NORTHWOOD FC   Wednesday 23rd April 2014   KINGSTONIAN FC

Isthmian League Veterans' Cup Semi-final

  Northwood 1   Kingstonian 1
Kingstonian won 4-2 on penalties

Yaku 63

Sills 18

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Darren Bonfield     1 Steve Davis
2 Dave Nolan     2 David Graham
3 Dave Sargent     3 Simon Bell
4 Christian Metcalfe     4 Julian Sills
5 Danny Hawkesworth     5 Mark Harris
6 Gary Williams     6 Matt Elverson
7 Danny Yeoman     7 Eddie Akuamoah
8 Andy Cook     8 Ben Abbey
9 James Burgess     9 Tony Reid
10 Lawrence Yaku     10 Anthony Hayward
11 Kevin Dobson     11 Richard Thompson
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Richard McDonagh     12 Marcel Dennis
14 Chris Gell     14 Conrad Kane
15 Paul Watkins     15 Scott Corbett
16 Dave Fox-     16 Marc Thomas
17 Craig McIntosh     17 Phil Wingfield
  REPORT by Alan Evans  




Northwood Veterans side’s defence of the Ryman Veterans Cup came to an end at the semi-final stage as Kingstonian, winners of the competition in 2011 and 2012, squeezed home in a penalty shoot-out. With Mark Burgess’s injury problems ruling him out, the Vets missed his driving force and Kingstonian, who included former Northwood striker Ben Abbey in their line-up, looked attack-minded from the start of a game played in rainy conditions throughout.

Conrad Kane and Eddie Akuamoah both tried their luck from distance but failed to hit the target and then Kane cut in from the right and let fly with another effort which went wide of Darren Bonfield’s near-post. It was nine minutes before Northwood managed to get in an attack of their own with Kevin Dobson knocking in a fine cross but Lawrence Yaku couldn’t quite stretch enough to reach it.

Five minutes later another cross from Dobson saw goalkeeper Steve Davis punch clear but only to the edge of the box and James Burgess went for goal but without the power required and Davis gathered the ball comfortably. A minute later, Yaku showed some of his old prowess with a turn of pace that saw him past his marker but he shot over. Then, after 18 minutes, a cross from Akuamoah saw K’s skipper Julian Sills arrive at the far post with a downward header which Bonfield got a hand to but was unable to keep out for the opening goal of the game.

The game was always being played with a competitive but also feisty edge with some poor refereeing decisions playing a part in upsetting both sides. Akuamoah was booked for dissent towards an assistant referee when it was clearly someone else that directed the words while James Burgess followed for a similar outburst.

Yaku again when close after picking up an excellent ball from Christian Metcalfe but the visitors were still shading it with Tony Reid’s confrontational style making life uncomfortable for Danny Hawkesworth at times. It created space for others and Kane saw a deflected effort well saved by Bonfield before the same player got through the middle but then slid his shot wide of the post. Just before the break, Andy Cook headed a deep cross back into the box but Yaku stabbed his effort wide.

The second half started at a slower pace than the first but the introduction of Richard McDonagh into the fray after 55 minutes seem to spark the Woods into life and he latched onto a Cook knockdown and let fly with an accurate strike which forced Davis to push the ball over the bar. From the resulting corner, the ball ran loose in the six-yard box and it was goal-poacher Yaku who was there to knock the ball in and level things up.

Just a minute later, Yaku was put through down the middle and checked by Mark Harris who must have been worried that the card would be more than the yellow he received as the Woods speedster would have been in on goal. Dead-ball specialist McDonagh still had a chance from the free-kick but though it was on target it was too close to Davis who claimed it comfortably. It really was Northwood’s best spell as the K’s seemed unable to match the tempo. Burgess got forward and cut a ball back to McDonagh whose first effort was blocked and then he hit the rebound over the top.

On 69 minutes Dobson curled an effort from distance which flashed only just over the bar but five minutes later there was a long stoppage after a foul by Hawkesworth on Sills left the K’s player needing lengthy treatment. It seemed an age before the free-kick was eventually taken with Richard Thompson curling his shot over the bar but it seemed to blunt the Woods momentum.

Chris Gell and Paul Watkins came on to liven things up but although it ensured that the visitors never had a chance to find a winning goal, it also failed to ignite a late second for the Woods and with the final whistle hardly seeming to add on any stoppage-time, it would be penalties to decide who would go through.

There was a real comical moment as the Referee took control and also centre stage in organising the penalty-kicks and for quite some time it seemed that Kingstonian would be taking the first kick against their own goalkeeper despite everyone trying to point out the error! Eventually it was Dave Sargent who stepped forward to take the first kick and he made no mistake to put the Woods ahead. However, after Reid had levelled for the K’s, McDonagh blazed his kick over the bar and it handed the advantage to the visitors. They took full advantage with successful kicks following from the vastly experienced trio of Sills, Elverson and Akuamoah winning it 4-2 after Burgess had scored but Metcalfe had seen his attempt saved by Davis.