NORTHWOOD FC   Saturday 17th September 2016   AYLESBURY UNITED

Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central

  Northwood 1 Aylesbury United 1  

Debattista 35

French 57

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Montel Joseph     1 Zaki Qualah
2 Alex Nolan     2 Gavin Hinds-Cadette
3 Julian Smith (71m)     3 Jake Bewley
4 Mark Burgess     4 Jack Wood
5 James Budden     5 Ryan Kinnane
6 Louis Stead     6 Ollie Hogg
7 Louis Bircham     7 Olly Stanbridge
8 James Burgess (77m)     8 Greg Williams (84m)
9 Ryan Debattista     9 Reece Cameron (81m)
10 Luke Heneghan (84m)     10 Sonny French (72m)
11 Callum Wright     11 Vijon Sentain
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Myles Stephenson     12 Jordon Frederick (84m)
14 Ismael Ehui (77m)     14 Ellis Hercules
15 Joakim Ehui (84m)     15 Lea Coulter (81m)
16 Filipe Anjos     16 Taylor Collins (72m)
17 Frankie Jones (71m)     17 Alex Chilcott
      Referee: Stephen Bate; Assistants: Jack Bloxham & Philip Evans      
  REPORT by Alan Evans    PHOTOS by James Brown  

The Woods will rue one set of defensive errors which cost them victory in this game against high-flying Aylesbury United, who were gifted a point and it cost the Woods a first clean-sheet at home this season. Mark Burgess restored himself to the starting line-up at the expense of Filipe Anjos while Myles Stephenson suffered an injury in the warm-up and a late change put Luke Heneghan in from the start.

It was an entertaining game from the start with both sides playing some neat football and it was the confident visitors who got the first early shot on target with a low strike that was well saved by goalkeeper Montel Joseph. Some good work from Reece Cameron left Julian Smith on the floor and his attempted chip of Joseph was not far wide and then veteran midfielder Greg Williams tried an angled shot which was again well gathered by the Northwood keeper.

But the Woods were causing a few problems at the other end, too, with Louis Bircham setting up Callum Wright for a shot that was well stopped by goalkeeper Zaki Oualah. The ball ran loose and though Ryan Debattista was first to it, his effort was blocked.

Joseph was back in action to push away a free-kick before Mark Burgess cleared up the loose ball and after 35 minutes the Woods were in front. Bircham did well on the right to get past two defenders and then his cross was neatly flicked home by Debattista for his third goal in consecutive games.

Vijo Sentain headed wide having been picked out by Jack Wood but the Woods finished the half on top with Bircham continuing to impress and good work from Heneghan led to Bircham hitting a crisp shot which flashed the wrong side of the upright and into the side-netting.

Soon after the restart, Louis Stead forced Oualah into a good save and then Bircham was denied by a good blocking tackle from Jake Bewley. From the resulting Bircham corner, James Budden had his shot tipped over the top by the keeper and from the next, taken by Wright, James Burgess latched onto a loose ball but his shot was too direct and Oualah gathered safely.

So, it was totally against the run of play that Aylesbury got on level terms after 57 minutes. Mark Burgess played an unwise short back-pass to his goalkeeper close to his near-post and when he delayed his clearance he was robbed of the ball and a quick square-pass from Cameron allowed French a simple tap-in.

The game became a little fractured with a couple of yellow cards and substitutions as neither side was able to get back on top and the next real chance only came the Ducks way on 73 minutes as Sentain raced towards the box only to be stopped in his tracks by a superbly timed tackle from Budden.

The Woods introduced both of the recently returned Ehui brothers and Stead did try his luck from distance with a powerful strike that Oualah again managed to push wide of the target . It was Northwood who finished strongest though. A good build-up led to Bircham curling a shot which the keeper got across to and pushed wide of the post before Budden played a ball into the path of Ismael Ehui but a combination of defender and goalkeeper managed to prevent a shot at goal.