Northwood Res. 0  Royston Town Res. 4

Saturday 3rd November 2012


round 2, leg 1
Northwood Park
Team line-up


1 Garry Malone
2 Heithan Gabriel
3 Harry Wright
4 Adil Salih
5 Ed Hatcher
6 Adam Pepera
7 Colin Hoare
8 Jason Puzey
9 Sean James
10 Chinnau Cole  
11 Reynaldo Carbon  
12 Jeffrey O’Sullivan (9, 46m)  
14 George Chater-Clarke (2, 46m)  
15 Bekim Beka  
16 John Kapula (8, 62m)  
17 -  

Royston Town Reserves were the visitors today to Northwood Park for a 2nd round, first leg, of the Suburban League Challenge Cup tie. Royston are a big physical side, and from the whistle they dominated the majority of the game using their size and aggression to press Northwood high up the pitch and negate the quick forward line of Northwood.

Royston took the lead rather fortuitously in the eight minute when O'Brien was given too much time to drive forward and put in a cross from the left edge of the box which sailed over the Northwood defence and keeper Garry Malone, ending up in the top right hand corner of the net. Ten minutes later their pressure paid off again when Malone could only parry a cross into the path of Meredith, who neatly finished to make it 2-0. Royston continue to press and were unlucky not to go three up when their unmarked centre forward in acres of space volleyed a cross against the post.

Northwood’s best chance of the first half came in injury time when from a short corner Reynaldo Carbon picked up the ball after a neat exchange with Chinnau Cole, drove into the box and fired a low shot straight at the keeper. Royston went in at half-time deservedly ahead after dominating the first half and reducing Northwood to only a couple of half chances that didn’t really test the keeper.

Despite Derek Lewis changing things after the break by bringing on Jeffrey O’Sullivan and George Chater-Clarke for Colin Hoare and Sean James, Woods continued to struggle to get into the game against a Royston side that were fired up and determined to keep the pressure on a lacklustre Northwood team. Things got worse for Northwood in the 52nd minute when Malone was sent off for handling the ball outside the box trying to prevent yet another Royston attack. Lewis put O’Sullivan into goal and replaced Jason Puzey with John Kapula. From the resulting free kick on the left hand edge of the box Royston’s Gwynne made it 3-0, scoring the goal of the game when he curled the ball up over the wall into the top right hand corner of the net.

Royston then went 4-0 up in the 75th minute when a deflected shot by Brennan beat O’Sullivan. The visitors then seemed to take their foot off the pedal, and allowed Northwood back in the game for the last 15 minutes. Despite a number of good attacking breaks from Cole and Carbon, and several quality crosses from Harry Wright and Ed Hatcher, Northwood where unable to get any of their efforts on target and they didn’t really trouble the Royston defence or keeper during this sustained period of pressure.

Overall, a disappointing performance from Northwood, who now have to make the trip up to Royston for the second leg. They will need to match or better the 4-0 score line in order to progress to the next round.