Thatcham Town 2  Northwood 1

Saturday 18th March 2023


1 Andrew McCorkell    
2 Harry Gallagher    
3 Andy Lomas    
4 Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway    
5 Luke Tingey ©    
6 Keagan Cole    
7 Junior Paiva    
8 Teddy Stacey (89m)    
9 Gareth Chendlik    
10 Dan Williams (67m)    
11 Carl Stewart (79m)    
12 Micah Jackson (89m)    
14 Josh Helmore (67m)    
15 Romario Jonas    
16 James Gurteen    
17 Jack Smith (79m)    

Thatcham: Toby Fisher, Issiaga Kaba, Ramarni Medford-Smith, Callum Willmouth, Joshua Edwards, Oliver Bourne (Ashley Howell 62m), Muhamadou Ceesay, Cameron Rohart-Brown (Simeon Weekes 54m), Harry Williams (Ornildo Shehu 90m), Jordan Alves, Nathan Jones


Northwood’s trip to West Berkshire ended in disappointment as a late collapse saw Thatcham Town come from behind to claim the points at the Stacatruc Stadium.

Woods welcomed back Keagan Cole as sweeper between Harry Gallagher and Luke Tingey while Junior Pavia was preferred to Micah Jackson at right wing-back. There were also changes in midfield with Carl Stewart being pushed forward into the ‘number 10’ role in the absence of Shane Cojocarel.

Northwood started well and they had an early opportunity to open the scoring as Gareth Chendlik latched onto a spill from Toby Fisher to pull the ball back to Dan Williams, but the Thatcham keeper made amends as he kept out the close-range shot.

The Kingfishers responded to create a chance of their own as Jordan Alves danced his way into the Northwood box before his shot was gathered by Andrew McCorkell.

But it was Woods who took the lead on 10 minutes as Chendlik flicked on Tingey’s throw into the home box with Gallagher on hand to stab the ball home for his third goal of the season.

The hosts thought they had posted a swift riposte as Cameron Rohart-Brown converted from Ramarni Medford-Smith’s low cross, but their joy was short-lived as they were denied by an offside flag.

Northwood continued to press with Williams sending a shot on the turn wide of the target before Chendlik saw his hooked volley blocked after a good run and cross from Pavia.

Chances were being created at both ends as Stewart and Williams went close for Woods while Medford-Smith poked an effort wide for the Kingfishers. And the hosts were asking more questions as McCorkell was forced to into a couple of smart saves to deny Alves and Harry Williams.

After a positive start, Woods’ play was becoming increasingly scrappy and they struggled to make much of an attacking impression for the remainder of the opening period with Williams’ speculative shot and Chendlik’s scuffed attempt failing to trouble Fisher. At the other end, Muhamadou Ceesay saw his shot deflected wide in first-half stoppage time.

Chances continued to be at a premium in the early stages of the second period, Alves firing over after a surging run while Andy Lomas was off target for the visitors with a shot from  25-yards.

PHOTOS by James Brown

Having struggled to recapture their early rhythm, Woods were being forced onto the backfoot with Thatcham looking increasingly confident – substitutes Ashley Howell and Simeon Weekes heading over when well placed.

Northwood made a change on 68 minutes as Josh Helmore replaced Williams in attack. And Woods had a glorious chance to extend their lead as a deep corner from Lomas was headed back by Tingey but Gallagher was unable to keep his header down and the chance went begging.

Having survived falling further behind, the Kingfishers were spurred into action as they  launched a series of attacks with McCorkell keeping out a couple of efforts from Weekes before the Woods stopper produced another fine save to deny Medford-Smith.

Northwood utilised their second substitution as Jack Smith, a midweek signing from St. Panteleimon, was introduced for Carl Stewart. But before the substitute had a chance to have an effect on proceedings, the Kingfishers finally got their equaliser as Weekes was pulled back in the six-yard box by Gallagher, earning the latter a red card as he was deemed to have denied a goal-scoring opportunity – Weekes picking himself up to despatch the penalty kick on 81 minutes.

Buoyed by  drawing level, the hosts went looking for another goal and this duly arrived two minutes later as Weekes stuck again as he swept the ball home after a swift counter-attack.

Woods made a final change with two minutes left on the clock as Teddy Stacey made way for Jackson. And with time running out. Northwood forced a corner which was cleared upfield with Issiaga Kaba shooting wide of an open goal with McCorkell scrambling to get back.

The visitors pressed again as Smith cut in, but his scuffed shot flew wide of the target. And there was one last chance for Northwood as they forced a final corner but Fisher punched clear to secure three well deserved points for his team on an afternoon to forget for Woods.

REPORT by Robin Piper