Bill Fishenden
Nicky Pearce 2
Luke Lynam 3
Terry Hogan 4
Adam Gill 5
Daniel Brown 6
Shane O'Neill 7
David Sexton 8
Mikkelle Thomas 9
Ben Trout 10
Ryan Duffy 11
Stuart Onslow (7) 12
Scott Purdue (11) 14
Greg Dinham (9) 15
Chris White 16

The fact that there had been a two week break since Northwood last played was clear for everyone to see. At times the team laboured and certainly didn’t play with the freedom and verve that had been evident in the previous game, at Andover. Ultimately the win was reasonably comfortable, but it was achieved at a heavy price as the team suffered another red card.

Northwood started sluggishly and Chalfont made the early running, which culminated in them taking the lead on five minutes. Northwood failed to cut out a cross from the left hand side and were punished by a close range header. The goal stirred the boys into action and the equaliser came on 12 minutes when a smart exchange between Ben Trout and Ryan Duffy ended with the latter sending in a wicked cross with the outside of his right foot. Mikkelle Thomas ghosted in on the far post to finish with a fine downward header.

Eleven minutes later, and Northwood were in the lead. A fine free kick from Daniel Brown picked out Shane O’Neill, whose firm header hit the underside of the bar and bounced down for the on-rushing David Sexton to nod in.

Chalfont looked to strike back immediately, and on 26 minutes Bill Fishenden had to move smartly to his left to catch a fierce 20 yard volley. However, this was a short respite and in the 32 minute a neat Daniel Brown pass released Ben Trout in the box who rounded the keeper and was brought down in the process, an easy penalty decision which Trout himself dispatched with aplomb to make it 3-1.

However, not for the first time during the match, Northwood took their foot of the gas, got sloppy, and ultimately found themselves punished as Chalfont were gifted a cheap goal in the 37th minute. 

Northwood were struggling to regain their rhythm at this stage, but they did extend their lead just before half time when fine closing down by Mikkelle Thomas allowed him to rob the last defender and coolly finish in the corner to send the boys in at the break 4-2 up.

The second half was not one to remember, and in particular the first 20 minutes were remarkable only for two sendings off, one on each side. The Chalfont player went for two yellow card offences and David Sexton got a straight red for swearing.

On 60 minutes Scott Purdue replaced Ryan Duffy and Stuart Onslow came on for Shane O’Neill. 10 minutes later Greg Dinham came on for two-goal Thomas.

As for the action, Thomas, Trout, and Dinham all missed chances when one on one with the keeper,  and Bill Fishenden pulled off another magnificent save to protect Woods’ lead in the 86th minute when he saved a one on one himself.

The last four minutes of the match saw the best action of the half, with Chalfont hitting the post in the 87th minute. From this attack Luke Lynam broke the length of the field and crashed a shot against the post. The game was finally finished off in injury time when another rampaging run from Lynam ended with him pulling the ball back from the bye line to find Ben Trout, who finished with a quality chip in to the right hand corner for his second goal of the night.

Pick of the Northwood boys were certainly Adam Gill and Terry Hogan in central defence. In addition, Daniel Brown was once more clever and creative in midfield. Also, before his loss of control, David Sexton had looked very effective as Brown’s midfield partner, whilst Ryan Duffy continued to show some lovely tricks in the wide areas.

Three points is welcome at any time of the season but Northwood will have to do much better on Monday when they meet an excellent Farnborough team. The team certainly needed this run out before that game and hopefully it will have blown away the cobwebs.