Northwood 1  Ashford Town Mx 0

Tuesday 11th October 2022


1 Andrew McCorkell    
2 Sam Jenkins    
3 Brandon Kalu    
4 Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway    
5 Harry Gallagher    
6 James Gurteen    
7 Rahim Jude-Boyd (90m)    
8 Micah Jackson (76m)    
9 Juwon Akintunde (81m)    
10 Josh Helmore © (46m)    
11 Ergys Pepaj (86m)    
12 Ronan Hutchins (46m)    
14 Joe Reade (86m)    
15 Carl Stewart (76m)    
16 Andy Lomas (90m)    
17 Jake Tabor (81m)    

Ashford: Callum Coulter, Ben Peden, Clyde Ondo (Ikpemwinoghena Yakubu 87m), Razy Nadeem (Nathaniel Kenlock 77m), Dale Burnham (Isy Nzelo 30m), Matthew Kellett-Smith , Danyaal Iqbal, Tommy Brunton (Prince Mbengui 86m), Daniel Brown , Luke Maguire, Nash Doukoure (Chad Goulter 78m)


Northwood finally came out on top against Ashford Town in this County Cup clash, the fourth meeting of the season for these two sides.

Woods took the opportunity to rest players and give some valuable game time to others – Rahim Jude-Boyd making his first start in the right-sided attacking berth, recent signing Juwon Akintunde continuing in the central striker’s role with skipper for the night, Josh Helmore, on the left side of an attack missing Sydney Ibie. Brandon Kalu made only his second start as he replaced Andy Lomas at left-back in a defence where Harry Gallagher came in for Luke Tingey. There was also a change in midfield, where Carl Stewart made way for Ergys Pepaj with Micah Jackson starting in the pocket behind the front three.

Northwood made a confident start as Jackson tried his luck from distance before creating an opening for Akintunde whose shot was turned round the upright by Tangerines keeper Callum Coulter. Having made the early running, Woods were given a scare when a Tommy Brunton corner was headed towards his own goal by Gallagher, keeper Andrew McCorkell reacting well to save his teammate’s blushes.

The home side were soon back on the offensive as a Pepaj corner was retrieved by James Gurteen whose lofted ball to the far post was headed wide by Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway. And the hosts went close again as Jackson’s driven free kick into the Tangerines box skimmed off the head of Akintunde and wide of the upright.

Woods maintained a good tempo as another slick move involving Alexander-Greenaway, Kalu and Helmore ended with Jude-Boyd’s shot being deflected for a corner before another Pepaj set-play was narrowly back-headed over the bar by Alexander-Greenaway at the near post.

Northwood were linking well in attack with a growing understanding between the front three, Helmore feeding Jude-Boyd whose shot was kept out by Coulter. Having been on the back foot for most of the evening, Ashford had a couple of opportunities to take the lead – Dan Brown unable to convert from close-range before Luke Maguire fired wide of an open goal with McCorkell caught in no-man’s land as the latter looked to quash a Tangerine attack.

And an entertaining opening period ended with Woods finding the Ashford net only for Akintunde to be denied by an offside flag. Northwood made a change at the break as Helmore made way for Ronan Hutchins with Gurteen acquiring the captain’s armband. And Hutchins was quickly into his stride with a run and a shot which was gathered by Coulter.

Woods continued to threaten, and their dominance was finally rewarded as they broke the deadlock on 56 minutes, Jude-Boyd combining with Jackson and Hutchins before Akintunde turned smartly to fire a low shot beyond Coulter to register his first goal for the club. And Jude-Boyd, who was enjoying a fine game on his full debut, was the catalyst again as he teed up Sam Jenkins whose shot deflected behind for a corner.

Northwood kept up the drive for a second goal as Akintunde dragged a shot wide of the far post before Jude-Boyd headed the ball beyond the advancing Coulter who appeared to be clip the Woods attacker, whose fall to the ground was deemed by the referee to be worthy of a yellow card for simulation.

Woods made their second substitution on 76 minutes as Jackson made way for Stewart while the Tangerines made a third change as they looked to get back in the contest. But it was the hosts who looked like increasing their lead as they maintained their attacking impetus, Alexander Greenaway heading wide from a Jude-Boyd delivery.

Northwood made further changes as Jake Tabor replaced Akintunde while there was senior debut for 16-year-old Joe Reade, the Woods Under 18s skipper replacing Pepaj for the final stages.

The Tangerines briefly threatened in the penultimate minute as a free kick was punched clear by McCorkell. And there was still time for two unlikely goal-scoring candidates to sniff a chance for Northwood – Tabor’s attempted pass failing to reach Stewart, who was poised to apply a simple finish before substitute Lomas, who had replaced Jude-Boyd in added time, was crowded out as he barrelled his way into the box. But the single goal was enough for Woods as they progressed into the second round of the competition at the end of a highly satisfactory evening for the hosts.

REPORT by Robin Piper