FARNBOROUGH FC   Saturday 5 November 2016   NORTHWOOD FC

Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central

  Farnborough 2  Northwood 1  

Coles 22, Shaban 83

Stephenson 74

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Aaron Bufton     1 Thomas Spenser
2 John Onunga     2 Joakim Ehui (74m)
3 Oli Treacher     3 Andy Lomas
4 Jack Barton (82m)     4 Filipe Anjos
5 Keith Emmerson     5 James Budden
6 Sam Pearse ©     6 Louis Stead
7 Josh Huggins     7 Frankie Jones
8 Charlie Allen (85m)     8 James Burgess
9 Perry Coles     9 Ismael Ehui (62m)
10 Dennis Oli (62m)     10 Myles Stephenson
11 Nic Ciardini     11 Luke Heneghan (85m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Sam Shaban (62m)     12 Ryan Debattista (62m)
14 Ethan Allen (85m)     14 Louis Bircham(74m)
15 Lewis Hayden (82m)     15 Montel Joseph
16 Jordan Goater     16 Mark Burgess
17 Joel Driscoll     17 -

Referee: Alex Blake; Assistants: Anthony Cross & Dave Cotton



  REPORT by Alan Evans    PHOTOS: James Brown  



Northwood’s run of tough fixtures continued, this time with their first-ever competitive fixture with Farnborough who were the division’s early leaders and now sit in second place behind leaders Royston Town who were the Woods opposition twice in the previous week.

Manager Mark Burgess dropped himself out of the side but was also forced into other changes with Alex Nolan, Montel Joseph and Callum Wright ruled out with injury and illness respectively. So it was a changed formation and six personnel changes in all as Ismael Ehui and Myles Stephenson replaced Ryan Debattista and Louis Bircham in attack. Thomas Spenser started in goal, Andy Lomas returned at left wing-back, Joakim Ehui filled in on the right flank and Filipe Andros and James Burgess slotted into the back three.

The Woods started brightly enough with Luke Heneghan winning a ball in midfield and slipping it to Ismael Ehui but his crisp strike was always going wide. Then Heneghan tried a shot himself but again it failed to hit the target. Andy Lomas got forward well down the left after 13 minutes and hit an angled shot across the face of goal that took a slight deflection for a corner as it drifted just wide of the post. The on-loan left-back then went for goal himself with a good shot that flew over the bar.

It took the home side 20 minutes to record an effort on goal and it came after an excellent run from right-back John Onunga led to a shot from Perry Coles and it forced a save from goalkeeper Thomas Spenser. So it was almost totally against the run of play that Farnborough then took the lead two minutes later as Coles seized onto a loose ball just outside the box and quickly despatched it into the bottom corner giving Spenser no chance with a real striker’s goal.

The goal boosted the home side and they went close a couple of times in the next ten minutes. First a lay-off from Coles saw Nic Ciardini fire a shot over the bar and then when Spenser was unable to hold another strike it fell kindly to goalscorer Coles but this time his shot came crashing back off the crossbar.

It was a real let-off for the Woods and they had one opportunity to level before the break as Heneghan made another good run to set up Frankie Jones but the youngster’s shot was always climbing over the bar.

The second half was played at a slower pace. Ciardini had a chance from a free-kick that he hit low and Spenser saved comfortably but there was very few other efforts on goal in the opening twenty minutes; Stephenson turning well but then shooting well wide with Northwood’s only real attack.

After substitute Sam Shaban had flicked a header well wide from a Coles cross on 72 minutes, the Woods then began to make some headway again following the introduction of Louis Bircham. James Burgess knocked in a free-kick which was headed down into the danger area by James Budden but substitute Ryan Debattista didn’t react quick enough to get a shot in.

Three minutes later Northwood were level with a well-worked goal. Heneghan worked some space on the left before finding the overlapping Lomas who sent in a precise cross that was tucked home by a neat flick from Stephenson to make it 1-1.

The Woods pushed forward again and with ten minutes to go a defensive slip allowed Bircham in on goal but his shot was saved by the legs of goalkeeper Aaron Bufton and the loose ball was cleared. That was worked to Louis Stead who then curled a shot that almost dropped in at the far post but drifted inches wide.

Having gone close to taking the lead, the Woods then conceded what proved to be the winning goal three minutes later as a defensive slip saw Farnborough have a shot which Spenser could only push away and Shaban was on hand to score from the rebound to put the home side back in front.

There were six minutes of stoppage-time added on which reflected the substitutions, injuries and time-wasting but just one chance came Northwood’s way as they pressed a blanket defence for an equaliser. That came on 93 minutes as Heneghan tried his luck from distance and the ball deflected up and only just wide of the target.