NORTHWOOD FC   Saturday 1st April 2017   ROYSTON TOWN

Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central

  Northwood 0  Royston Town 4  

Murray 5, Bridges 12,
M Burgess o.g. 57, Neilson 68

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Borja Loeches-Teixeira     1 Joe Welch
2 Filipe Anjos     2 Gus Scott-Morriss (61m)
3 Andrew White (56m)     3 Danny May
4 James Budden     4 Scott Bridges ©
5 Mark Burgess     5 Ryan Frater
6 Jamie Doolan     6 Adam Murray
7 Joakim Ehui (81m)     7 Ryan Ingrey (26m)
8 James Burgess ©     8 Adam Watkins
9 Louis Bircham     9 Matt Nolan (61m)
10 Myles Stephenson     10 Ryan Towner
11 Kieran Barnes (81m)     11 Josh Castiglione
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Jackson Hall (56m)     12 John Frendo (61m)
14 Jamie Clark-Samuel (81m)     14 Kaan Fehmi (26m)
15 Jay Thorne     15 Dan Brathwaite
16 Jack McDonnell (81m)     16 Stuart Bridges
17 Luke Fox     17 Scott Neilson (61m)
      Referee: Mike Heavey; Assistants: A Babakhanlou & Hugh Gilroy      
  REPORT by Alan Evans    PHOTOS by James Brown    



The Woods’ annual Community Day was well supported and produced a young, excitable crowd but there was actually little to get excited about for the home side as league leaders Royston Town continued their run to the inevitable title.

The Crows started quickly and were in front after just five minutes as a corner was only half-cleared and when Ryan Towner knocked the ball back across goal, Adam Murray stretched to stab the ball home from close-range.
The Woods tried to hit back immediately as they won a free-kick in a dangerous area and Louis Bircham was on target with his strike but goalkeeper Joe Welch got across to push it wide.

And then, further disaster struck in the twelfth minute as Royston were awarded a free-kick of their own and Scott Bridges showed exactly how to execute a dead-ball situation, curling his shot into the top corner with goalkeeper Borja Loeches-Teixeira nowhere near it.

Again Northwood showed some resilience as Joakim Ehui finished a good run with a shot that flew just wide and then Kieran Barnes hit a shot on the turn which was powerful but too direct at Welch who saved comfortably.
Royston were forced into a change midway through the half as Ryan Ingrey was caught by a goalkeeper’s clearance as he crashed into him. The Woods earned the free-kick but Ingrey was pole-axed and eventually had to be substituted by Kaan Fehmi.

The play went quiet after that but the Crows almost grabbed a third just before the break as a shot from the tricky Josh Castiglione was deflected across goal and only just wide of the far post. Scott Bridges missed a good chance to increase the visitors lead soon after the restart but they did go further ahead on 57 minutes as Castiglione’s cross was sliced home by Mark Burgess in his attempt to clear and it was pretty much game over.

Mark Burgess picked up the game’s only yellow card soon after this with a mistimed tackle that might have earned a red on another day and then Ryan Frater outjumped James Budden for a header which flew just over the bar.

Very little was going right for the Woods as they were unable to retain the ball up front and their defence was also cut open after 68 minutes by a good move that ended with an accurate strike from substitute Scott Neilson who had only been on the field for seven minutes.

Royston had done enough and they kept possession for much of the remainder of the game and it did allow Northwood a few glimpses of goal. Welch saved easily from another Bircham free-kick and another Ehui strike while substitute Jack McDonnell also had a late effort well saved. Bircham had a stoppage-time strike that flew just wide but it was Royston who went closest to adding to the scoreline with a Danny May blast which was punched away by Loeches-Teixeira.

With Histon winning yet again, the gap between Northwood and the relegation zone continues to close rapidly and they really need to turn the tide as they slumped to their eighth successive defeat.