NORTHWOOD FC   Tuesday 9th January 2018   AFC DUNSTABLE

Evo-Stik League South, East

  Northwood 2  AFC Dunstable 2  

J Osei 48, Martin 81

Roberts 5, Griffiths 41

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Xavi Comas     1 Jamie Head
2 Wilson Chingoka (86m)     2 James Bishop
3 Tom Gilbey     3 Newman Carney
4 Mark McLeod     4 Terry Griffiths
5 Matt Hall     5 Bill Morgan
6 Lewis Hobbs ©     6 Ollie Cox (61m)
7 David Taylor     7 Christian Tavernier (86m)
8 Tyler Hatherly     8 Moses Olaleye ©
9 Jermaine Osei     9 Bernard Christie
10 Mahlondo Martin     10 Jermaine Hall
11 Harry Newman (89m)     11 Drew Roberts
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Lewis Ochoa     12 Leon Cashman (61m)
14 Isaac Olorunfemi (86m)     14 Ryan Frater
15 Paolo Montella     15 Brandon Carney
16 Nebay Haile (89m)     16 Louis Bircham (86m)
17 Romelle Alomenu     17 Matt Langston
      Referee: Craig Kissi; Assistants: Deryll David & Turan Yesilyurt      
  REPORT by Robin Piper  




Northwood displayed all their battling qualities as they recovered from a two goal deficit to record their second 2-2 draw in four days against high flying AFC Dunstable. Woods welcomed back Tom Gilbey to a defence still missing Brad Hewitt while skipper Lewis Hobbs was deployed at right-back. Former Harrow Borough midfielder Mark McLeod was brought in for his Northwood debut, with Lewis Ochoa and Jack McDonnell missing from Saturday’s draw at Egham.

Dunstable have been in excellent form in recent weeks, unbeaten in nine games coming into this match, with eight wins taking them up to second in the table and their confidence was in evidence from the first minute as top-scorer Jermaine Hall shot narrowly wide with a 20 yard effort. At the other end, Harry Newman was quickly into the action as he created an opening for Jermaine Osei but the Woods striker dragged his shot wide of the far post.

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The game had set off at a frantic pace and the opening goal was not long in coming. As Northwood looked in vain for an offside flag, Hall and BJ Christie combined to set up Drew Roberts for any easy finish with five minutes on the clock, to continue the experienced striker's excellent scoring record against Northwood.

Newman was seeing plenty of the ball and another burst down the left flank lead to a teasing cross to the far post but there was no red shirt to apply the finish. And Newman was linking well with Mahlondo Martin as the latter twice got the round the back of the Dunstable defence but was unable to deliver a decisive final ball.

Despite enjoying their fair share of possession, Woods were struggling to create any clear-cut chances and it was the visitors who were threatening to add to their lead. Woods keeper Xavi Comas was quickly off his line to deny the advancing Christie as he looked to latch onto Hall's through-ball before the unmarked Terry Griffiths should have done better as he almost got on the end of Newman Carney's floated free-kick into the box.

Dunstable continued to threaten and Roberts went close to grabbing his second goal of the evening with an audacious long-range attempt which shaved the post with Comas beaten. However, the visitors were finally rewarded for their efforts as they increased their lead on 41 minutes, Griffiths heading home unchallenged as he got on the end of Carney’s corner – although there was feeling the ball might have gone out of play before arriving on the defender’s head.

Northwood required a good start to the second period if they were going to find a way back into the match and their wish was granted as Osei executed a smart shot on the turn to reduce the arrears on 48 minutes following Hobbs’ low cross into the box.

Despite a scare when Hall went close for the visitors, Northwood were growing in confidence with a succession of attacks and Osei was denied by keeper Jamie Head, who produced a couple of smart saves to keep his team in front.

Northwood maintained their second half improvement and deservedly drew level on 81 minutes after they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Dunstable box. Martin stepped up to take the free-kick which beat Head at his near post for the Woods striker’s fifth goal in four games.

Dunstable almost immediately regained the lead as they broke quickly into the Northwood box but Comas was on hand to produce a smart save to deny Hall.

lsaac Olurunfemi and Nebay Haile were introduced for Wilson Chingoka and Newman respectively to add some fresh legs for Northwood in the closing minutes. But it was Comas who was called upon to deny Hall once again in stoppage time to ensure that Woods deservedly took a share of the spoils.