NORTHWOOD FC   Saturday 4th November 2017   KEMPSTON ROVERS

Evo-Stik League South, East

  Northwood 3  Kempston Rovers 0  

Osei 5, 6, Ochoa 76


Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Brendan Hazlett     1 Martin Conway
2 Isaac Olorunfemi     2 George Boland
3 Pat Adamson     3 Michael Lyon (67m)
4 Michael Buckley     4 Robbie Goodman
5 Lewis Hobbs     5 Seb Simpson
6 Brad Hewitt ©     6 Grant Fryer
7 Lewis Ochoa     7 Ben Shepherd
8 Tayshan Hayden-Smith     8 Sam Macrae (75m)
9 Jermaine Osei (78m)      9 Jake Newman
10 Mahlondo Martin (70m)     10 Luke Heneghan (87m)
11 Harry Newman (82m)     11 Ash Fuller
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Evans Kouassi (78m)     12 Jamaine Ivy (75m)
14 Wilson Chingoka (70m)     14 Kyai McNulty (87m)
15 Declan Nche     15 Nathan Tshikuna (67m)
16 Kojo Gyimah (82m)     16 Carl Knox
17 Nebay Haile     17 -
      Referee: Jon Creswick; Assts: Stephen Matthews & Anand Desai      
  REPORT by Alan Evans   PHOTOS by James Brown  




The Woods extended their run of good form with a fourth consecutive victory with this solid and impressive defeat of a Kempston Rovers side that never recovered from conceding two early goals. There were a couple of changes for Simon Lane’s team, with Pat Adamson return to the left-back position after two months out with a hamstring injury while Mahlondo Martin started in place of Evans Kouassi, who had picked up a little bit of hamstring strain himself.

And it was Martin who kick-started this match from an early stage as after just five minutes he attacked down the right, beating his marker and sending over a pinpoint cross which was swept home by the Woods new marksman Jermaine Osei. Just over a minute later there was a similar move down the opposite flank as Harry Newman left two defenders in his wake before crossing and Osei was there again to fire past goalkeeper Martin Conway for 2-0. It was the striker’s eighth goal in just seven appearances since signing on dual-registration from neighbours Wealdstone.

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The visitors were stung and picked up an early booking too when Grant Fryer hacked down Newman but they did eventually settle and midway through the half, they began to make some inroads. After 22 minutes Jake Newman got the better of Brad Hewitt as he twisted and turned in the box and he rolled the ball back to Sam Macrae whose low strike crept only just wide of the upright. Two minutes later, former Woods winger Luke Heneghan set up Robbie Goodman and his strike deflected off the block from Hewitt but spun up and into the safe arms of goalkeeper Brendan Hazlett.

The Woods still looked dangerous on the break and Michael Buckley sprayed a good ball wide to Martin who cut in and tried a first-time shot that flashed across Conway but wide of the far post. The Walnuts looked particularly threatening from set-plays. On 33 minutes a deep free-kick was headed back across goal by Fryer and it seemed Newman may get in at the far post but was denied by a good block from Lewis Hobbs who just toed the ball off for a corner. From that Fryer had a free header which had plenty of power but flew over the top.

Four minutes later Hewitt got his head on an Ash Fuller cross though the ball still reached Ben Shepherd on the far side of goal but there was no control on his attempted volley with the ball soaring high and wide.

Just before the break Osei picked up a yellow card for a foul when challenging Fryer for a ball in the box while Fuller was also yellow carded for dissent after the half-time whistle. It suggested that there might be a feisty undercurrent in the second half, but to be fair that never developed.

It was Kempston who came out looking for a way back into the game, though. Fuller fired a shot that wasn’t far wide and then a Fuller chip to the far post was again met by Fryer but his header was across goal and also wide of the target. Soon after, Newman had another good turn and shot well blocked by a Northwood defence which was working hard across the line.

After 58 minutes Harry Newman was stopped in his tracks once again and Lewis Ochoa tried his luck from a long-distance free-kick but it always going wide of the post while a long mazy run from Martin could have produced a chance but the pass never came and he was crowded out.

The Walnuts seemed to be running out of ideas when the Woods put the game out of their reach on 76 minutes. It was Newman that was the creator again with a battling run that saw him get the better of the full-back and his cut-back to Ochoa saw the midfielder finish in style with a shot that flew into the top corner for his first goal for the club. Kouassi was introduced for the final ten minutes and he was quickly involved, exchanging passes with Tayshan Hayden-Smith and then seeing his strike well saved by Conway.

Kempston’s final chance came after 87 minutes when a long-range effort from Goodman was comfortably saved low down by Hazlett, who would have been delighted to maintain another clean sheet as the Woods continued to climb the table.

Having equalled the start of the 2015/16 season run of four league wins on the trot, the Woods now travel to Barton Rovers next Saturday looking for a fifth. The last time Northwood recorded five successive league victories was back in October/November 2013 when Chertsey Town, Leighton Town, Ashford Town, Beaconsfield Sycob and St. Ives Town were all beaten. If you are looking for coincidences, the first of those wins came with the Woods fifth from bottom and having just lost to AFC Hayes in a cup-tie; exactly the same position as before the first of our four wins this time around.