In blustery conditions and after a long lay off North made hard work of a highly spirited Steventon side.
From the off, playing into the wind, North looked disjointed and seemed content on playing out a long ball game which was both unattractive and unproductive. Steventon didn’t make the most of the advantage, though looked threatening from set pieces and North were grateful from some fine defending. North’s back four looked solid with Rob Keylock again outstanding at the heart of the defence being ably assisted by Ollie Jones, Ciaran Pragnell, Filton Pavier and keeper Joe Morse confidently dealing with several difficult through balls they held firm.
North did have a couple of good chances to open the scoring, stand in striker Sam Oliver firing wide when well placed and Tom Weedon bringing out a fine save from the Steventon keeper, but it remained goalless at the break.
North started the second period a lot brighter, though the quality of passing was still not up to scratch. Steventon began to resort to some rather ugly looking challenges, the referee was extremely lenient, several players being lucky not to have received a card or two.
For a while it looked as though North were not going to score, Will Vandenberghe twice being denied by the woodwork and Rob Keylock the same with two fine headers. North eventually made the pressure count, an excellent defence splitting pass from Will Vandenberghe put Tom Weedon clear with plenty still to do the striker hit an unstoppable left footed effort high into the top corner of the net. Five minutes later Weedon added a second, good work from Chardex Pavier wide on the right allowed Will Vandenberghe to again clip a nice pass for the striker to fire home.
Ollie Jones had to leave the field with fifteen minutes remaining after picking up a nasty ankle injury, having used all their subs North had to play the remainder of the game with ten players. North’s gung ho approach nearly cost them dear, with five minutes remaining Steventon pulled one back after a quick counter attack. Joe Morse initially pulled off a great save, diverting the ball onto the cross bar, leaving the Steventon striker free to nod in the rebound. North saw out the game, but again failed to capitalise against a side which they should have comfortably got the better of.