Clarke stars for the Blues

Northwood 3 Arlesey Town 3 The Blues shared the points in this goal-laden game in the Ryman League Division One North. One look at the goalmouths at Northwood Park suggested that defenders would be wise not to dwell on the ball and that mistakes would be

Northwood 3 Arlesey Town 3

The Blues shared the points in this goal-laden game in the Ryman League Division One North.

One look at the goalmouths at Northwood Park suggested that defenders would be wise not to dwell on the ball and that mistakes would be the order of the day.

And this pre-match assessment proved correct to ensure goals came freely.

Both sides played route one football and there were plenty of mistakes.

A draw was a fair result in an all-action contest with little or no constructive play for the purist.

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But Arlesey possessed the outstanding player in Matthew Clarke.

This accomplished defender was employed on the right of midfield and provided the only moments of memorable play during the 90 minutes.

The visitors had a dream start in the second minute as a corner swung in from the left by Danny Honeyball landed on the head of Tom Beech to nod home.

Two minutes later, Lloyd Opara missed an open goal after another long ball was completely missed by the home defence. With the goal yawning, he allowed keeper Harris to block his shot.

Northwood equalised in the 13th minute and questions must be asked of the visitors' defence.

A looping free-kick from Yoki found its way to the far post for the unmarked Buchanan to find the net via a soft header.

The home side continued to push and two efforts from Buchanan were excellently dealt with by Jake Whincup.

Then, in the 28th minute, Clarke scored with a stunning volley.

A free-kick was cleared to the edge of the box only to be returned first time into the net with keeper Harris beaten from the moment the ball was struck.

The second half opened with a home assault and Arlesey began to wobble.

In the 56th minute, Hall outpaced their defence to score easily and two minutes later, Hewitt converted with a diving header from a cross by Gordon.

Despite the arrival of Ieuan Lewis to add some creativity, Arlesey appeared to be about to surrender further goals.

They clung on and Lewis played a ball between the home defence for Opara to score past keeper Harris to open his account for Arlesey and level the match up.

Blues: Whincup, Waldron, Edwards, Honeyball, Brown, Hall, Clark, Fowler, Beech, Opara, Okojie. Subs: Oliva, Tekell, Lewis, Reed, Howard.

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