Moles dig deep to earn gutsy draw with Northwood

Steve Bateman
Steve Bateman

Aylesbury FC survived a second half onslaught from both their opposition and the horrific weather conditions as they drew 0-0 with Northwood on Saturday.

With the 10 men of Aylesbury playing the second half in increasingly treacherous conditions, having the wind against them, and with the visitors creating half a dozen decent chances, it’s fair to say that most at Haywood Way were satisfied, if not entirely happy, with the point earned.

The result leaves Aylesbury a place outside the play-offs in sixth in Division One Central of the Southern League.

Northwood’s Max Holland had a fine game and he was causing trouble almost immediately, forcing James Weatherill to save from a whipped cross, before Jeanmal Prosper played in Ryan O’Toole but the striker shot over the crossbar.

Mark Burgess then tested Weatherill while Andy Lomas’ header flashed wide as Northwood pushed for an opener.

FC responded through Michael Murray, whose snapshot scraped the post, before Lomas headed the ball onto his own bar from Aston Goss’ cross as neither side could were able to find the breakthrough prior to half-time.

The game remained open in the second half as Jonny Montgomery hit a half chance straight at the away keeper while Louis Stead’s effort was bravely blocked by Weatherill.

Chances were beginning to pile up for the away side as Niko Muir, James Burgess and then Murray all had excellent opportunities to give their team the lead, and Northwood’s hopes of victory only increased when Bowden Haase, who had enjoyed a solid home debut up this point, received a straight red card for leading with the elbow.

To compensate, O’Toole was replaced by Ben Stevens, who slotted in at centre half. From the resultant free-kick, Muir chipped the ball over Weatherill only to see Grant Fryer clear the ball off the line.

Davis Haule had a chance one-on-one with the keeper with the Northwood man coming out on top and then Lynton Goss struck a half volley over the bar as FC finally showed signs of intent.

Aston Goss had a golden chance to advance on goal on 90 minutes but instead he thrashed at the ball and saw it fly over the bar when a degree of composure was required.

As injury-time advanced, there were three FC bookings, one for dissent, one for a late tackle and one for retaliation following an incident which involved most of the players.

The FC goal remained intact, however, and the team live to fight another day.

The Moles were also in action last night, Tuesday, when they went to Wantage Town.

Report by Jools Thomas