Bill Fishenden 1
Nick Pearce 2
Martin Skipp 3
Aaron Coldman 4
Bradley Hewitt 5
James Hamsher 6
Scott Purdue 7
Jack Lisi 8
Kyle Matthews 9
Harry Hunt 10
Dave Sexton 11
Jake O'Meara (5) 12
Liam O'Keefe (6) 14
Dave Nolan (11) 15

A very young looking Northwood side went down to a narrow defeat at Maidenhead United last Wednesday night, but they gave a good account of themselves.

There were Capital League debuts for two Allied Counties players in goalkeeper Billy Fishenden and defender Nick Pearce, both just 17, and there were six other teenagers in the starting line-up.

The Magpies fielded plenty of experience with strikers Adrian Allen, Brian Haule, and Chima Eberendu, plus midfielder Craig Lewington all involved.

The Woods’ fledgling 'keeper had to be on his toes from the start to make a good stop from Allen but Maidenhead were soon in front. After just 12 minutes a good run from Lewis Driver down the left led to a pinpoint cross and a firm header from Eberendu.

Fishenden made another brave save at the feet of Haule a minute later as the home side threatened to overrun the Woods but they rode the storm well and began to create themselves.

The first Northwood effort on goal came after 23 minutes as James Hamsher latched onto a poor free-kick and went for goal but directed his shot straight at the 'keeper who saved comfortably.

Two minutes later Manager Dave Nolan was forced into a change as Bradley Hewitt limped off. Jake O'Meara came on into the midfield area with Dave Sexton dropping back into central defence.

It was not ideal, but the Woods then enjoyed an excellent ten minute spell which saw them almost score twice.

After 34 minutes Sexton played an accurate crossfield ball to Scott Purdue on the right, and he sent over a superb cross which Kyle Matthews stretched for but could only steer just wide of the post.

Six minutes later Matthews turned provider with a well-flighted free-kick that dropped onto the head of Aaron Coldman, but 'keeper Perry Howard made a fine save to deny the Northwood skipper.

Disaster struck just a minute from half-time as Martin Skipp made a hash of a free-kick deep in his own half and the Magpies swooped decisively, with Steve McNamara firing home.

Dave Nolan, twice the age of many players on the pitch, brought himself on into central defence to strengthen things up and his experience had a positive effect on the side.

Having said that, Maidenhead resorted to the long ball to the trio of speedy forwards and, together with some bullying tactics, they were a handful throughout.

Haule went close to adding a third on 59 minutes, and then Fishenden was back in action to save from the same player ten minutes later.

Maidenhead were awarded a penalty only for the referee then to change his mind after speaking to his assistant and, after that let-off, the Woods pulled a goal back on 71 minutes.

It was a fine solo effort from Kyle Matthews as he twisted and turned his way through three challenges before slotting past Howard in goal.

There was a couple more efforts on goal as the Woods rallied and looked for an equaliser. Shots from both Matthews and Harry Hunt saw the 'keeper fail to hold but then recover the loose ball, but Maidenhead wrapped up the points three minutes from time.

Another long diagonal ball had hands up for offside but McNamara had timed his run well from the left and he cut in to fire home his second goal of the night.