Sutton Common Rovers 1  Northwood 5

Saturday 10th December 2022


1 Andrew McCorkell    
2 Junior Paiva    
3 Andy Lomas    
4 Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway    
5 Luke Tingey ©    
6 Romario Jonas (73m)    
7 Jake Tabor    
8 Micah Jackson (80m)    
9 Josh Helmore    
10 Juwon Akintunde (80m)    
11 Carl Stewart    
12 Ronan Hutchins (80m)    
14 James Gurteen (73m)    
15 Harry Gallagher    
16 Sandro Costa Dias Fernandes (80m)    
17 Brandon Kalu    

Sutton: Endurance Johnson, Rhamar Garrett-Douglas. Chibuikem Nzeh (Siao Blackwood 65m), Matt Surmon, Zak Brown, Hugo Odogwu-Atkinson, Shawn Lyle, Kevin Diomande , Connor French (Tyrese Sutherland 60m), Kyron Richards (Brian Testolin 79m), Tyler Cox


Northwood overcame the freezing conditions to return to form with a five-star performance on the 3G pitch at Whyteleafe. With the cold snap putting paid to most of the Isthmian programme, Woods were given the opportunity to get their campaign back on track.

The Woods opted for a change in formation with a number of changes from their last outing; Junior Pavia returned on the right side of a three-man defence alongside Romario Jones who was making his first start since August with Luke Tingey making up the backline as Harry Gallagher and James Gurteen reverted to the bench. Jake Tabor was given a new role at right wing-back with Andy Lomas on the opposite flank while Micah Jackson slotted in behind a front two of Juwon Akintunde and Josh Helmore.

Woods started well with Akintunde having a couple of early opportunities, latching onto a Lomas pass and bursting between defenders before Sutton goalkeeper Endurance Johnson gathered his shot while a nice link-up with Helmore from a Lomas throw-in ended with a shot which flew wide of the target.

The hosts were struggling to make an impression on Northwood as they were restricted to a couple of long-range efforts which failed to trouble goalkeeper Andrew McCorkell. And Woods were on the attack again as Jackson combined with Carl Stewart to almost play in Akintunde who was denied by the on-rushing Johnson before Tingey went close with a low strike from the edge of the box after being set up by Jackson.   

McCorkell was finally called into action as he dealt with a speculative attempt from Tyler Cox. But the hosts had some more defending to do and were saved by the woodwork as Jackson’s rasping shot ricocheted off the underside of the bar after Tingey’s throw into the box was only cleared to the edge of the box.

The Commoners best chance of the opening period came through a short free-kick routine with Kyron Richards unable to get enough of a connection on his header as the ball flashed across the face of the Northwood goal. But Woods responded as a stretching Helmore was inches away from Tabor’s low cross into the six-yard box.

PHOTOS by James Brown

However, Woods deservedly took the lead in added time at the end of a fine first half for the visitors, Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway flicking on Jackson’s near post corner to spark an almighty scramble in the six-yard box with Jonas and Akintunde seeing their shots blocked before the former smartly teed up Tingey who lashed the ball home.

Northwood were immediately out of the blocks upon the resumption and extended their lead a minute in as Tabor combined with Alexander-Greenaway before Jackson’s cross was met at the far post by a diving Lomas who gleefully headed home for only his third goal for the club.

And things got even better for Woods on 51 minutes with a superbly worked goal as Carl Stewart played a neat one-two with Helmore before dispatching a delightful cross with the outside of the boot which was met at the near post by Akintunde, who made no mistake with the header.

Woods went in search of more goals against the shell-shocked Commoners and Johnson did well to keep out an effort from Akintunde. But Johnson was helpless to prevent Northwood scoring a fourth on 64 minutes as Jackson’s corner was cleared back to him before unleashing a shot on the angle which deflected into the roof of the net.

The hosts to their credit kept plugging away and McCorkell had to be at his best as he produced a smart near post save to keep out an effort from Cox and the latter went close again as he shot wide after a jinking run into the Northwood box.

Woods utilised their substitutes in the final 15 minutes, a tiring Jonas being replaced by Gurteen while Ronan Hutchins and Sandro Costa Dias Fernandes were introduced for Jackson and Akintunde. And Northwood strived for more goals and they were duly rewarded on 82 minutes as Tabor’s near post corner was helped on by Alexander-Greenaway and fell nicely to Helmore, who swept the ball home for his fifth league goal of the season.

The Commoners refused to throw in the towel and finally gained a consolation deep into added time, much to the frustration of Northwood who were looking for that clean sheet, the much-travelled Brian Testolin firing beyond McCorkell to complete the afternoon’s proceedings – Woods’ win coupled with Marlow’s defeat at South Park restoring the gap at the top to four points.

REPORT by Robin Piper