NORTHWOOD FC   Tuesday 16th August 2016   AYLESBURY FC

Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central

  Northwood 0  Aylesbury 2   

Bada 88, Montgomery 93

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Thomas Spenser     1 Ashley Jenkins
2 Alex Nolan     2 Victor Ocansey
3 Julian Smith     3 JJ Lofthouse-Smith
4 Mark Burgess (61m)     4 Mark Lambert
5 James Budden     5 Jordan Jenkins
6 Georges Ehui (90m)     6 Ben Stevens
7 Luke Heneghan     7 Lee Stobbs
8 James Burgess     8 Dave Carty (61m)
9 Myles Stephenson (75m)     9 Martin Griggs
10 Louis Stead     17 Kieran Turner (75m)
11 Callum Wright     11 Aaron Couch (58m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Ryan Debattista (90m)     12 Ben Bateman (75m)
14 Marinos Andreou (75m)     13 John Montgomery (61m)
15 Luke Preedy     14 Yinny Greco
16 Simeon Owen (61m)     15 Elijah Badu (58m)
17 Elias Moses     16 Daniel Gordon
      Referee: Michael Smith; Assistants: Matt Foden & Chris Potter      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  

Having recovered from their opening day defeat with four points from two tough away games, hopes were high that the Woods would be able to continue with their recovery. Mark Burgess chose to make a change to the side with Myles Stephenson getting his first start of the season, replacing summer recruit Ryan Debattista in an otherwise unchanged starting line-up.

Like Northwood, the visitors had seen changes of their own during the summer with a new manager at the helm and several new players and they had picked up just one point from their opening three matches so it seemed a good time to be playing the Moles.

The Woods failed to hit the ground running in this one, though, or to show the confidence that the weekend’s victory should have given them. After a slow start, Luke Heneghan had an effort easily saved and then a long-range effort from Kieran Turner, spotting goalkeeper Thomas Spenser off his line, dropped wide of the target.

On 17 minutes a Heneghan free-kick was narrowly over the bar and then the same player turned provider with a good run and cross but it eluded everyone in the box. Stephenson had his first chance after 26 minutes when picked out by a cross but he volleyed the ball well wide and then Aylesbury had an opportunity when a long ball put the speedy Lee Stobbs in the clear. Spenser started to come but then back-peddled and saved well when the shot came his way.

The Woods began to threaten more towards the end of the first half. Callum Wright knocked in a good free-kick that picked out James Budden but his header drifted wide and then Georges Ehui picked out Stephenson but the striker saw his shot blocked and it trickled through to goalkeeper Ashley Jenkins. Alex Nolan’s cross was met by Heneghan and his touch gave Stephenson a sight of goal but his shot was straight at Jenkins who saved comfortably. Then two free-kicks in quick succession were unable to create a goal. Louis Stead curled his over the top and then Heneghan picked out Budden again but this time his header was too direct and Jenkins collected.

The Woods still seemed most likely to claim the points when the second half started and Wright had a shot blocked after a good cross from Julian Smith before Stephenson ballooned a shot miles over the bar. After 54 minutes Wright did well to dance through a couple of defenders but then chipped a shot over the top too.

Mark Burgess limped off with a groin injury on the hour to be replaced by young defender Simeon Owen for his Woods debut and at the same time Aylesbury made a couple of changes, but it was still Northwood who held just held the upper hand. Wright had a good strike saved low down by Jenkins and then a good cross from Smith saw the Aylesbury keeper just beat Stephenson to the ball and clear.

Spenser had to be alert to claim a ball hooked back in by Stobbs on 71 minutes while the Woods continued to misfire in front of goal. Nolan and Stead combined to set up Ehui and when his shot was blocked, Stephenson again fired over the bar. Aylesbury were beginning to threaten more and a quick break after James Burgess lost possession saw substitute John Montgomery slip Stobbs through but his low strike was well saved by Spenser.
The Woods keeper was in action again on 83 minutes when Martin Griggs got on the end of a cross with a close-range header but he kept it out. Five minutes later, the Woods were not so fortunate as a ball in wasn’t cleared and substitute Elijah Badu seized on it to blast into the roof of the net from close-range.

Northwood’s one chance of an equaliser three minutes into stoppage-time proved disastrous. A free-kick was awarded not far outside the box but Heneghan fired it straight at the wall and the rebound caught out the Woods defence, who had pretty much all pushed up. Spenser raced out to challenge for the loose ball but it rebounded kindly to Montgomery who calmly steered an accurate shot from almost the halfway line into the unguarded net to double the score.

It was a harsh scoreline for the Woods, who were made to pay for their poor showing in front of goal and a second successive home defeat is a trend that they will have to reverse soon if they are to avoid getting dragged towards the lower reaches of the table.