BEDFORD TOWN   Saturday 13th August 2016   NORTHWOOD FC

Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central

  Bedford Town 0  Northwood 1   


Stead 29

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Ashley Harris     1 Thomas Spenser
2 Devante Stanley     2 Alex Nolan
3 Lee Hawkes     3 Julian Smith
4 Tommy Hull     4 Mark Burgess
5 James Peters     5 James Budden
6 Adam Watkins     6 Georges Ehui
7 Leroy Griffiths     7 Luke Heneghan
8 Ben Farrell (57m)     8 James Burgess
9 Lee Roache (85m)     9 Ryan Debattista (57m)
10 Danny Watson (57m)     10 Louis Stead
11 Phil Draycott     11 Callum Wright (78m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Jaiden Irish (57m)     12 Myles Stephenson (57m)
14 Matt Clifford     14 Marinos Andreou (78m)
15 Jemale M-Lowe (57m)     15 Luke Preedy
16 Josh Bamford (85m)     16 Simeon Owen
13 Adam Harpur     17 Elias Moses
      Referee: Hallam Cutmore;
Assistants: Sarah Grundy & Shaun Gregory
  REPORT by Alan Evans  




After a midweek point at Egham, the Woods took their new-found confidence and notched an excellent away win at Bedford Town, a side tipped by many to be challenging for the play-offs this season. Mark Burgess was forced into one change with Georges Ehui coming into central midfield to replace the holidaying Frankie Jones while the home side were able to give a debut to one-time Barnet striker, experienced Lee Roache who has spent the last four seasons in the successful Dunstable Town side.

The Woods won an early free-kick which saw Luke Heneghan test former Woods goalkeeper Ashley Harris who had to punch the ball to safety but other than that it was a pretty slow start to the match. The Eagles first threat came when Phil Draycott, one of three players to make the move to Bedford from promoted St Ives Town in the summer, hit a strike from out wide that flashed across the goal but wide of the far post. Then, when a corner was not cleared, a cross from ex-QPR striker Leroy Griffiths saw Tommy Hull’s header climb over the bar.

But Northwood were holding their own and then took the lead after 29 minutes as Heneghan found himself in plenty of space in the centre and he slipped a fine ball through to Louis Stead who opened his account for the season with a neat finish inside the far post. Stead went close to a second six minutes later when some good approach work led to a great strike but Harris did well to tip his effort over the crossbar.

The Woods certainly should have doubled their lead after 36 minutes when a long ball from Julian Smith allowed Ryan Debattista to slip through a square defence but with just the ‘keeper to beat he blasted the ball over the top. Bedford were all at sea at this stage and more good work down the left from Smith saw Callum Wright turn well and fire towards the near post but Harris was equal to it again, pushing it just wide.

The Eagles finally got a shot on target though before the break as Draycott tried his luck from distance but Thomas Spenser dived to his left to save well.

Harris saved comfortably from Debattista’s shot on the turn soon after the restart but then Bedford came close to levelling the scores on 48 minutes as Roache got on the end of a good cross from Adam Watkins and although wrong-footed, Spenser did well to change direction and make an excellent save to keep the Woods in front. It was not such a good save a minute later though as he was caught off his line and just managed to palm a shot up and onto the post.

Ehui found space for a low shot that flew just wide while Roache did well at the other end to speed past James Budden but Mark Burgess was there to cut out the cross at the expense of a corner.

Debattista had another good strike saved by Harris before being replaced by Myles Stephenson while Bedford made a double-substitution with twenty minutes left as they looked to salvage something from the game. Marinos Andreou was also introduced for his first Northwood action as the Woods looked to maintain their advantage. On 79 minutes a long ball saw Roache battle with Mark Burgess and when it ran loose the ball fell to Watkins whose shot was well saved by Spenser who was keen to keep his first clean sheet.

But it was Northwood who finished strongest. Andreou had a weak shot comfortably saved by Harris and then put in a dangerous cross which eluded both Stephenson and Heneghan in the middle. Finally, a Heneghan corner was headed down by Budden and Mark Burgess turned to shoot for his third goal in three games but this time his effort was blocked.

In the end, the Woods were happy to come away with their first win of the season and would be looking to build on that success with a first home win against winless Aylesbury in midweek.