Northwood Res. 1  Chalfont St Peter Res. 0

Tuesday 23rd April 2013


Premier B Division
Northwood Park
Team line-up


1 Garry Malone
2 Theo Hunte
3 Alex Ishola
4 Chris Nghu
5 Correy Ellis
6 Adam Zaberosa
7 Adam El Haddad (70m)
8 Ken Obeng
9 Hisham El Haddad (65m)
10 Romaine Walker  
11 Matt Cooper (84m)  
12 Rocky Baptiste (65m)  
14 Fraser Robbins (84m)  
15 Lewis Davis (70m)  
16 Ahmed Mahfouz  
17 Sofian Taghi  

The first 25 minutes of the game saw Northwood Reserves put under intense pressure from the a spirited Chalfont St Peters side that launched wave after wave of attack on the Woods goal. Garry Malone was called into action several times during this opening period to make important saves in the 10th, 12th and 23rd minutes that kept the team in the game. Northwood had to wait until the 26th minute before they got their first shot on goal; when Adam El Haddad picked up the ball just inside the Chalfont half, drove forward and let fly a shot from about 30 yards out that sailed just over the bar.

Three minutes later an in swinging corner was misjudged by the Chalfont keeper, who dropped the ball inside the six yard box in front of goal but none of the Northwood front line could get a foot to the ball and after a goal line scramble it was eventually cleared. Northwood were now settling into the game and had chances to open the scoring in 30th, 32nd and 34th minutes; when A El Haddad had a 25-yard shot and a free kick on the edge of the box saved by the Chalfont keeper and Hisham El Haddad snap shot went just over the bar.  

Malone was called into action again in the 36th and 38th minutes to make two good saves from a series of Chalfont counter attacks. The last five minutes of the half was all Northwood and they went close to scoring on three occasions in the 40th, 40th and 45th minutes from two good efforts from A El Haddad and one from Chris Nghu; unfortunately all flew over the crossbar and behind for goal kicks.

Two minutes into the second half Malone did well; diving bravely at the feet of a Chalfont striker to foil a well worked early counter attack from the visitors. On the hour mark Malone made another good save, tipping over from a long range effort. Northwood had survived the early second half onslaught and began once again to get back into the game. A good free-kick from Nghu in the 62nd minute was saved comfortably by the Chalfont keeper. Sixty seconds later Romaine Walker was very unlucky not to score when he beat a couple of defenders before curling a wonderful shot from just outside the 18 yard box on to the bar. The game at this point looked like it was heading for a goal-less draw.

Errol Dyer and Roger Linton decided it was time to change things up; so just as in the previous game they sent on the experienced striker Rocky Baptiste to replace H El Haddad in the 65th minute. This was a game changer! Rocky’s presence seem to calm and galvanise the Northwood attack; they began to play with more control and purpose and were unlucky not to open the scoring in the 67th minute when a well-worked counter-attack found Baptiste on the edge of the box; he played in Matt Cooper who skipped past a couple of defenders before pulling the ball back to Walker on the penalty spot. Walker hit the ball first time but saw his shot skimmed past the upright and behind for a goal kick.

Northwood got the breakthrough they had been pressing for in the 70th minute when Malone’s goal kick found Baptiste on the edge of the box, and using all his experience he held up the ball before slipping a pass into Cooper on the left hand side of the penalty area. Cooper beat two defenders with ease before crossing to A El Haddad, who smashed the ball into the net from six yards out.

Dyer and Linton sent on Lewis Davies to replace the scorer A El Haddad just after the restart. A minute later Cooper almost added to the score with a wonderful in-swinging free-kick from the right which curled inches wide of the top left hand corner of the Chalfont goal. Chalfont were becoming increasingly more frustrated by a resolute Northwood defence and they were very lucky not to see a couple of their players sent off for several really reckless challenges that amazingly the referee didn’t even caution them for. Unfortunately his leniency made things worse and at one point after another reckless tackle on a Northwood player; a melee broke out in the centre circle and got out of hand with lots of pushing and shoving from both sets of players. Things eventually calmed down and the game was able to continue.

The management made their final change in the 84th minute, bringing on Fraser Robins for Cooper, who had a really good game on the left wing. The Woods survived a couple of late scares, when Corey Ellis cleared what looked like a certain equaliser off the line and then put in a fantastic blocking tackle from the Chalfont number nine in the 86th and 88th minutes.

This was a really good TEAM performance against a high flying, strong Chalfont St Peter side.