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Three-goal first half blast wins it
 
  Saturday 3rd August 2019

Pre-season
friendly

 

 

 

 

 

WORDS:
Alan Evans   
PICTURES:
James Brown

 
 

Berkhamsted 2
Northwood 3

WOODS LINE-UP  
 
1 Rob Partington  
2 A Trialist (1)  
3 Matt Cooper  
4 Jaiden Irish  
5 Sacha M'Baye  
6 A Trialist (2)  
7 A Trialist (3)  
8 Chris Gosling  
9 Marley Hamilton  
10 Harry Lodovica  
11 Kweku Lucan  
SUBSTITUTES  
12 Kyran Worrell  
14 Imran Uche  
15 Kyran A-Sakyi  
16 Miguel Lopes De Matos  
17 A Trialist (4)  
18 A Trialist (5)  
19 A Trialist (6)  
 

 

   

Game six of the Woods seven-match pre-season campaign saw Manager Scott Dash take on fellow Step 4 side Berkhamsted who enjoyed an excellent first season at that level last season and are widely expected to be a top-half side at least when the new term begins in two weeks time. 

There were still a few squad players unavailable - Ethan Flanagan, Liam McCrohan, Dan Pett and Alex Witham were missing for a variety of reasons - there was an opportunity for few new triallists to make a late bid for a place in the side and some certainly made an impression during an excellent first half for the Woods. 

There was a fast-paced start to the match with both sides looking sharp in attack and the Woods had a couple of early opportunities, both falling to the wide traillist who showed plenty of pace but a slight lack of composure in front of goal. Also, the defensive triallist got on the end of a chip into the box but steered a header wide. Berko looked most dangerous down the flanks through the pacy Jonathan Lacey and Josh Chamberlain but Matt Cooper looked in great form at left-back while another, somewhat familiar triallist kept the left-sided attack quiet while also getting forward well himself. 

The Woods grabbed the opening goal after 17 minutes when Marley Hamilton found space around the edge of the box and crashed a fierce shot past the diving hand of former Woods goalkeeper Xavi Comas Leon. 

The home side almost hit back immediately with another good strike that crashed back off the crossbar but then Hamilton turned provider with a neat lifted ball that put Kweku Lucan in on goal, though he lifted his shot just over the bar. 

It didn't take long for Northwood to double their lead and it was in real style as the familiar triallist burst down the right to get past another one-time Woods defender Danny Murphy and his cross was superbly converted by Hamilton who grabbed his second with an overhead bicycle kick that had spectators from both sides applauding. 

Buoyed by that goal and with the Berkhamsted defence looking a bit shell-shocked, the Woods then added a third after 31 minutes when a neat ball through from Harry Lodovica gave Lucan a chance. The in-form winger touched it quickly past his marker and then slipped it through the legs of the oncoming Comas Leon to record his fifth goal in the six pre-season games. 

There were a couple of half-time changes for the Woods with a triallist goalkeeper replacing Rob Partington in goal while Chris Gosling came off with a bit of a niggle, replaced by Kieran Asumadu-Sakyi for his first run-out of the season after injury. 

The Comrades looked keen to make a quick impact and enjoyed much better possession from the start but the Woods defence held strong despite being tested by a series of free-kick decisions going their way which certainly prevented the free-flowing football that had been witnessed during the first-half. More substitutions followed from the hour mark onwards and Lacey hit the post from one of the free-kicks given on the edge of teh box but generally Northwood were defending stoutly. 

However a run down the right from Lacey drew a challenge from Miguel Lopes De Matos which the Referee decided was more foul than dive and Lewis Toomey made no mistake from the penalty-spot. 

Then, in the last minute of normal time, there was a free-kick too far on the edge of the box. Lacey took aim again and his effort was pushed against the crossbar by the triallist 'keeper but the rebound fell to former QPR youngster Kingsley Eshon, on as a substitute and he pulled another goal back. 

The Woods had not created as much in the second-half with Lodovica perhaps having the best opportunities from around the edge of the box but he was unable to hot the target and Comas Leon had a much quieter time.