NORTHWOOD FC   Sunday 2nd March 2014   WALTHAM FOREST FC

Isthmian League Veterans' Cup Round Two

  Northwood 4  Waltham Forest 2  

Sargent, Cook 3

Smith, Demirel

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Andy Hopping     1 Abbas Ozkan
2 Dave Nolan     2 Ali Erzan
3 Kevin Dobson     3 Yildiray Kalamani
4 Danny Hawkesworth     4 Mehmet Kali
5 Gary Williams     5 Mustafa Ibrahim
6 Dean Hooper     6 Huseyin Combuscu
7 Christian Metcalfe     7 Mesa Pekin
8 Andy Cook     8 Sofiane Ferrad
9 Andy Sherry     9 Suat Demirel
10 Richard McDonagh     10 Ali Bolent
11 Dave Sargent     11 Trevor Franklin
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Dave Fox     12 Mehmet Diran
14 Craig McIntosh     14 Metin Tomuci
15 Paul Watkins     15 Mehmet Adem
16 -     16 Julian Smith
17 -     17 -
  REPORT by Alan Evans  




Northwood continued their defence of the Ryman Veterans Cup, moving comfortably into the semi-finals after surviving a late rally from their East London visitors.

The game had been switched to Chestnut Avenue as Wadham Lodge had been declared unfit to play earlier in the week, so the Woods were happy to have home advantage despite being without a few of the Veterans regulars such as the Burgess twins, Lawrence Yaku, Gavin Hart, Chris Gell and Danny Yeoman. There were Vets debuts for Kevin Dobson, who made the last of over 200 Northwood appearances way back in 1998 and former Peterborough and Swindon defender Dean Hooper, now 42, who was playing his first game in seven years.

Waltham Forest were playing their first-ever game in the competition, having received a bye in the previous round and were represented by a side that play regularly in a Turkish Community Veterans League.

Northwood started strongly and an early free-kick gave Richard McDonagh a great opportunity to open the scoring but the visitors’ keeper Abba Ozkan flung himself across goal to push the ball round the post. Andy Cook supplied a cross which Andy Sherry connected with but his effort was deflected wide and then Sherry couldn’t quite reach a well-weighted ball from McDonagh before Cook headed wide from another McDonagh corner.

Forest recorded their first effort on goal soon after when a good run and shot from distance from Sofiane Ferrad was well taken by Andy Hopping. The Woods were hit by an early hamstring injury to their sole striker Sherry, with reserve team manager Dave Fox getting an early taste of the action as he entered the fray after just 14 minutes.

Soon after, Dobson knocked in a good ball to find McDonagh in the box but his shot was saved at the near post by Ozkan and McDonagh then when close with a long-range chip which dropped just over the bar. It was after 24 minutes that the Woods got their noses in front when Ozkan spilled a long-range effort and Dave Sargent stole the loose ball and score from a tight angle.

A minute later Hooper produced an excellent cross but Sargent’s header was just over the bar but a second goal wasn’t far away and after some delightful build-up play, McDonagh found Cook and the big man slotted home to make it 2-0. The Woods continue to dominate with McDonagh floating a free-kick just over the top and then heading over when getting on the end of another excellent cross from Dobson.

Hopping was kept on his toes when forced into a good save to deny Suet Dumirel but a third goal arrived just before the break when Dave Nolan played a neat ball through to Cook and he stroked home his second goal.
Craig McIntosh replaced Nolan at half-time as he retired from the fray in order to get to White Hart Lane in time for kick-off, but it had little immediate effect as just five minutes in Dobson and McDonagh combined out wide. It was another accurate cross that found Cook who nodded home to complete his hat-trick.

However, Waltham Forest responded immediately as a defensive slip allowed a youthful looking Julian Smith through and he slotted home to give his side some new-found hope. The visitors started to play some good attacking football and Hopping had to be alert to keep out a free-kick and then a super save to keep out a fierce strike from Smith.

Last season’s triumphant manager of the Vets side Paul Watkins was introduced and he went close to restoring the four-goal advantage as his header was cleared off the line while Hooper also went close. But it was still Forest who were looking more dangerous and Hopping made a fine save to deny Smith again after a cut back from Ferrad who also had a shot tipped over the bar by the Woods keeper.

Fox met a Dobson cross with a flick that went the wrong side of the near post while from a McDonagh corner, Hooper had a shot that was deflected just wide. Then, after 78 minutes, the visitors gave the Woods a bit more to think about as both Gary Williams and Watkins failed to clear the ball and Demirel blasted the ball home despite a gallant attempt by Hopping to keep it out.

Thankfully, that was the last of the spirited comeback from Forest, and the Woods saw the rest of the game out comfortably with Dobson hitting the bar from a curling corner and then McDonagh chipping just over the bar when put through on goal. The Woods move into the semi-finals and await the winners of the quarter-final tie that sees former winners Kingstonian make the long journey to Suffolk to play Leiston on Sunday 16th March.