WALTHAM ABBEY FC   Wednesday 23rd October 2013   NORTHWOOD FC

Isthmian League Veterans' Cup Round One

  Waltham Abbey 0  Northwood 5  


McDonagh 20, 60, Williams 30,
M Burgess 73, Fox 79

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 David Hayes     1 Andy Hopping
2 Robert Franklin     2 Gary Williams
3 Phil Mason     3 Dave Sargent
4 Keith Rowley     4 Mark Burgess
5 Grant Edwards     5 Andy Cook
6 Darryl Wood     6 Danny Hawkesworth
7 Wayne Chandler     7 Danny Yeoman
8 John Hayes     8 Christian Metcalfe
9 Gary Luck     9 Andy Sherry
10 Lawrence Archibald     10 Richard McDonagh
11 Nick Sherwood     11 Chris Gell
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Joe Gumble     12 Dave Nolan
14 Trevor Anderson     14 Dave Fox
15 Ian Densham     15 Craig McIntosh
16 Stuart Lloyd     16  
17 Michael Hearn     17  
  REPORT by Alan Evans  


The Woods old-boys started their defence of the Isthmian Veterans Cup competition with an away game at old Spartan League rivals Waltham Abbey and came away with a comfortable 5-0 victory. The squad was without seven of the side that had won the competition with Darren Bonfield, Gavin Hart, Danny Butler, James Burgess, Lawrence Yaku, Martin Randall and Steve Hale all ruled out of this first round match for various reasons.

But the side was boosted by the newly-qualified Northwood favourite Dave Sargent who turned 35 earlier this year to add some extra class to proceedings while other former Woods were recruited to ensure a strong line-up such as Andy Sherry and Danny Hawkesworth.

Northwood looked the stronger outfit from the start and after a Mark Burgess shot was blocked for a corner, Sargent’s centre was cleared off the line and then Christian Metcalfe saw his effort blocked. Sherry was making his first appearance for the Vets and he latched onto another cross from Sargent on six minutes but his shot lacked the power to beat goalkeeper David Hayes. Hayes was kept busy throughout, saving another Sherry strike and then a Burgess header after Sargent had picked him out with another accurate centre.

Gary Williams got his head to a Richard McDonagh free-kick to the far post and Hayes just pushed the ball round the post and then McDonagh attempted a chip which beat the keeper but just dropped over the bar. Andy Cook, playing as a makeshift defender, showed tremendous energy by getting forward at every opportunity and his ball was cleverly dummied by Sherry to get Burgess in on goal but he steered his shot wide.

Finally, the pressure told after 20 minutes as Sargent swung in another cross from the left and McDonagh neatly flicked a shot inside the near post to put the Woods in front. A sweeping move six minutes later deserved a second. Chris Gell and Danny Yeoman did the approach work with his cross finding Burgess whose strike was deflected goalwards by McDonagh only for Hayes to save once again.

The Abbey finally notched an effort on goal themselves after 29 minutes as a long-range strike from Gary Luck flashed across goal and not far wide but the Woods doubled their lead a minute later. This time McDonagh turned provider with a corner and Williams header crept over the line with Sherry following up to make sure.

Hayes made a couple of fine saves in quick succession to deny Burgess and Sherry while at the other end Andy Hopping finally saw some action, having to punch clear a free-kick. Sherry continued to impress with his running up front and saw another shot pushed wide by the keeper soon after the restart while McDonagh’s free-kick clipped the crossbar.

After 54 minutes Cook provided a great cross which caused havoc in the Waltham Abbey area. Sargent saw his shot blocked, Hayes then palmed Sherry’s follow-up away before the loose ball was then cleared off the line. The pressure continued with Gell feeding McDonagh out wide and his drilled cross saw Burgess stretch but just miss out on knocking the ball home. Then Yeoman knocked in a cross from the other flank and Cook’s header hit the post.

But the third goal was not far away and on the hour Yeoman and Sargent combined to set up McDonagh to knock in his second from close-range and it was game over. Reserve team manager Dave Fox and Dave Nolan came on in place of the tiring Sherry and Yeoman and the Woods netted a fourth after 73 minutes with great work from Sargent saw him cut the ball back for Burgess to fire home. Burgess then turned provider six minutes later, rolling his defender and squaring the ball for Fox who neatly slotted past Hayes for a fifth and final goal of a very satisfactory evening.

As the home side showed good spirit to the end, Hopping had to make a late block to deny Abbey’s Joe Gumble and maintain his clean sheet while Burgess had a great chance to make it six when he met a Nolan cross unmarked with a cushioned header back across goal but it was inches wide of the post.

So, the Woods move into the quarter-finals with this victory and will be hoping for a home game as they continue their defence of the trophy.