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Northwood Under 18 1  Dulwich Hamlet Under 18s 3

Thursday 4th November 2010

Northwood U18
FA Youth Cup 1st Round
Chestnut Ave., Northwood
Shiraj Shah
Kick Off
Reece Fallon
7.45 p.m.
Gbenga Adelana
Jonas Charles
Sean Hollowed
Dwayne Cole-Parkes
John Uche
Walker 90
Liam McGrath
Romaine Walker
Jack Hutchinson
Julian Smith
Lamin Cole (11)
Julian Cole (4)
Zain Khan (10)
Jordan Douglas
Tommy Day

The Woods Under-18s will be kicking themselves that they allowed this FA Youth Cup game to slip from their grasp and with it the chance to pit their wits against Football League side Yeovil Town in the next round.

On a windy night, in front of a good crowd that included scouts from many top clubs, Northwood played their fifth tie of the competition and made almost an ideal start in the fourth minute as Romaine Walker quickly showed his skills to get through on goal and won a penalty as Dulwich goalkeeper Anthony Page clipped him as he went past. Skipper Jonas Charles took the spot-kick but was denied by Page who dived to his right to keep the ball out; though there were legitimate claims for a retake as he was almost on his six-yard line when he made the save.

The visitors were content to sit back and assess where the Northwood threat was going to come from, relying on channel balls from deep to test the home defence but they did begin to threaten midway through the half. Goalkeeper Shiraj Shah made comfortable saves from Paul McCallum and Luke DeFreitas as well as getting down low to keep out a strike from Omar Lawson. Gbenga Adelana needed to come across to clear the danger after a Lawson header had put McCallum through on goal but then the Woods began to threaten again themselves.

After 34 minutes a deep free-kick from Reece Fallon saw Charles flick a header past the ‘keeper but a defender cleared away and almost immediately a cross from Adelana gave Charles a free header at the far post but he steered it wide of the post.

Jack Hutchinson tested Page with a low drive on 41 minutes and just a minute later, the Woods had another great opportunity as Walker’s jinking run into the box was ended by another trip and the referee pointed to the spot again. This time it was Hutchinson who took responsibility but the result was the same as Page dived to his left this time to save.

Just before the break, Walker went close to opening the scores without the need of a penalty kick as he beat his marker and darted across the area but his shot flashed inches the wrong side of the post.

Dulwich started the second-half with a plan and it brought immediate rewards. Just two minutes after the break skipper Nick Gonzalves floated a long ball into the box and McCallum rose unchallenged to steer a header inside the post and put the visitors in front.

The Woods needed to regroup but a further blow hit them just three minutes later. Charles was left in pain after a challenge by Michael Chambers but the referee allowed play to go on and Chambers threaded a ball straight through the middle for McCallum to chase and he rolled the ball past Shah for a killer second goal. Charles had to limp off for additional treatment and left the Woods without their midfield playmaker after being replaced by Julian Cole.

Dulwich raised their game at this stage and man of the match Fallon made an important block to deny a further goal before McCallum went close to a rapid hat-trick as his header hit the crossbar on 55 minutes and was then denied by Shah from a clever chip.

Northwood’s management rolled the dice and came up with the double-substitution, bringing on wide players Lamin Cole and Zain Khan for Hutchinson and Julian Smith but the visitors were still controlling things and they never really got a look in before Hamlet hit their third after 78 minutes. It was the best goal of the game as another long-ball picked out substitute Terance Carter and he knocked the ball up before finishing with a cracking volley that gave Shah no chance.

The Woods kept their heads up though and battled well through to the end. John Uche flicked a Khan header just over the top and then Walker let fly with a powerful drive that Page tipped onto the crossbar and over the top. From the resulting corner, Khan curled a shot through a ruck of players that clipped the outside of the post.

It was in stoppage-time that Northwood got the consolation goal that their efforts certainly deserved and it came through top scorer Walker who cut in from the right and saw Page keep his initial effort out but then followed up to smash home the loose ball.

So, it is Dulwich Hamlet who make it through to the Second Round proper and the Woods wish them well against Yeovil. The side can take a lot of positives from their long cup-run and hopefully they can transfer that form into the other challenges that face them over the coming weeks and months.