Ashford Town Mx 2 Northwood 1

Saturday 1st October 2022


1 Andrew McCorkell    
2 Harry Gallagher    
3 Andy Lomas    
4 Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway    
5 Luke Tingey ©    
6 James Gurteen    
7 Jake Tabor    
8 Ergys Pepaj (79m)    
9 Josh Helmore    
10 Sydney Ibie (46m)    
11 Carl Stewart    
12 Ronan Hutchins    
14 Micah Jackson (46m)    
15 Keagan Cole    
16 Rahim Jude-Boyd (79m)    
17 Brandon Kalu    

Ashford: Callum Coulter, Ben Peden, Isy Nzelo, Chad Goulter, Matthew Kellett-Smith, Clyde Ondo, Danyaal Iqbal, Prince Mbengui, Luke Maguire (Razy Nadeem 82m), Ikpemwinoghena Yakubu (Daniel Brown 73m), Nathaniel Kenlock


Northwood suffered their second away defeat in five days on a disappointing afternoon at the Robert Parker Stadium. There were a couple of changes from the team which started the midweek game at Walton & Hersham – Harry Gallagher coming in for his first league start at right-back in place of the unavailable Sam Jenkins, while Jake Tabor replaced Micah Jackson in the forward line for his full debut with the latter reverting to the bench.

Woods looked very tentative in the early stages as Ashford began on the front foot with Chad Goulter forcing keeper Andrew McCorkell into a full-length save with a low strike from distance.

The Tangerines maintained the early pressure on the visitors, McCorkell having to deal with a Matthew Kellett-Smith header following a corner while Luke Tingey was on hand to block a close-range shot from Luke Maguire.

Following their unconvincing start to proceedings Northwood gradually found their feet and a good combination between Ergys Pepaj and Andy Lomas created an opening for Tabor whose low shot was parried by keeper Callum Coulter with the rebound just evading the lurking Josh Helmore.

The Tangerines were soon back on the offensive with Nathaniel Kenlock inches away from getting on the end of a flicked on free kick into the Woods box. However, Northwood were not so fortunate moments later as Ashford opened the scoring on 11 minutes after possession had been squandered in a dangerous area with Maguire unleashing a shot from the edge of the box which flew beyond McCorkell’s reach.

Woods looked to respond as they forced a corner which was cleared to Carl Stewart on the edge of the box and his first time shot flew wide of the Ashford goal. And Northwood pressed again as a cross-field pass from Lomas was met by Ashford left-back Isy Nzelo, but his attempted back-pass was intercepted by Tabor who was caught by Coulter as he looked to round the keeper – Sydney Ibie stepping up to convert his third penalty in four games to level the scores on 18 minutes.

PHOTOS by James Brown

Having restored parity, Northwood would have been hoping to build on this before the half-time break, but it was Ashford who looked the more likely as Danyaal Iqbal missed a glorious chance as he stumbled after taking the ball beyond McCorkell, while Kenlock and Maguire also went close for the Tangerines.

Northwood were forced into a change at the break as Jackson replaced Ibie, who appeared to have a hamstring problem, the substitute assuming the central striker’s role with Helmore moving to the left.
The hosts created an early opportunity as a smart turn and shot from Prince Mbengui flew across the face of the Northwood goal, while at the other end, Helmore headed over after Tingey’s throw was helped on by James Gurteen.

Woods were enjoying their fair share of possession but were struggling to create clear opportunities with too many passes continuing to going astray. And they had some defending to do as Tingey’s headed clearance fell to Mbengui who snatched at the chance with his shot flying the wide before Ben Peden fired a shot beyond the far post.

The Tangerines were managing to keep Woods at arm’s length, a Tingey header which cleared the crossbar following a Gallagher free kick, a rare moment of threat for the home defence on an increasingly frustrating afternoon for Northwood. And those frustrations were exacerbated as Ashford regained the lead from the penalty spot on 71 minutes after McCorkell brought down Kenlock, Maguire stepping up for his second strike of the afternoon.

Pepaj made way for Rahim Jude-Boyd as Woods looked for a way back and they had a wonderful opportunity as Tabor combined with Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway to play in Helmore but the latter delayed his shot allowing Clyde Ondo to make a covering block.

Northwood were growing increasingly desperate, and this was evident as an over-stretching Gallagher caught Goulter in the tackle to earn himself a red card with three minutes left on the clock.

Woods maintained their work rate but continued to lack the guile to break down the resolute Tangerines, Tabor shooting wide and Jackson lifting a shot from the edge of the as Northwood’s disappointing afternoon drew to a close.

REPORT by Robin Piper