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Guernsey 2  Northwood 0

Saturday 23rd October 2021

 

NORTHWOOD
     
     
   
1 Dan Purdue    
2 Adam Cash ©    
3 Pablo Velasco    
4 Declan Nche    
5 James Gurteen    
6 Ryan Avery    
7 Shakeel Morris    
8 Matteo Esposito    
9 Melos Ajvazi    
10 Leo Decabo (85m)    
11 Gio Palmer (79m)    
Substitutes  
12 Sam Coles    
14 Joakim Ehui (79m)    
15 Matt Surmon    
16 Arnold Linturn    
17 Abz Sahnoun (85m)    
 


Guernsey: Josh Addison, Frank Tobin, Ben Le Tocq, Thomas Dodds, Tom Strawbridge, Kieran Mahon, Charlton Gauvain , Liam Mahon (Ben Acey 67m), Kyle Smith (Robbie Legg 77m), Ross Allen, Matt Loaring (Tom Martin 72m)

   

Northwood’s first overseas match proved to be a fruitless one on the pitch as they returned home from Guernsey empty handed on another disappointing afternoon for Ben Murray and his charges.

Woods made the flight to the Channel Islands without the services of injured duo Matt Ayres and Ismael Ehui, Matteo Esposito and debutant striker Melos Ajvazi their replacements, while there was a return to the midfield for Declan Nche in place of CJ Fearn.

The hosts went straight at Northwood from the start as they found plenty of space down both flanks with keeper Daniel Purdue doing well to deflect Kieran Mahon’s shot onto the upright after the dangerous Matt Loaring had created the opening.

Having been on the backfoot up to then, Woods managed to force a corner and a short routine gave Leo Decabo a great opportunity, but his weak shot was comfortably gathered by Josh Addison in the Guernsey goal.

The Green Lions were soon back on the attack with Northwood looking decidedly off the pace, Purdue keeping out a cross-shot from Frank Tobin before Woods’ stopper pulled of a smart reaction save to tip Loaring’s firmly struck effort over the woodwork.

Northwood did manage to break the shackles with a swift move from the back, Giovanni Palmer feeding Nche whose low shot cleared the far post. And after Guernsey had gone close with Ross Allen’s snapshot narrowly clearing the crossbar, Woods threatened again as a well-constructed move ended with Shakeel Morris teeing up Nche, but his near post shot was well kept out by Addison.

However, Guernsey went close to taking the lead as Tom Strawbridge’s close-range header fell into the grateful arms of Purdue. But the Green Lions kept the foot on the gas and they were finally rewarded in the 37th minute as Charlton Gauvain sent a looping shot over Purdue from 25 yards after latching onto a delightful through-ball.

Northwood began the second half with a revised formation, switching to a more adventurous 4-3-3 with Morris and Palmer either side of Ajvazi and Cash moving to the right back slot while Pablo Velasco switched to left back. However, Woods were almost caught napping from the kick-off as Allen got the better of Cash before squaring to Mahon, who skied his shot from 15 yards.

Photos kindly supplied by Andy Dovey Photography

Having breathed a sigh of relief, Woods began to play with more attacking purpose and good work from Palmer down their right flank saw the latter find Morris but he shot wide when off balance. And Morris was to the fore once again as he found space on the edge of the box, but his shot was blocked by the home defence.

But just as Northwood were beginning to build some momentum, they were stopped in their stride as they conceded a second goal on 61 minutes in controversial circumstances – the referee waving away appeals for what looked a clear push on defender Ryan Avery as he looked to shepherd the ball to safety, affording Gauvain the freedom of the Bailiwick to square the ball to the unmarked Allen, who swept the ball home.

Having expressed their frustrations to the match officials with Avery and manager Murray being cautioned for their troubles, Woods needed a swift response if they were to get anything out of the match. And Northwood had an opportunity as Esposito swung in a free kick which found the head of Nche, but his effort lacked direction.

Northwood substitutes Joakim Ehui and Mo Sahnoun were both introduced for their first action for several weeks, with Palmer and Decabo making way, as the visitors continued in search of the elusive goal. And Woods went close on a couple of occasions in the last few minutes, Morris forcing a corner after being picked out by Velasco’s far post cross while Ajvazi sent a back header into the arms of Addison following Cash’s long throw into the box.

Northwood were unable to find a way through and were grateful to Purdue who saved with his legs from Robbie Legg to deny the Green Lions a third goal, but a sixth consecutive league defeat meant Northwood replaced the hosts at the foot of the table.

Report by ROBIN PIPER