Preview: BetVictor Isthmian South Central Division – Northwood FC Vs Ashford Town.

A picture from the first encounter this season between Northwood and Ashford Town.

On the 7th March 2020 Northwood will encounter Ashford Town in a bottom of the table battle in the BetVictor Isthmian South Central Division at The AcreTweed Stadium. The two teams currently sit down towards the bottom of the league with Northwood 1 place off bottom and Ashford in 17th so this is going to be one big relegation dog fight. It may not play out to be the most mesmerising game but should be an energetic, passionate and an all-round hard fought out fight to the death.

The BetVictor Isthmian South Central Division standings before the game.

Last time out:

Northwood – The Woods last played during the week as they took on 9th placed Marlow away from home. Unfortunately, the fell short and lost 1-0 to a 74th minute strike by Isaac Olorunfemi in a tight match. This could be a negative as they’ll go into this weeks game with less confidence or it could go the other way and they could show a much-needed reaction.

Ashford Town – They didn’t have a game last week as bad weather postponed their fixture along with the majority of the other league games. They also had no midweek match so we have to go all the way back to the 22nd of February where they came up against 12th placed Bedfont Sports and drew 0-0 away from home. This is a decent result so they’ll look to build on this going into this week’s game.

Last meetings:

The two teams have met twice so far this season with the first time being in the Velocity Trophy Group 8. Northwood triumphed in this tie beating Ashford away from home in a narrow 1-0 victory thanks to a goal in the 73rd minute by Louis Bircham.

The second meeting was two months later in the league where Ashford were the hosts once again. Northwood also came out on top in this fixture in a jampacked game with four goals and a red card by Ashford’s Rylan Myers. The game ended 3-1 to Northwood who put in another good performance away from home at the Robert Parker Stadium.

A picture from the second meeting between Northwood and Ashford Town.

Stats:

Northwood – The Woods have the worst goal difference in the league as they’ve conceded 79 goals already so far this season whilst only being able to score 31 giving them a -48GD. They’ve won one out of their last thirteen, conceding 30 goals and only replying with a mere 9. Their last win came on the 25th February against Marlow in a 1-0 win and their top joint top scorers are Alex Witham and Eric Lopes with six. Lastly, they’ve only managed to win three games at home all season whilst drawing one and losing eleven.

Ashford Town –  Ashford also have a dire goal difference as they’ve conceded 68 and have replied with 27 giving them a -41GD. they’ve won two games, drawn one and lost two out of their last five whilst conceding seven and scoring five. Their last win came on the 18th February against fellow relegations candidates Staines Town as they picked up a massive three points in a 2-0 win at home and their top scorer is Daniel Brown with nine. Lastly, they’ve won two games, drawn four and lost seven away from home this season so far.


Key Players:

Northwood – Eric Lopes: He’s the one to watch for the Woods with his skilful footwork and lightning pace. His ability to create moments of magic out of nothing is crucial for this team in order to get the goals to keep them up. His directness gives nightmares for defenders all game but sometimes he can be seen to be a little greedy in situations.

A picture of Eric Lopes in action against South Park.

Ashford Town – Daniel Brown: He’s the man to watch for Ashford as he’sstrong like an ox up top who is extremely hard to dispossess and he tirelessly runs and pressures the back line when in possession of the ball forcing defenders to make mistakes. He’s also a clinical finisher with a spring in his step as he’s quick off the mark on his first few yards which allows his to get away from opposition players and get shots off.

Prediction:

It will either go one way or the other and it’ll be a goal frenzy as they both have dire defensive records or it’ll be goalless as they both have awful goal scoring records as well. Either way this is an interesting tie as a win for any of the teams is vital to push away from the relegation zone and stay ahead of the other.

I believe it will be a very hard, fought out match with a lot of passion and Northwood have already won the two previous meetings meaning Ashford will be hungry for revenge but Northwood will also be right up for this. I think both teams will get something out of this game and it will be a draw.

Prediction: Northwood 1-1 Ashford Town

-Dan Davies

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