NORTHWOOD FC   Saturday 28th October 2017   FLEET TOWN FC

Evo-Stik League South, East

  Northwood 2  Fleet Town 1  

Newman 37, Hayden-Smith 89

Ruzicka 63

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Brendan Hazlett     1 Liam Beach
2 Isaac Olorunfemi     2 Ross Ewen
3 George Robinson (73m)     3 James Haworth
4 Michael Buckley     4 Liam Flanighan
5 Marcus Rose     5 Chris Wales
6 Brad Hewitt ©     6 Ashley Lloyd ©
7 Lewis Ochoa     7 Ollie Bennett
8 Tayshan Hayden-Smith     8 Josh Baines
9 Jermaine Osei     9 Patrick Ruzicka
10 Evans Kouassi (75m)     10 Alex Hendrie (75m)
11 Harry Newman (90m)     11 Bradley Wilson (61m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Mahlondo Martin (75m)     12 Danilo Cadete
14 Wilson Chingoka (90m)     14 Gilberto Abril (61m)
15 Kojo Gyimah     15 Jack Selby
16 Declan Nche     16 Charlie Horwood (75m)
17 Pat Adamson (73m)     17 Billy Oram
      Referee: Hugh Gilroy; Asst: Jack Hobbs & Russell Jones      
  REPORT by Alan Evans   PHOTOS by James Brown  




A stunning late strike from midfield maestro Tayshan Hayden-Smith secured a third win in eight days for the improving Woods but was a relief to the majority of the sparse crowd as most were sensing dropped points against a struggling Fleet Town side.

Simon Lane made just one change to the starting line-up that had won at Hanwell in midweek, with Isaac Olorunfemi coming in at right-back to allow Lewis Ochoa to strengthen the midfield area. Fleet, who had beaten Marlow a week earlier before a huge 10-0 midweek set-back at Ashford Town, made several changes as they looked to regroup.

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Northwood began brightly enough, with Evans Kouassi getting a cross in from the left which had Harry Newman stretching at the far post but he was unable to get enough power on his shot to cause goalkeeper Liam Beach any problems. After eight minutes Michael Buckley had a go from distance but was well wide and the visitors then began to settle.

Alex Hendrie combined with Bradley Wilson on 19 minutes to set up Ollie Bennett for a chance, but Woods goalkeeper Brendan Hazlett was alert to the danger and managed to block two efforts on goal in quick succession. Patrick Ruzicka tried his luck from long-range but that sailed over the top, though he was more accurate with a deflected strike that Hazlett kept out comfortably.

The Woods still looked threatening on the attack though and with Kouassi switching to the left flank he knocked in an excellent cross which picked out Newman at the far post. His header should have tested Beach more than it did though the keeper did react well to push the ball wide for a corner.

Northwood did take the lead though after 37 minutes when Ochoa did well with an attacking run from midfielder that took him past two players before firing for goal. It was flying wide but Newman was quick to react and diverted the ball past Beach for the opening goal.

Kouassi sliced a shot across goal and just wide soon after and also, just before the break, there was an opportunity to double the lead when Kouassi knocked in another good cross that found Newman free again but this time his header flew over the bar.

The Hampshire side had an early chance to level in the second half as Hazlett kept out a good strike from Wilson but the ball ran loose and Ruzicka swept it over the top.

After 50 minutes Ochoa found space in midfield again to stride forward and let fly from 30 yards but the ball didn’t quite dip enough and cannoned off the crossbar. Kouassi fired wide after being set up by Buckley but after 63 minutes Fleet were suddenly level. Substitute Gilberto Abril got the ball into the danger zone and when it ran loose, the predatory Ruzicka pounced to score from close-range.

The Woods looked to get back in front quickly but Marcus Rose’s free header from a Buckley corner sailed over and the game became scrappier with a few yellow cards dished out and several substitutions being made. Mahlondo Martin came on for Kouassi and with ten minutes remaining he cut inside from the right and saw his deflected shot beat Beach but hit the post and flash wide.

But chances were at a premium and apart from a Newman run and cross that was just cut out and scrambled away, neither side looked likely to secure all three points. That was until the 89th minute when a ball in from the right from Martin was half-cleared to Hayden-Smith 25 yards from goal and he quickly arrowed a shot into the top corner to restore Northwood’s lead and sink Fleet’s hopes of a valuable point.