Northwood 1  Bedfont Sports 2

Tuesday 31st January 2023


1 Andrew McCorkell    
2 Harry Gallagher (83m)    
3 Andy Lomas    
4 Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway    
5 Luke Tingey ©    
6 Keagan Cole (83m)    
7 Junior Paiva    
8 Micah Jackson    
9 Josh Helmore (90m)    
10 Gareth Chendlik     
11 Carl Stewart    
12 Ronan Hutchins    
14 Juwon Akintunde (90m)    
15 James Gurteen (83m)    
16 Teddy Stacey    
17 Sandro Costa (83m)    

Bedfont: Joe Ringer, William Wickham , Dom Pires, Jonathan Stoop , Ethan Kaiser, Michael Agwu, Steve Ngunga (Jake Beck-Nardoni 90m), Caleb Wright (Troy Silvera 16m), Aidan Brown (Balai Dembele 86m ), Kofi Anoyke-Boadi, Reyon Dillon


Northwood slumped to their third successive home defeat as Bedfont Eagles belied their lowly league position to come from behind to claim the points as the Skyline hosted its first game in almost a month.

Looking to bounce back from the disappointing defeat at Leatherhead, Woods were without defenders Romario Jonas and Brandan Kalu through illness while injury ruled out George Nicholas, who awaits news on the severity of his knee issues. There was a surprise return to the starting line-up for Keagan Cole for his first appearance since mid-September as he took on the role of sweeper with Harry Gallagher also coming back into the defence. There were also changes in attack as Josh Helmore returned to partner Gareth Chendlik with Juwon Akintunde dropping to the bench while Micah Jackson slotted in behind the front two.

The game started at a lively pace with Helmore having early claims for a penalty waved away after he was challenged by Caleb Wright while at the other end, Andrew McCorkell was soon called into action as he gathered Kofi Anoyke-Boadi’s shot at the second attempt before Aidan Brown fired wide after a smart turn on the edge of the box.

The Eagles had to make an early change as they lost skipper Wright to an ankle injury which interrupted their flow while Northwood, despite enjoying the majority of possession, were struggling to create any clear openings.

However, as the half progressed, Woods gradually began to ask questions – Junior Pavia finding room to fire over a cross-shot which narrowly cleared the bar, before Helmore combined with Chendlik on the edge of the box with the latter’s shot threatening to nestle inside the upright before curling wide.

PHOTOS by James Brown

Northwood maintained their attacking momentum and they got their reward by taking the lead on 38 minutes, Jackson’s pin-point corner being helped on by Chendlik to Helmore who converted from close range.

Buoyed by the goal, Woods confidence visibly soared as they looked to extend their lead before the break, Helmore forcing a corner after a sweeping move involving Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway and Carl Stewart while Cole had his cheeky back-heel attempt blocked by the Eagles defence following a smart short throw routine involving Andy Lomas and Jackson.

Woods kept up the pressure as both Cole and Stewart tried their luck from distance. And Woods might have been given the opportunity to extend their lead from the penalty spot as Chendlik was upended in the box by Agwu on the stroke of half-time, the referee ignoring the vociferous Northwood appeals.

Woods continued in a positive vein after the break as Lomas picked out Pavia whose low ball into the box agonisingly evaded the waiting Helmore, before the latter had a shot on the turn which flew wide of the target following another Pavia cross.

The Eagles finally had some respite as they won a free-kick in the Northwood half, Steve Ngunga’s 30-yard effort narrowly evading the woodwork while at the other end, Jackson and Gallagher weren’t far away with their set-piece attempts.

However, the whole tone of the evening changed when having failed to get that all-important second goal, Woods were pegged back as the Eagles drew level on 77 minutes from the penalty spot, the ball spinning away from McCorkell after he came off his line to challenge Ngunga who was brought down by Gallagher as he looked to get a shot in - Aidan Brown making no mistake from 12-yards.

Woods had an immediate opportunity to restore their lead as Jackson slid the ball through to Helmore but he was denied by the legs of visiting keeper Joe Ringer with the shot deflecting behind for a corner. Northwood made a double change as Gallagher made way for James Gurteen for his first appearance for a number of games while the fresh legs of Sandro Costa replaced the tiring Cole.

But Woods had some defending to do as McCorkell pulled off a smart save to deny Brown. However, Northwood failed to deal with the ensuing corner as Reyon Dillon bundled the ball home after a game of pinball in the home box to give the visitor’s an unlikely lead with four minutes left on the clock.

Shell-shocked Woods had nothing left to give with Akintunde’s stoppage-time introduction for Helmore failing to have the desired effect as the Eagles comfortably saw out the five minutes of added time to spark scenes of joy between players and supporters as they celebrated a crucial three points.

REPORT by Robin Piper