EGHAM TOWN   Tuesday 9th August 2016   NORTHWOOD FC

Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central

  Egham Town 1  Northwood 1   

Moore 71

M Burgess 80

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Jamie Norris     1 Thomas Spenser
2 Jordan Ajanlekoko     2 Alex Nolan
3 Ryan Parsons     3 Julian Smith
4 Reece Yorke     4 Mark Burgess
5 Luke Neville ©     5 James Budden
6 Wes Daly     6 Frankie Jones
7 Chris Henry     7 Luke Heneghan
8 Ollie Jones (67m)     8 James Burgess
9 Brendon Matthew (57m)     9 Ryan Debattista (75m)
10 Zak Joseph     10 Louis Stead
11 Bajram Pashaj (57m)     11 Callum Wright
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Callum Webb     12 Myles Stephenson (75m)
14 Kurtney Brooks (67m)     14 Marinos Andreou
15 Aaron Berry (57m)     15 Georges Ehui
16 Chris Moore (57m)     16 Simeon Owen
22 James Reading     17 Elias Moses
      Referee: Jamaal Horne;
Assistants: Dominic Wynter & Mark Edwards
  REPORT by Alan Evans  




This was a tough match for the Woods fledgling, new side only a few days on from their opening day defeat at home to Ashford, while the home side, beaten in the play-offs last season, had notched a 2-0 win at relegated Histon. Mark Burgess kept an unchanged starting line-up but there were a few positional changes with Julian Smith moving to left-back, Callum Wright to the left flank and Frankie Jones taking up a more central position.

Former Woods manager Gary Meakin has kept pretty much the same Egham side together including a defence that conceded the least goals in the division last season and they once again looked pretty solid at the back from the start. But Northwood looked more compact themselves at the start and they defended well, restricting the home side to a couple of wayward efforts from distance. A free-kick on 19 minutes was pumped goalwards by Ollie Jones but Woods goalkeeper Thomas Spenser collected well under pressure from Brendon Matthew.

Seven minutes later play switched to the other end and Luke Heneghan’s free-kick was met by a flicked header from a stooping James Budden but the ball flew wide of the target.  The Woods had settled more now and after 32 minutes a good ball from Jones slipped Heneghan in down the left. He raced forward and whipped in a dangerous cross which was chested off for a corner by Ryan Parsons. Heneghan then had a shot blocked after another good build-up but it was Egham that finished the half strongly.

After 41 minutes a good run from Zak Joseph saw him cut in from the right and then try a near-post strike that Spenser did well to push wide. From the resulting corner, James Burgess sliced an attempted clearance but the Woods ‘keeper was again alert to keep it out. Just before the break Matthew burst through and knocked in an inviting cross but there was no-one there to apply the finishing touch required.

The second half began with a Pashaj free-kick, again to the near-post that had Spenser moving across to push wide and then a short corner was played in for Chris Henry to have a shot that flew wide. But the Woods were still beginning to make some inroads. Smith overlapped onto a Louis Stead ball and did well to win a corner, though that was easily headed away. Then Stead was put through down the right and he knocked over a tempting cross but there was no-one there to get a touch.

Egham hit back with a shot from Pashaj that had Spenser diving to his left to push it out and Matthew was offside as he looked to snap up the rebound. The home side made an early double substitution bringing on former Woods striker Chris Moore and new signing from Beaconsfield Aaron Berry who replaced the strike duo of Pashaj and Matthew. Ollie Jones poked a shot straight at Spenser soon after but it was Northwood who had the best chance of the game so far on the hour. It was a good move with Alex Nolan finding Heneghan who, in turn, slipped a great ball through to Stead who steered his shot past goalkeeper Jamie Norris but also wide of the far post.

There was another opportunity just two minutes later when another good ball picked out Wright down the centre. He’d beaten the offside flag but unfortunately controlled the ball with his hand as he looked to turn and shoot for goal. But all the hard work from Northwood was undone after 71 minutes when a well-worked free-kick saw skipper Kyle Anthony race forward late to get on the end of a Kurtney Brooks free-kick and he headed the ball into the danger-zone where it was fired home through a mass of bodies by former Woods defender Reece Yorke, perhaps by way of a couple of deflections.

Myles Stephenson replaced Ryan Debattista for the final fifteen minutes and had a great chance to level just two minutes later. A mistake from Jordan Ajanlekoko allowed a clear run down the left and his left-foot shot was heading for the top corner but Norris did well to fling out a hand and pushed it wide of the post. But the Woods did get an equaliser as Heneghan knocked in the corner and Mark Burgess met it at the near-post for his second goal in consecutive games.

Two minutes later Stephenson turned provider with a neat ball that put Heneghan in behind what was now looking a more vulnerable defence but he delayed his shot too long and was eventually crowded out. In the end, both sides had to be satisfied with just a point that keeps Egham unbeaten and the Woods still looking for their first win but it was certainly an improvement for Northwood’s side as they look to settle into the season.