|North Greenford United||1|
Against Northwood on Bank Holiday Monday another spirited performance earned North Greenford a second 1-1 draw in three days in the club’s efforts to lift itself away from the Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central relegation zone.
In the end though it should have been three points for United as the Northwood equaliser was scored with the very last kick of the game after referee Chris O’Donnell had seen fit to add on an incredible five additional injury time minutes.
After surviving a period of early Northwood pressure, Greenford, with an improved midfield performance, began to produce some promising moves of their own, but again struggled to make any real impact in the final third.
Approaching half time the Woods had their reasons to berate the refereeing performance when, just after a Ben Alexander effort had rebounded off the post, the home side found the back of the United net. The goal was ruled out as Mr O’Donnell instead pointed to the spot, insisting on awarding a penalty for a handball he had spotted inside the area as the shot was struck.
It proved a decision that did Greenford a huge favour as ex-Blues striker Garry Senior’s low drive was well read by keeper Aaron Bufton who pulled off a fine save, and ensured the teams went in at the interval with the scoreline remaining goalless.
Northwood raised their game in the second period with Greenford’s attempts on goal restricted to a couple of speculative efforts from midfielder Wayne Jackson who had taken up a wide position out on the left.
Then, on fifty-six minutes, in the side’s most effective counter attack, and with loud Woods claims for offside, a ball was played over to the right behind the home defence to Zak Joseph who ran down the line before squaring the ball to striker Ricky Pither. For the second game in a row Pither kept his composure before producing a clinical finish into the corner beyond the reach of Woods keeper Mitch Swain.
From that point on, as the team had done against Ashford Town on Saturday, Greenford showed tremendous spirit, determination and commitment as every player in all areas of the park worked hard to protect their narrow lead.
With the game entering injury time it appeared the Blues had done enough to secure what, at this moment in time, would have been three invaluable points. It wasn’t to be. Northwood’s equaliser, scored by substitute Kurt Morlese, was officially recorded as being four minutes beyond the normal ninety. It was at least that and impossible to see on what basis Mr O’Donnell had taken his decision to add on so much extra time.
North Greenford must now forget their disappointment and concentrate on reproducing the level of effort they had shown against the Ash Trees and the Woods when they travel to Beaconsfield on Saturday to take on the Rams, another local team riding high in the Central Division.
Following Saturday’s game United face a longer journey to play Bedford Town on Tuesday 10th January in the Third Round of the Red Insure Cup. The club’s next home game is on Saturday 14th January, when the visitors to Berkeley Fields are Biggleswade Town, with the three times rearranged home fixture against Marlow scheduled for the following Tuesday (17th).
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