NORTHWOOD FC   Tuesday 27th October 2015   POTTERS BAR

Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central

  Northwood 2  Potters Bar 1  

Stead 2, Holland 19

Doyle 35

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Berkley Laurencin     1 Connor Sansom
2 Omar Vassell     2 Karim Aissaoui
3 Andy Lomas     3 Luke Warner-Eley
4 Mark Burgess     4 Garry Jones ©
5 Jon Munday     5 Liam Fowler
6 Louis Stead (88m)     6 Jordan Lawal (85m)
7 Max Holland     7 Dave Lawrence (71m)
8 James Burgess ©     8 Chris Doyle
9 Niko Muir     9 Eoin Casey
10 Michael Murray (69m)     10 Jack Lyons (76m)
11 Rob Hastings (80m)     11 Evandro Delgado
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Myles Stephenson (88m)     12 Jerry Maja (76m)
14 Joakim Ehui  (80m)     14 Ashley Nath-George (71m)
15 George Nicholas     15 Charlie Nelson
16 Bayley Brown (69m)     16 Joe Bennett (85m)
17 -     17 Connor Sullivan
      Referee: Gareth Viccars; Assistants: Sam Harris & Daniel Todd      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  

A blistering start to the game which saw Northwood take a 2-0 lead that could have been a lot more proved just enough to see them notch their first home win in over two months. Mark Burgess made just one change to the starting line-up that had won 3-0 at Leighton Town at the weekend, with Michael Murray replacing Bayley Brown and the additional attacking ploy certainly worked from the start.

And with the Woods looking to end a run of six home games where they had drawn three and lost three, the in-form Louis Stead gave his side a tremendous start just over a minute into the game as he let fly with an angled shot from over 25 yards that rocketed past goalkeeper Connor Sansom and nestled in the far corner.  Max Holland was soon into the action down the left, up against former Woods defender Karim Aissaoui and he enjoyed a series of speedy attacks and crosses which stretched the visitors defence. Niko Muir was also well to the fore with some clever running and he whipped in a cross which saw Rob Hastings slide in but he missed connecting by just a couple of inches.

It was after 19 minutes that that the Woods notched a second goal as a good cross came in from the right and it dropped to Holland who touched it past his marker and fired home for his sixth goal of the season. Five minutes later, Omar Vassell, did well down the right with a run and ball that picked out Muir but his goalbound shot deflected over the crossbar off a defender. Just two minutes later a well-drilled corner from Murray saw a combination of Jon Munday and Vassell head just wide of the target.

On the half-hour, it was almost 3-0 as Holland cut in from the left and curled a great shot that looked sure to find the far corner but crashed back off the inside of the post and to safety. Potters Bar hadn’t had a look in but on 35 minutes, Chris Doyle gained possession midway into the Northwood half and a huge space opened up for him as he moved forward to crack a shot that kept low and gave goalkeeper Berkley Laurencin no chance.

The goal clearly had an effect on both sides. The visitors sensed they suddenly had a foothold in the match while the Woods seemed less confident going forward. The remainder of the first half brought no chances but a much more even spread of the play.

The start of the second period saw the visitors go close early on and Potters Bar were almost gifted a chance on 58 minutes as Andy Lomas and Laurencin left a through-ball to each other and ex-Woods striker Dave Lawrence nipped between them but lifted his shot over the bar from six yards. A free-kick fell to Doyle who looked for his second of the game with a good shot on the turn but it was always over the top but after an hour, the Woods managed to stead things a little more. Muir had two efforts in quick succession but neither hit the target and Doyle then had another good strike that wasn’t far wide of the post.

But time was running out for the Scholars as Evandro Delgado drilled a shot wide on 82 minutes and the Woods could have wrapped it up close to the end of the ninety minutes when Muir broke quickly and played a neat ball that split the defence. Holland raced onto it but his shot was saved at his near post by Sansom.

The Referee found a surprising seven minutes of stoppage-time and in the sixth of those, it was goalscorer Doyle who had a final squeak of a chance for the visitors but again his well-struck shot was the wrong side of the post and Northwood had held on to what proved to be a narrow victory.

Now with just one defeat from their last seven games, the Woods go on to their FA Trophy match at home to Bedford Town on Saturday with the Eagles being that one side that has defeated Northwood in that time. It should be an interesting rematch.