Northwood 3  Leatherhead 1

Saturday 12th November 2022


1 Andrew McCorkell    
2 Harry Gallagher    
3 Brandon Kalu    
4 Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway    
5 Luke Tingey ©    
6 James Gurteen    
7 Ronan Hutchins (83m)    
8 Jake Tabor (90m)    
9 Juwon Akintunde (77m)    
10 Sydney Ibie    
11 Carl Stewart    
12 Dan Daggett    
14 Josh Helmore (77m)    
15 Romario Jonas    
16 Rahim Jude-Boyd (90m)    
17 Joe Reade (83m)     

Leatherhead: Joe Ringer, Harry Osborne, Louis Collins (Chikanele Elechi 46m), Jake Eales, Benedict Frempah, Keane Anderson (Lewis Pearch 75m), Archie Burnett (Jermaine McGlashan 70m), Oliver Allen , Dave Tarpey, Daniel Hector, Reise Allassani 


Northwood returned to form following the previous week’s below-par performance at Uxbridge with a comfortable win over Leatherhead in glorious autumnal sunshine at the Skyline Roofing Stadium.

Woods were forced into a couple of changes in defence with Harry Gallagher and Brandon Kalu coming in for the unavailable duo of Junior Pavia and Andy Lomas while Ronan Hutchins made his first start for several weeks in the absence of Micah Jackson. Meanwhile, Juwon Akintunde continued in attack with the returning Josh Helmore having to settle for a place on the bench.

Northwood began at a good tempo and they were presented with an early opportunity after a mix up between visiting defenders, Akintunde unable to take advantage as former Woods keeper Joe Ringer was quickly off this line to deny the Northwood striker with the follow up effort being cleared by the Tanners’ defence.

Woods maintained their positive start with a Luke Tingey throw being diverted behind before a good link up between Carl Stewart, Hutchins and Sydney Ibie saw the latter’s low cross being diverted for a corner. And the hosts early dominance continued as they forced another corner which saw Gallagher’s close-range header blocked by the Leatherhead rearguard.

Northwood were finally forced into some defending as the Tanners’ launched a quick break which saw Keane Anderson surging into home territory, but the backtracking Gallagher executed a well-timed tackle to avert the danger.

However, Woods finally had something to show for their first half efforts as they took the lead on 39 minutes with Gallagher registering his first goal for the club with a flicked header from a Jake Tabor corner.

PHOTOS by James Brown

And Northwood went close to putting the icing on a fine opening half as the tireless Tabor won the ball in the tackle before breaking into the Tanners’ box, but his pullback just evaded the waiting Ibie. Woods thought they had increased their lead early in the second half after Ringer could only parry Ibie’s low drive, but Akintunde was denied by an offside flag as he planted the rebound in the net.

Undeterred, Northwood kept their foot on the gas and the second goal duly arrived on 63 minutes as Ibie cut in from the left flank before firing in a low shot which beat Ringer at his near post to make it ten in the league this season for Woods’ leading scorer.

Leatherhead had offered very little in attack up to that point, but they forced a corner from which substitute Chikanele Elechi headed narrowly wide. However, Northwood appeared to put the contest beyond the Tanners as they stretched their lead further on 69 minutes as an Ibie back-heel set up Akintunde who shot beyond Ringer for his first league goal in the red shirt.

With the game seemingly beyond them, the visitors stirred themselves into action and they caught Woods napping as substitute Jermaine McGlashan centred for Reise Allassani who applied a calm finish to reduce the arrears on 73 minutes.

Northwood brushed themselves down and resumed the attacking momentum as the irrepressible Tabor won possession and stormed into the box once again, but his shot flew across the face of the Leatherhead goal. Akintunde made way for Helmore on 77 minutes as Woods continued to push for further goals and they won a couple of freekicks in Leatherhead territory with Gallagher trying his luck with a long-range attempt before another delivery found Ibie who headed over.

Joe Reade was introduced for Hutchins on 83 minutes with the latter having looked more like his old self on his return to the starting line-up. And Northwood almost scored a fourth as Ringer produced a flying save to keep out Ibie’s firmly struck free-kick. Northwood made their final substitution in added time with Rahim Jude-Boyde replacing Tabor. But the Tanners had an opportunity to make it a nervous finale for Woods, but the unmarked Allassani headed wide from a good position.

Northwood breathed a sigh of relief and they had another chance of their own as Ibie fired into the side-netting after getting to the byline, the last action on a hugely satisfactory afternoon for Woods with a win that extends their lead to six points ahead of second-placed Chertsey Town.

REPORT by Robin Piper