EGHAM TOWN 1 NORTHWOOD 3
By Tempest Ward
Early goal not enough for Sarnies
BOSTIK SOUTH CENTRAL
SATURDAY 8 DECEMBER 2018
EGHAM TOWN 1 (1)
Brandon McCarthy (2)
NORTHWOOD 3 (3)
Sam Jenkins (11'), Chris Gosling (24'), Daniel Newton (89')
Egham Town failed to take advantage of an excellent start, losing to a very average Northwood side that did the important bits right. With departures and recalls affecting squad composition the Sarnies recalled Harry Tucker to centre back and from his second minute clearance Brandon McCarthy outmuscled Imran Uche with a run from the halfway line before firing past Luke Sheldrick. Northwood’s Sam Jenkin was gifted a free header for the equaliser and Chris Gosling got lucky with a corner that hit the inside of the far post on its way in. Play was fairly even from then, with Northwood adding gloss to their winning score as Daniel Newton tapped in off a late corner.
That paragraph was the despatch not much used by the Non-League Paper for today’s edition, and tells the basic outline of another defeat that should not have been another defeat. This should have been at least a draw because there was very little to choose between the two sides except that Northwood didn’t leave acres of space around an opposing player to head in a free kick, which we did with the visitors’ first goal, and we didn’t have the luck that saw a corner go in off the far post and Northwood defended better than we did so the close range conversion of a late flag kick did not mirror any similar chances at the other end. It had looked great for the Sarnies when Tucker found McCarthy, whose determination not to let a chance go was commendable, as was his crisp finish. On then to a third straight win… The trouble is that the squad available two weeks ago for the visit of Cheshunt was not that available yesterday. Charlie Malin, so prominent in defence that day, has left for Uxbridge, Alessandro Sancese was injured, and Bradley Pearce was recalled for Sutton United’s home 2-2 draw (National League) against FA Cup notables Solihull Moors. That he played the entire game probably points to him staying at Gander Green Lane. Sutton are 8th. Also not on yesterday’s team sheet was Ashley Lodge, who has apparently decided to withdraw from football for the rest of the season. Sean Fraser came in on loan from Slough Town to do a decent job at right back.
Referee Jamal Horne had seemingly wanted the pitch to be unfit so he could do some house hunting. He must have had his on something other than what was unfolding before him as his decision making was, let’s be kind, variable in quality. How he missed the flattening of Rhys Rabess in the Northwood box in the 29th minute certainly baffled home supporters.
Egham are in want of a regular, reliable goalscorer. Having let that early lead slip (it was only their 12th league goal, in 15 games) any chances needed to be taken, Rabess coming close with score at 1-1and early in the second half Kezie Ibe’s pass to Rabess was not quite right, so the opportunity faded. Rabess was looking more dangerous than Ryan Hill, who had been the key man in the Cheshunt game, so it was a bit of a shock to see him go off. A foul on Ibe in the box again bypassed some inattentive refereeing, but it was inattentive defending that allowed Daniel Newton to sidefoot home a gilt-edged chance when a corner was not cleared. That the Northwood manager needed to shout “Get in there!” while punching the air, twice, and at volume is open to question. There is a chant for that, but I won’t quote it because it will annoy people. It’s not every week… It is bloody frustrating though, because there are some excellent players in the Sarnies’ squad and they are playing at times some delightful football. However, without a cutting edge and with lapses in defence results like this one will happen again and again.
EGHAM TOWN: Matt Nolan, Sean Fraser, Tochukwu Okolo, Harry Tucker, Darren Abbey, Curtis Ujah (Skipper), Ryan Hill, Merrick James-Lewis, Kezie Ibe, Brandon McCarthy, Rhys Rabess. Substitutes: Ashley Smith, Owen Roberts, Jeevan Panesar (Rabess, 75), Sean McCarthy (James Lewis, 70), Abraham Eze (Ibe, 81).
Stats: Egham Town: P15 W2 D2 L11 F12 A40 Pts 8, or 17.8%.
South Park: P14 W1 D1 L12 F10 A36 Pts 4.
The trip to South Park last Saturday was rained off and has been moved to Tuesday 8 December. They lost 2-5 at home to Ashford Town (Mx.). This was their 8 loss in 8 at home. Egham have lost all 7 away games, and go to Bedfont Sports on Saturday, then South Park and then to Westfield on 22 December. Egham have 23 games left to salvage this season.
Above Egham are Molesey (11 points, 0-3 at Waltham Abbey) and FC Romania (13, 1-5 at Hayes & Yeading United), who come to Runnymede Stadium on 29 December. They are the only side who have let in more (42) than Egham.
Other news – on or about 8 January we are scheduled to entertain Woking in the Second Round of the Specsavers Surrey Senior Cup. Woking, with a mixed level XI, won 5-0 on Wednesday at Croydon, in large part because of a hat-trick from Academy player Jack Skinner. The weekend before that tie sees the Cards entertain Watford in an Emirates FA Cup Third Round tie.