Northwood 2 Hanwell Town 0
By Clive Cooke
We were back in action again just seventy two hours after our goal less draw against Marlow and with Tom and Calum Duffy, Joe Chandiram, Nick Turner and Imedd Kartita all unavailable for various reasons, we fielded at best what could be described as a weakened side. The only positive being the return of Alfie Cain after his long period of absence.
In a game that was described as being men against boys, the boys side Northwood were quickly in the ascendancy and in the opening fifteen minutes we rarely got out of our own half and were fortunate that Northwood's finishing did not match the quality of their approach play.
However, having weathered the opening period we came more and more into the game and from a corner by Charlie Mitchell, Alfie headed just over the bar. We were then unfortunate not to take the lead ten minutes before the interval when a tremendous run by Mergin Qarri carved through the central area and he then played the ball into the path of the overlapping Chris Mills who's centre/shot saw the ball hit the crossbar with the Northwood keeper Borja Loeches-Teixeira beaten. A minute later, an excellent move involving Peter Dean, Chris Moore and Charlie saw the latter fire the ball just over the crossbar. In the minutes leading up to the interval, Wayne Carter just failed to get his head onto a corner at the far post from Charlie and then Northwood's Evans Kouassi headed a cross from Keir Dickson over the bar from point blank range.
Shortly after the interval Sam Bunting came to our rescue with a fine save from Nebay Haile with Meshach Williams firing the rebound wildly over the bar. As the game progressed it was clear that the effort put in during the first half coupled with the recent run of games was clearly affecting us and Northwood were dominating the game with their keeper a virtual bystander as they mounted attack after attack and had their finishing been better the game would have been over as a contest much earlier than it was. As it happened it was not until the 89th minute that they scored, when a ball ran loose to Dickson who fired a low shot across Sam into the far corner. To rub salt into the room, two minutes into added on time, Northwood scored again when Wayne was played into trouble by Sam's clearance to him and he was immediately dispossessed and the ball was played into the path of Kouassi who made no mistake from close range. During the final period of the game we were able to give first team debuts to Under 18's side players Marco Afonso and Fredie Scarborough. Side: Sam Bunting, Chris Mills, Mason Welch-Turner, Oliver Duffy (c),Wayne Carter,Peter Dean,Charlie Mitchell, Alfie Cain, Chris Moore, Ricky Pither and Mergim Qarri. Substitutes: Marco Afonso for Mills(70) and Fredie Scarborough for Moore (91)