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Northwood 0  Ashford Town 2

Tuesday 13th October 2020

 

NORTHWOOD
     
     
   
1 Hafed Al-Droubi    
2 Luke Jones    
3 Jaden Sharman    
4 Ryan Phillips (73m)    
5 Dave Thomas (c)    
6 Reece Yorke    
7 Diogo Da Silva    
8 Siju Odelusi    
9 Devonte Totesaut    
10 Ryan Esprit (55m)    
11 Richard Ward (69m)    
Substitutes  
12 Tyla Stuart (73m)    
14 Sukru Can Yildiz    
15 Excel Muhemba (55m)    
16 Taufee Skandari    
17 Baback Dehghani (69m)    
 

Ashford:
Paul McCarthy, Julius Mngadi, Harry Woodward, Sam Humphreys, Dale Burnam , Darryl Harrison, Brad Sweeney, Jack French, Daniel Brown, Kane Fitzgerald, Steven Duff (George Spiers 55m)

   

Northwood slumped to their third successive league defeat at the hands of an Ashford side who continue their solid start to the season under new manager Luke Tuffs.

There was one change to the Woods starting eleven, Luke Jones returning at right wing-back as Taufee Skandari reverted to the bench with Ryan Esprit pushed forward into an attacking role in support of Devonte Totesaut and Richard Ward.

The contest began in a drizzle which persisted for most of the evening and the early stages consisted of speculative efforts from both sides which skimmed across the greasy surface without troubling either goalkeeper; Ward and Jones trying their luck for the hosts while Daniel Brown shot wide for the Tangerines.

The visitors began to see more of the ball with Steven Duff heading wide from Brown’s centre before Jack French had a couple of shots with one effort deflecting narrowly wide of the upright.

Ashford continued to make life difficult for Northwood with Reece Yorke executing a timely interception on Brown, while Brad Sweeney wasn’t far away with an audacious chip from long range which was carefully watched over the woodwork by Woods goalkeeper Hafed Al-Droubi.

And the Northwood keeper had to be at his best as he denied Kane Fitzgerald when the Tangerines striker broke clear of the home defence.

Woods managed to keep their goal intact and looked to make an impression at the other end with a strong run and cross from Esprit which evaded the red shirts in the box while Jaden Sharman did well to create an opening for Ward whose shot from the edge of the box cleared the Ashford crossbar.

However, the visitors were soon back on the front foot and Brad Sweeney was denied from close-range by a combination of Sharman and Al-Droubi as the shot was cleared off the line. But the Tangerines were not to be denied as they were awarded a fortuitous free-kick a minute into first half stoppage time in a central position 25 yards from goal, Duff’s effort taking a wicked deflection to give his side the lead at the break.

Northwood made a change early in the second half as Excel Muhemba was introduced to the attack with Esprit making way. But Woods struggle for any sustained, attacking cohesion continued as they were restricted to a long-range free-kick from Siju Odelusi which sailed over the Ashford crossbar before Al-Droubi was on hand again to tip a Sam Humphries shot over to maintain the one goal deficit.

Woods made a second substitution on 69 minutes as Baback Dehghani replaced Ward but the task was made more difficult a minute later as Humphries was afforded too much time and space to pick his spot beyond Al-Droubi  and increase the Tangerines lead.

Tyla Stuart was thrown into fray at the expense of Ryan Phillips as Woods played their last hand, and the debutant was quickly into the action as he sent over a cross which struck the arm of Darryl Harrison with the referee pointing to the spot; Ashford keeper Paul McCarthy diving full length to keep out Totesaut’s spot-kick.

And Woods were frustrated again as Odelusi saw his long-range free-kick bounce off the crossbar, the last moment of note on a thoroughly disappointing evening for Northwood.

REPORT by Robin Piper