NORTHWOOD FC   Tuesday 27th September 2016   HISTON FC

Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central

  Northwood 6 Histon 0   

Stead 31, 75, Debattista 40, Heneghan 45,
I Ehui 71, Bircham 78


Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Montel Joseph     1 Niall Conroy
2 Alex Nolan     2 Joe Gwynne
3 Callum Wright     3 Elkanah Sibanda
4 Mark Burgess     4 Max York ©
5 James Budden (77m)     5 Pat Bexfield
6 Louis Stead     6 Harry McGregor
7 Frankie Jones (70m)     7 Matty Allan (80m)
8 James Burgess     8 Simon Unwin (51m)
9 Ryan Debattista (63m)     9 Jake Chambers-Shaw
10 Louis Bircham     10 Luke Seaber-Shinn (51m)
11 Luke Heneghan     11 Will Gardner
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Julian Smith (70m)     12 Olly Habergham (51m)
14 Filipe Anjos (77m)     14 Dammy Nickels
15 Joakim Ehui     15 Joe Sutton (51m)
16 Ismael Ehui (63m)     16 Aysa Ourtilbour (80m)
17 Myles Stephenson     17 -
      Referee: Tim Donnelan; Assistants: Tom Ratheram & Jon Panconi      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  

The Woods notched back-to-back wins for the first time this season with this resounding 6-0 defeat of struggling Histon. It was Northwood’s best home league result since they notched the same scoreline in a Ryman League game against Ware back in August 2009, some seven years ago. Mark Burgess kept an unchanged starting line-up from the one that had notched a narrow victory at Petersfield Town at the weekend and the side looked more organised from the start.

That’s not to say the visitors didn’t start with plenty of pace, movement and attacking flair and after an early Louis Bircham cross had flashed across goal without a Northwood touch, it was Histon who could have gone ahead on 13 minutes. A free-kick was flighted in neatly from the right and skipper Max York would have had a free header on goal had he managed to connect with more than his shoulder.

But the Woods were soon threatening too and a short Bircham corner saw Luke Heneghan fire goalwards, though the ball was blocked and cleared neatly enough. Soon after Ryan Debattista sprayed an excellent crossfield pass into the path of Heneghan and he was fully on target this time, though goalkeeper Niall Conroy saved well. Conroy was back in action soon after, this time flinging himself to his left to tip a powerful Louis Stead angled drive wide of the post. From the resulting Callum Wright corner, James Budden had a free header and should have done better than missing the target.

The Stutes threatened again on 22 minutes when a long free-kick wasn’t claimed by Montel Joseph and Histon worked the ball to get a goalbound shot which was cleared off the line by Alex Nolan. James Burgess was slow to get the ball clear though and another centre looked dangerous before another strike was blocked.

The Woods needed a goal and it came on 31 minutes as they gained a free-kick not far outside the area. Louis Stead, with a new found confidence following his two goals at Petersfield, curled his strike superbly over the wall and into the top corner to give Conroy no chance. Having conceded the goal, the young Histon side seemed to lose their vigour for a while and the Woods punished them dearly. Stead turned provider with a near reverse pass which put Debattista in on goal and he fired inside the post to double the lead on 41 minutes.

The visitors could have pulled one back before the break as some good work from Luke Seaber-Shinn set up Jake Chambers-Shaw for a crisp shot that Joseph did really well to keep out. But having had a chance to be just one behind, the Stutes then found themselves three down as Heneghan netted his first goal for the club with a good run and strike that Conroy was unable to keep out at his near post.

Northwood still looked on top as the second half commenced. A mistake from Conroy let Bircham in for a chance but he shot straight at the retreating ‘keeper and then the visitors made a double substitution in the hope of turning their fortunes around. It had some effect as substitute Joe Sutton let fly with a great strike that needed Joseph to be at full stretch to push the ball over the bar. From the corner York knocked the ball back across goal and Joseph did well again to claim the ball off the head of another striker.

Though Stead had another effort pushed wide by Conroy, Histon were still full of running and this was exemplified by a long slaloming run from Joe Gwynne who swept past several Woods defenders to get into the box but then he slipped the ball wide of the post when it looked easier to score.

Northwood had been sleeping a little but they began to push again. Noland set up Stead for a deflected effort that Conroy saved down low and then substitute Ismael Ehui fired just over the bar. But it was Ehui that grabbed the fourth goal after 71 minutes as Bircham and Heneghan combined to find the returning striker on the edge of the box and he finished clinically.

Just four minutes later some good approach play saw Stead burst into the box only to be tripped and he stepped up to knock in his second penalty in successive matches to make it 5-0. There was only four minutes to wait for the sixth and what proved to be the final goal and this time it was Bircham who got onto the scoresheet with another accurate strike that was drilled across goal and in off the far post.

There could have been more but Ehui and Stead both had further creditable efforts saved by the over-worked Conroy in goal while another Ehui shot bounced down and up but was headed off the line. Joseph also had a late save to make from Chambers-Shaw in stoppage-time to keep his first-ever clean-sheet and the Woods will be delighted with the style of their victory.

They now have to take their winning form into Saturday’s tough home game against newly-promoted Kempston Rovers who are currently in second place in the table, level on points with leaders Farnborough and with only one defeat all season.