Anthony Ladyman
Nicky Pearce 2
Chris White 3
David Sexton 4
Adam Gill 5
Stuart Onslow 6
Shane O'Neill 7
Daniel Brown 8
Mickele Thomas 9
Ben Trout 10
Luke Lynam 11
Toby Bryan (7) 12
Ryan Duffy (2) 14
Feye Obileye (10) 15
- 16
- 17



Northwood defeated Chesham for the second time in less than a week, although this time the style of the performance was much easier on the eye.

There was one change from the previous match, with Shane O’Neill starting on the right hand side of midfield. In addition, the management decided to experiment by switching Chris White to left back and pushing Luke Lynam in to midfield.

Chesham started the brighter, and held the early territorial advantage without creating any clear cut opportunities. Northwood’s first serious opportunity came on five minutes, when the lively Chris White played in Luke Lynam with a delightful pass inside the full back. Lynam crossed low and hard but the keeper reached the ball before the strikers could get there. Two minutes later and White robbed the full back and went on a mazy dribble in to the box. The quality of his shot didn’t match the run and the keeper saved fairly comfortably. 

The home side once more assumed the ascendancy, again without creating many clear cut chances.  However, they put the Woods defence under plenty of pressure with frequent delivery in to the box.  Centre backs Adam Gill and David Sexton stood up extremely well to this bombardment and it was particularly pleasing to see Gill play with such enthusiasm and zest, it is great to have him back. On 28 minutes it looked like Chesham might take the lead, but Nicky Pearce tracked the forward run in to the six yard box and as the striker was shaping to finish Pearce made a superbly timed tackle to avert the danger.

As half time approached Northwood started to get more fluency in to their game and exerted a period of sustained pressure. With two minutes to go to the break Stuart Onslow won a vital tackle out on the right hand side, and whipped in a vicious cross to the far post which was met, with a side foot volley, by Ben Trout, to open the scoring. Chesham almost hit back immediately and from a long throw Anthony Ladyman had to be alert to tip the resultant header round the post.

At half time the management switched over Chris White and Luke Lynam, with the latter moving to full back and White moving back in to his normal midfield role. The lads were reminded of how Chesham had started the second half particularly fast, when in a similar position, last week. The boys were therefore urged to push Chesham back on the defensive from the start of the half. However, either someone wasn’t listening or Chesham simply came out with too much determination. The result was that Chesham bossed the first fifteen minutes of the second half.

On 50 minutes Anthony Ladyman made an incredible save to tip a 20 yard thunderbolt on to the post and somehow Chesham contrived to miss the follow up. However, the inevitable equaliser came five minutes later when a long throw was superbly back headed in to the corner of the net. Then on 59 minutes a Chesham free kick from just outside the box was well saved by Ladyman low down at the base of his right hand post. Chesham were now going for it and maybe as a result over committed themselves because they got caught with a sucker punch on 60 minutes. Luke Lynam hit a raking ball forward from the left back position, Ben Trout timed his run superbly to get ahead of the last defender, cut across the defender’s path, round the keeper and tap it home to restore Woods lead. 

Ryan Duffy came on at this point for the injured Nicky Pearce and Toby Bryan replaced the tiring Shane O’Neill. Northwood now started to express themselves more fully, and were moving the ball around with greater fluidity. Indeed it looked like they had extended their lead on 70 minutes when Mickele Thomas beat the keeper with a superb header which came back off the post, but somehow Chesham scrambled the rebound away before Thomas could stab it home. Northwood almost paid for this miss when two minutes later a defensive misunderstanding allowed one of the Chesham midfielders to advance and hit a stinging drive towards goal from 20 yards out. Full back Lynam was incredibly brave and got himself in the way of the shot to deny Chesham another equaliser. This was to prove costly for Chesham when a minute later, the Chesham defence, failed to deal with a long kick forward from Ladyman. The ever alert Ben Trout nipped in, advanced on the keeper and coolly slotted the ball home for his hat-trick and a 3-1 lead. 

Chesham now went to a three man defence to push extra men forward. So with his job done Trout was withdrawn and Obileye was sent on to stiffen the midfield.  This certainly had the effect of killing the game and a Chesham revival looked highly unlikely in the last 15 minutes. Indeed Northwood probably had the two best chances in this final period. Firstly Onslow ran on to a Thomas flick and shot narrowly wide. Then a slide rule pass from Obileye released Thomas in the right hand channel, and the keeper did well to grasp Thomas’s cross shot.

In the final analysis this was a comfortable victory which maintains Northwood’s fourth position in the league. Collectively the Woods defence put in one of their best performances of the season and Ladyman was absolutely on the top of his form in goal.  Finally I’m afraid I can’t avoid nepotism when it comes to Man of the Match, although in my defence you can’t really score three goals and not be man of the match. John Parsons taught young Trout well at Headstone Manor and the lad remains as deadly as ever if you give him half a sniff of goal.

Two days rest and the lads are back in action away at North Greenford on Wednesday.  This will be a really tough test as Greenford are always superbly competitive.