Michael Lavender
Max Howell 2
Danny Murphy 3
Daniel Hawes 4
James Shipperley 5
Shane O'Neill 6
Ross Hanley 7
Elliott Buchanan 8
Kyle Matthews 9
Carl Hunt 10
James Hamsher 11
Liam O'Keefe (2) 12
Mikkel Thomas (4) 14
Aaron Coldman (10) 15

Anyone who ventured down to Chestnut Avenue for the reserves’ first-ever game in the Capital League saw a real treat as a talented young Northwood side took on a strong Yeading outfit.

With Carl Hunt the oldest player in the team, a few weeks short of his 23rd birthday, and with ten teenagers included in the squad, it was certainly an inexperienced Northwood side that took the field, but they began brightly with Kyle Matthews flashing a 20-yard shot just over the bar.

Yeading's line-up included players with plenty of experience, such as goalkeeper Luke Blackmore, defenders Richard Goddard and Ben Hudell, midfielders Bobby Behzadi and David Clarke, as well as striker Davis Haule. There was quite a battle in midfield, with the Woods’ duo of 17-year-olds Shane O'Neill and Elliott Buchanan more than holding their own. After 22 minutes Buchanan managed to get forward and test Blackmore with a low drive, and two minutes later O'Neill was brought down just outside the box and Matthew curled the free-kick just wide.

The opening goal came on 29 minutes when left-back Danny Murphy got forward well on the left and curled a inswinging cross through the penalty-area and straight in at the far post. It was 2-0 just five minutes later when an indirect free-kick was awarded against Blackmore wide on the Northwood right. Elliott Buchanan struck it well through a wall of bodies and it took the necessary deflection to put the Woods further in front.

Yeading hit back, and Lee Hall had gone close with a header before Davis Haule flicked a David Clarke free-kick past Michael Lavender and just inside the post. Amazingly, the Woods responded immediately with Shane O'Neill latching onto a ball from Matthews and scoring with a stunning 20-yard shot into the top corner.

The second half never lived up to the excitement of the first, but O'Neill went close to adding to the scoreline when heading a Max Howell cross just over the bar. Yeading made their substitutions and kept battling to the end, and they somehow managed to turn it around in the closing stages. There was just eight minutes left when substitute Liam Walsh fired in a shot from distance that Lavender just could not get across to. Buoyed by that and with the Woods beginning to tire, another hopeful long punt into the box saw big defender Goddard get a glancing header just ahead of the punch of Lavender and the ball nestled in the back of the net for 3-3.

In the final minute, the gallant Woods almost snatched it as Ross Hanley battled down the right and sent in a cross which the excellent O'Neill reached with his head again but the ball again flashed over the bar with the 'keeper beaten.

In the end Northwood were denied a deserved victory but it was certainly a match that the side will learn from, and their next game is away to the same opponents on Wednesday 6th September.