickly out to smother his shot.

Hastings had another opportunity on 71 minutes as he knocked in a deep ball from the right and a combination of keeper and the post managed to keep it out. Three minutes later another good ball saw Hastings race into the box and to most he appeared to have been brought down by an attempted tackle but the Referee wasn’t close enough and his assistant ignored the claims for a penalty.

The Woods continued to press, though. Underwood saved a Murray free-kick low down and then Muir got on the end of a Hastings cross but it was cleared off the line by Connor Sullivan. From the resulting corner, Muir’s strike was blocked again and then it was hooked back in by Stead but Murray’s header was also scrambled away.
A rare attack from the visitors saw Delgado’s snap-shot safely taken by Laurencin, but time was running out for the Woods as they looked to be heading out of their second FA competition in eight days. That was until the second minute of stoppage-time as they won a final corner, and it was met by a firm header from Munday that finally beat Underwood to level things up.

The two sides now do it all again on Tuesday night but with home advantage, Potters Bar will be favourites to make it through to the next round where a home game against Bedford Town awaits.