ASHFORD TOWN   Saturday 26 November 2016   NORTHWOOD FC

Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central

  Ashford Town 0  Northwood 2  


Stead 13, Bircham 53

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Kav Keadell     1 Montel Joseph
2 Bayley Mummery     2 Louis Bircham
3 Alex Fisher     3 Callum Wright
4 Max Webb (55m)     4 Gradi Milenge
5 Russ Canderton     5 James Budden
6 Samad Kazi     6 Louis Stead
7 Mark Bitmead     7 C Campbell-Young(55m)
8 Max Herbert (86m)     8 James Burgess¬†¬©
9 Dan Fleming (78m)     9 Ryan Debattista (71m)
10 Tommy Brunton     10 Myles Stephenson (82m)
11 Kamaron English     11 Luke Heneghan
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Harry Herdman (86m)     12 Andre Costa (55m)
14 Jack Beadle (55m)     14 Ismael Ehui (82m)
15 Will Boye     15 Filipe Anjos
16 Joe Green     16 Alex Nolan (71m)
17 Hakim Hammam (78m)     17 Joakim Ehui

Referee: Damith Bandara; Assistants: Carl Smith & Rob King



  REPORT by Alan Evans    PHOTOS: James Brown  



The Woods notched their third victory in succession with this solid win at Ashford Town, getting revenge for the opening day home defeat they suffered against their newly-promoted Middlesex rivals.

Ashford made a rapid start to the game and had Northwood on the back-foot early on. Kamaron English lifted a cross to the far post which was just too long and after just five minutes Dan Fleming went down under the softest of challenges and the referee awarded a penalty. Mark Bitmead has been prolific from the spot for the home side this season but this time he was a touch too high with his strike, clipping the top of the bar with a shot that always climbing.

Having missed that great opportunity to take the lead, English then saw his spinning strike drop just over the bar before the Woods began to settle and find their own tempo. Ryan Debattista almost broke through following a good free-kick but Bayley Mummery got an important toe in to dispossess him in the box. But then, on 13 minutes, Northwood were awarded a free-kick close to thirty yards out and Louis Stead returned to goalscoring form with a superb curler that found the top corner and gave goalkeeper Kavanagh Keadell no chance.

Ashford huffed and puffed in an effort to get back into the game but the Woods defence, led by James Burgess in a sweeper role, repelled all attacks as the half progressed, restricting the home side to long-range efforts. Fleming’s shot was miles over the bar and a curling ball from Alex Fisher finished on top of the net but Montel Joseph remained untested in goal.

The Woods started the second half well and Stead was given a further opportunity from another free-kick just outside the box but this time his effort flew well over. But Northwood didn’t have to wait long for the killer second goal, breaking quickly and swiftly before a final ball put Louis Bircham in on goal and he fired across Keadell and into the far corner for his first goal in ten matches.

Ashford had their best chance to pull a goal back on 55 minutes as Bitmead poked the ball past Joseph as he came out of goal to challenge. It ran loose but eventually Fleming fired wide of the target again. Two minutes later, Gradi Milenge made a rare mistake with a mistimed header which again gave Fleming half a chance but his first-time effort was touched the wrong side of the post.

The Woods were still threatening too and both Myles Stephenson and Bircham went close with shots that went over and wide respectively while English flicked a header wide for Ashford from a curling corner and then Joseph palmed a dipping long-range free-kick over the bar.

In the end Northwood were delighted to notch their second successive clean-sheet and pick up three more points that moves them back into a mid-table position.

With two home games to follow over the next week, the Woods have a great opportunity to continue their good recent form and that starts on Tuesday night with a visit from former Manager Gary Meakin and his Egham Town side who boast the second best defensive record in the division.