Walton & Hersham 2  Northwood 1 

Tuesday 27th September 2022


1 Andrew McCorkell    
2 Sam Jenkins    
3 Andy Lomas    
4 Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway    
5 Luke Tingey ©    
6 James Gurteen    
7 Ergys Pepaj    
8 Micah Jackson (84m)    
9 Josh Helmore (60m)    
10 Sydney Ibie (75m)    
11 Carl Stewart    
12 Ronan Hutchins    
14 Keagan Cole    
15 Brandon Kalu (84m)    
16 Jake Tabor (60m)    
17 Rahim Jude-Boyd (75m)    
Walton:Liam Allen, Harry Mills, Dominic Ogun-Forster, Alex Kelly, Charlie Nicholas, Joe Hicks , Joshua Millo (Oliver Twum 75m),  Arsen Ujkaj (Taurean Roberts 53m), Max Blackmore (Eddie Simon 46m), John Gilbert, Jordan Adeyemi


The League leaders Northwood’s 100% record came to an end as highly fancied Walton & Hersham produced a second half comeback to take the points. Woods named an unchanged side for their first visit to the Xcel Sports Hub as they looked to extend their winning run against the newly promoted Swans.

The contest began at a brisk pace with both sides moving the ball around well on the slick 3G surface which had been given a greasy top by the early evening showers. And there were early chances at both ends – Woods’ Andy Lomas creating a good opening for Sydney Ibie who didn’t get enough on his shot to trouble home keeper Liam Allen, while Joshua Millo’s cross picked out Max Blackmore on the penalty spot, his snapshot drawing a fine reaction save from Woods keeper Andrew McCorkell.

Northwood began to exert some control on proceedings as they pressed the Swans onto the back foot, Josh Helmore almost finding a way through before being crowded out as he looked to get his shot away while Micah Jackson’s corner was met by Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway at the far post with his firm header being deflected behind.

Woods continued to probe as Jackson combined with Helmore whose shot on the angle was kept out by Allen before the former had a close-range stab blocked following a Luke Tingey throw into the box. And Jackson was to the fore again as his 30-yard free-kick cleared the bar before another long-range attempt flew wide of the target.

Northwood kept pushing with the hosts having some more defending to do as Sam Jenkins released Ibie who cut in from the left flank before firing in a shot which was diverted for a corner. And Woods finally got their reward for a strong first-half showing by taking the lead from the penalty spot on 38 mins – Ibie winning possession in the centre circle and accelerating through the home defence before his progress was ended by a challenge from Joe Hicks who was shown a yellow card, the Woods speedster’s spot-kick too strong for Allen despite him getting a hand on it.

The Swans responded well before the break, Jordan Adeyemi firing over while a John Gilbert free-kick into the Northwood box just bounced beyond the stretching Max Blackmore as he looked to apply the finishing touch.
The hosts carried on in a similar vein after the break as Gilbert exchanged passes with substitute Eddie Simon in the box before the danger was cleared by Lomas. But Woods were unable to prevent the scores being levelled just before the hour when sweeper/keeper Allen’s lofted ball picked out Hicks on the edge of the box, his header finding its way to Harry Mills, who swept the ball home.

PHOTOS by James Brown

Jake Tabor replaced Josh Helmore in attack as Northwood made their first substitution. But all the action continued to be in the Woods half as McCorkell saved at the feet of Simon before gathering up the loose ball. However, McCorkell was unable to prevent the Swans completing the turnaround as they took the lead on 65 minutes, substitute Taurean Roberts finishing off an incisive move by crashing the ball into the roof of the net.

Woods gathered themselves and threatened as Tingey’s throw was flicked on by Alexander-Greenaway but there was no blue shirt to latch on at the far post. And Northwood worked themselves into home territory once more as a direct run from Tabor won his team a corner.

Woods had to reorganise on 75 minutes as Rahim Jude-Boyd replaced Ibie, who was struggling after receiving a knock, the substitute moving into the right attacking berth, Tabor shifting left with Jackson going down the middle. But it was the Swans who went close to putting the game to bed as Northwood survived a goalmouth scramble.

The hosts made things a little more difficult for themselves when they were reduced to ten men on 77 minutes after Hicks received a second yellow card for a clumsy challenge on Tabor. And Woods immediately looked to take advantage as Carl Stewart teed up Jackson but his low shot from range was comfortably dealt with by Allen.

Woods were struggling to make the numerical advantage count and their attacking threat was further reduced as the tiring Jackson was replaced by Brandon Kalu. And as the contest moved into stoppage time, Adeyemi almost punished Northwood for some sloppy play as he fired over when well placed.

Northwood had opportunities to get something out of the game during the five minutes of added time, Lomas firing a low shot narrowly wide of the upright before a Tingey throw in the dying seconds led to a game of pinball in the home box – Jenkins and Tabor having shots charged down before Alexander-Greenaway’s header was gratefully gathered by Allen to make sure of the points for the Swans.

REPORT by Robin Piper