Northwood 3  Ashford Town Mx 1

Saturday 25th February 2023


1 Andrew McCorkell    
2 Sam Jenkins (82m)    
3 James Gurteen    
4 Carl Stewart    
5 Luke Tingey    
6 Keagan Cole (72m) ©    
7 Shane Cojocarel    
8 Teddy Stacey    
9 Gareth Chendlik (73m)    
10 Dan Williams    
11 Micah Jackson    
12 Junior Paiva    
14 Josh Helmore (73m)    
15 Harry Gallagher (72m)    
16 Parris Mason    
17 Brandon Kalu (82m)    

Ashford: Fred Chapman, Matthew Kellett-Smith, Isy Nzelo, Chad Goulter, Dale Burnham, Yannick Monga-Ebwa (Wayne Ridgley 46m), Javin Dougan (Nash Doukoure 67m), Prince Mbengui (David Thomas 74m), Ricky Johnson, Tomasz Siemienczuk, Lindell Stewart


Northwood put their recent league woes behind them as they returned to form with a convincing win over their Middlesex rivals in the fifth meeting of the two sides this season.

Woods reverted to a back three with Keagan Cole returning as sweeper while Sam Jenkins and Micah Jackson occupied the wing-back berths. There was also a league debut for new signing Shane Cojocarel in the ‘number 10’ role in support of a front two of Dan Williams and Gareth Chendlik.

After the visitors had an early attack which saw former Wood Lindell Stewart fire in a deflected shot, Northwood proceeded to create a series of openings – Teddy Stacey firing wide after good work from Williams before Cojocarel combined with Carl Stewart to set up Jenkins whose near post shot was kept out by Tangerines keeper Fred Chapman.

Woods kept the pressure on as they forced a series of corners with Cole’s in-swinging delivery brushing the crossbar before the woodwork saved the visitors once again as Jackson’s corner from the opposite flank was played back in by Williams to Gurteen whose back header ricocheted over.

Northwood continued to ask all the questions as Williams broke down the left-hand channel before delivering a low cross which just evaded the on-rushing Chendlik before Cojocarel teed up Jackson whose long-range attempt flew narrowly wide.

But the Tangerines’ resistance was finally broken on 37 minutes as Williams and Cojocarel linked up with the latter squaring for Chendlik who forced the ball home at the second attempt. And Chendlik turned provider four minutes later as his low cross was turned in by Williams at the far post for the recent signing’s first league goal in Northwood colours to extend the lead.

PHOTOS by James Brown & Len Kerswill

Having been comfortably in control up to that point, Woods were given a scare on the stroke of halftime as Tomasz Siemienczuk found space in the box to fire in a shot which was parried by keeper Andrew McCorkell before being cleared to safety.

Northwood were quickly back on the offensive after the break, Stewart, Jackson and Chendlik all trying their luck with speculative attempts before Chapman brought off a couple of smart saves to deny Jackson and Cojocarel. And the visitors were given little respite as Williams and Jackson saw their shots blocked by Tangerine shirts.

Having weathered Northwood’s second half barrage, Ashford finally began to enjoy some possession and forced a couple of corners which were safely negotiated by the home defence. But normal business resumed as Chapman was called into action again as he kept his side in the contest with another couple of saves to deny Cojocarel and Jackson.

However, Chapman was unable to prevent Woods from effectively putting the game to bed with a third goal on 69 minutes, Williams finishing off a slick move as he exchanged passes with Stewart for his second of the afternoon.

Woods proceeded to utilize their full quota of substitutions as Harry Gallagher, Josh Helmore and Brandon Kalu were introduced for Cole, Chendlik and Jenkins respectively. And with fresh legs on the park, the hosts threatened further goals as Cojocarel saw another shot blocked before Williams was given an opportunity to complete his hat-trick as he latched onto Kalu’s through-ball, but he lifted his shot over when one on one with Chapman.

With the contest moving into added time, Chapman performed further heroics as he kept out a snapshot from Helmore. But with seconds remaining, the Tangerines grabbed a consolation as Stewart latched onto a long clearance to outstrip the Woods backline before sliding the ball beyond McCorkell from a narrow angle -  the denial of a clean sheet unable to dampen the spirits of a Woods side who had halted a run of three defeats to take themselves back up to third place in the battle for the play-offs.

REPORT by Robin Piper