Northwood 2 Sutton Common Rovers 1 

Saturday 24th September 2022


1 Andrew McCorkell    
2 Sam Jenkins    
3 Andy Lomas    
4 Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway    
5 Luke Tingey ©    
6 James Gurteen (90m)    
7 Ergys Pepaj (90m)    
8 Micah Jackson (68m)    
9 Josh Helmore    
10 Sydney Ibie    
11 Carl Stewart    
12 Ronan Hutchins    
14 Keagan Cole    
16 Jake Tabor (68m)    
17 Rahim Jude-Boyd (78m)    
18 Brandon Kalu (90m)    
Sutton: Daniel Purdue, Kevin Diomande , Geneiro Maragh, Matt Surmon, Bertie Lloyd , Hugo Odogwu-Atkinson, Shawn Lyle, Kevin Songolo (Courtney Swaby 76m), Nebay Haile (Francis Mampolo 60m), Tony Halsey (Ayodeji Owoeye 77m), Tyler Cox


The Woods made it six wins out of six to equal the start of the 1990-91 London Spartan League campaign as they consolidated their position at the top of the table with a deserved win over their South London rivals whose team contained the popular Matt Surmon who along with Nebay Haile and Daniel Purdue were making early returns in opposition colours.

There was one change to the Northwood line-up with midfielder Ergys Pepaj replacing Ronan Hutchins who hadn’t recovered sufficiently from the ankle knock which he suffered in the win over Chertsey Town.
Woods began at a good tempo and they forced an early corner which was cleared to Carl Stewart on the edge of the box and his first time shot drew a flying save from Purdue.

Northwood maintained their bright start as they moved the ball around with confidence and they were rewarded with the lead on seven minutes, Andy Lomas firing in a shot which diverted off the head of Bertie Lloyd and looped over Purdue for an own goal.

The Commoners were struggling to get any sort of foothold on proceedings with Woods controlling the midfield with Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway particularly dominant, a long-range attempt from Shawn Lyle, which flew well wide of the target, the visitors’ only moment of note in the early stages.

Woods continued to probe and they extended their lead on 17 minutes with a delightful move which saw Pepaj thread the ball through to the over-lapping Sam Jenkins whose low cross was met at the far post by Josh Helmore for his third league goal of the season.

The game entered a scrappy period with neither side creating any clear-cut openings – Pepaj firing over from distance before Micah Jackson sent a free-kick whistling past the far upright for Northwood, while at the other end, Tyler Cox was off target with a speculative shot.

PHOTOS by James Brown

The second half began with Woods looking to reassert their authority and put the contest to bed and they went close as Pepaj combined with Sydney Ibie following an Andy Lomas throw-in on the edge of the box, the ball finding its way back to the latter who had two bites at the cherry before the visitors cleared their lines.

The Commoners had struggled to find any sort of attacking cohesion up to this point but by adopting a more direct approach, they were beginning to offer a threat and they went close as Haile fired a free-kick from a central position into the side-netting.

Northwood remained a threat on the break as Ibie, who had so far had a relatively quiet afternoon, made a strong run through the middle but his shot was comfortably gathered by Purdue.

Woods made their first substitution on 68 minutes as Jackson was replaced by fellow attacker Jake Tabor for his debut following his switch from Harpenden Town. And Tabor was quickly into the game as he was involved in a move which saw Pepaj’s shot gathered by Purdue at the second attempt.

Northwood continued to push for a third goal and the visitors conceded a corner from which Pepaj’s far post delivery was met by Tabor but his low header lacked the required purchase to beat Purdue.

The visitors used all their substitutions as they looked to retrieve what was looking like an increasingly lost cause while Helmore made way for Rahim Jude Boyd who filled the right-sided attacking berth with Tabor moving into the centre-forward position.

The Commoners began to enjoy their best period of possession but were restricted to long-range efforts from substitutes Francis Mampolo and Courtney Swaby which failed to trouble Woods keeper Andrew McCorkell.

However, Northwood switched off sufficiently to afford Mampolo a simple far-post finish to give the visitors a lifeline on 85 minutes, Jenkins receiving a caution after some fun and games as the Commoners looked to retrieve the ball from the net for a swift restart.

The visitors frantically went in search of an equaliser as they launched a series of balls into the Northwood box, but the home rear-guard continued to stand firm with McCorkell once again displaying a safe pair of hands. And Woods countered as Tabor broke down the middle before laying off to Ibie whose low shot was kept out by Purdue.

Brandon Kalu was introduced for Ibie as Woods looked to negotiate the five minutes of added time and they did so without any further scares to secure the win which re-establishes the five point gap at the summit of the table.

REPORT by Robin Piper