ROYSTON TOWN   Saturday 29 October 2016   NORTHWOOD FC

FA Trophy First Qualifying Round

  Royston Town 2 Northwood 2  

Ingrey 22, Castiglione 60

Heneghan 11, Jones 67

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Joe Welch     1 Montel Joseph
2 Gus Scott-Morriss     2 Alex Nolan
3 Luke Warner-Eley     3 Callum Wright
4 Scott Bridges     4 Mark Burgess
5 Dan Braithwaite     5 James Budden
6 Stuart Bridges (53m)     6 Louis Stead
7 Kaan Fehmi (53m)     7 Frankie Jones
8 Ryan Towner     8 James Burgess (77m)
9 John Frendo     9 Ryan Debattista (71m)
10 Martel Powell (60m)     10 Louis Bircham
11 Ryan Ingrey     11 Luke Heneghan
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Danny May (60m)     12 Myles Stephenson (71m)
14 Josh Castiglione (53m)     14 Joakim Ehui (77m)
15 Simon Thomas (53m)     15 Filipe Anjos
16 -     16 Thomas Spenser
17 Ryan Frater     17 Ismael Ehui

Referee: Hallam Cutmore
Assistants: Graham Swanton & John Sandlin

    REPORT by Alan Evans    PHOTOS: James Brown    


Northwood surrendered an early lead but then battled back from a goal behind to earn a replay in this open and entertaining Buildbase FA Trophy tie at divisional league leaders Royston Town. The Woods were forced into just one change from the side that had won at Chalfont St Peter in midweek with Andy Lomas replaced by Callum Wright at left-back as parent club Harrow Borough were understandably not keen for him to be cup-tied.

The Crows, on the back of a sequence of seven successive wins, were without defensive pairing Adam Murray and Ryan Frater but they started the game with plenty of confidence in attack. After just six minutes, Martel Powel won a midfield ball and then Ryan Towner sprayed the ball wide to Ryan Ingrey who got forward to knock in an excellent cross, with a flick from John Frendo going only just wide of the far post.

There was almost a shock for the home side two minutes later, however, as a back-pass from Scott Bridges looked comfortable for goalkeeper Joe Welch but he failed to control it and was very close to crossing the goal-line when he recovered to clear.

The experienced Frendo then delivered a good touch to play in Powell whose strike flew not too far wide of the upright but on 11 minutes the Woods took a shock lead. Luke Heneghan picked the ball up in space some 35 yards from goal and with little back-lift, rifled home into the top corner to give a stranded Welch no chance.

Royston were soon back on the offensive, though, and Montel Joseph was forced into his first action four minutes later as he was well-position to hold onto a stinging shot from out wide by Kaan Fehmi. And the Crows were level after 22 minutes with a well-worked free-kick. Ingrey shaped to take it but then ran full-speed into the box and was not picked up quickly enough as he then got his head to Scott Bridges’ lofted ball forward and it sailed into the top corner.

A good spell from the Woods followed with Louis Bircham going close with a 25-yard strike that flew just wide of the post and then a low strike which forced Welch into a full-length dive to push the ball wide of the other upright. The Crows remained a threat from set-pieces and when Gus Scott-Morriss knocked in a deep free-kick to the far post Stuart Bridges dived to get in a header but it was at Joseph who gathered safely. Soon after, Fehmi latched onto another Frendo ball and his shot was heading for the top corner until Joseph got across to push it over the crossbar.

The home side were finishing the half back on top. Fehmi’s dangerous cross just eluded the outstretched boot of Frendo and then Ingrey cut in and went for goal with his deflected effort hitting the crossbar.

But Northwood came out for the second half full of running and just a couple of minutes in, Alex Nolan was played into the box by Louis Stead but his shot across the face of the goal was inches wide of the far post. The full-back was forward again on 52 minutes, winning the ball and racing into the area but again his ball across was neither on target or cut back enough for those coming in on it.

Royston made two enforced substitutions early on and they went close to taking the lead on 56 minutes as Scott Bridges side-stepped two attempted challenges to lift another ball into the box and this time Powell’s neat volley again smacked the crossbar.

Substitute Josh Castiglione had made an impact when coming on, with Nolan picking up a yellow card after being outpaced down the right. And the next time Castiglione ran at Nolan he backed off a little and it allowed the livewire sub the chance to squeeze a shot inside Joseph’s near post to give Royston the lead on the hour.

That didn’t last too long, though, as Bircham dispossessed another substitute Danny May on the left and squared a ball across to Frankie Jones, who had done well to get forward, and the young midfielder stroked in his first goal for the club to level things up at 2-2. Heneghan had an effort comfortably saved by Welch soon after this and then Stead intercepted a quick free-kick to feed Bircham but he was crowded out and his shot was blocked.

Frendo was booked as the home side began to falter and then Nolan made another strong run down the right but his cross was just too far ahead of an unmarked Heneghan. Nolan then combined with Bircham to set up Heneghan for another strike from distance but this time the ball flew too high.

The Crows went close next from another free-kick pumped into the box by Luke Warner-Eley and Castiglione had to stretch to reach it at the far post and his strike went well over the bar. Then Towner found space for a shot from distance but it was always going over the top.

Stead also skied an effort after good approach work from Myles Stephenson and Heneghan while Stephenson may have had claims for a penalty as he was pulled back in the box before getting his shot off which Welch saved.

Royston did have the ball in the net on 88 minutes when Scott Bridges poked the ball in out of Joseph’s hands after he had gathered Castiglione’s cross without too much conviction but it was ruled out for a foul and it was Northwood who had the final opportunity to avoid a replay. Welch made a hash of a kicked clearance, the ball going straight to Bircham 25 yards out but the Woods forward couldn’t get enough height on his attempt at goal and Welch was able to recover and save his blushes.