Walton & Hersham 1  Northwood 0

Tuesday 18th October 2022


1 Andrew McCorkell    
2 Brandon Kalu    
3 Andy Lomas    
4 Ergys Pepaj (87m)    
5 Luke Tingey ©    
6 James Gurteen    
7 Ronan Hutchins (69m)    
8 Rahim Jude-Boyd    
9 Juwon Akintunde (84m)    
10 Jake Tabor    
11 Carl Stewart    
12 Sandro Costa Dias Fernandes    
14 Josh Helmore (69m)    
15 Dan Daggett    
16 Sam Jenkins (87m)    
17 Joe Reade (84m)    

Liam Allen, Joe Pratley-Jones, Domingos Pires (Jude Molloy 55m), Maliq Morris (Harry Mills 61m), Charlie Nicholas, Joe Hicks, Joshua Millo, Arsen Ujkaj (Max Blackmore 46m), Eddie Simon, Flynn Bolton (John Gilbert 69m), Jordan Adeyemi


NNorthwood’s second visit of the season to the Xcel Sports Hub ended in disappointment once again as they slipped to a narrow defeat in the Velocity League Cup. Both sides made a number of changes to the teams which lined up for their respective league games at the weekend. Woods began with a new look attack with Juwon Akintunde the central striker, behind him a three of Rahim Jude-Boyd, Ronan Hutchins and Jake Tabor. Ergys Pepaj replaced the ever-present Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway in central midfield while Brandon Kalu came in for Sam Jenkins at right-back.

The Swans were quickly into their stride launching a series of swift, incisive moves with both Joshua Millo and Arsen Ujkaj going close. But Woods repelled the early danger and began to make an impression themselves - Jude Boyd exchanging passes with Akintunde but unable to apply the finish in the six-yard box with the ball slightly behind him before the two combined again with Akintunde’s shot deflecting off the upright.

Northwood continued to take the game to the Swans with the overlapping Kalu sending over a deep cross which found Tabor at the far post, but the latter was unable to gather to fashion a strike on goal.  And another swift counter from Woods produced a free-kick on the edge of the home box, Andy Lomas seeing effort deflect onto the crossbar before Pepaj’s half-volley attempt flew narrowly wide.

There were further openings created at both ends before the break as the play flowed from end to end in a open first half – Millo shooting wide for Swans before Kalu did well to block Jordan Adeymi’s shot when well placed, at the other end, keeper Liam Allen dealt with an long-range effort from Hutchins before Lomas closed the half with a clean strike which flew narrowly wide.

Northwood made a change at the break as Sandro Costa Dias Fernandes came on for his debut in place of Tabor in the left-sided attacking role. And Woods quickly worked a good position with Jude-Boyd’s firm shot being dealt with by Allen while visiting keeper Andrew McCorkell was on hand to deny substitute Max Blackmore as the Swans quickly countered.

Woods kept up the momentum and forced the hosts into defending a series of Luke Tingey throws into their box with James Gurteen’s header which flew narrowly over the back post, the closest the visitors came to breaking the deadlock.

The Swans utilised four of the allotted five substitutions available to them as the contest passed the hour mark while Hutchins made way for Josh Helmore as Woods looked to freshen up the attack, the latter slotting in behind Akintunde.

Northwood were the next to threaten as Akintunde latched onto Carl Stewart’s defence-splitting pass, but Allen was quickly out to deny the Wood’s number 9.

However, it was the hosts who finally broke the deadlock on 81 minutes, Woods carelessly squandering possession in the Swans half, allowing the Swans to break quickly with Adeyemi firing a low shot through the legs of Gurteen which nestled in the far corner of the Northwood net.

And the Swans went close to adding a second moments later, but Kalu executed a perfectly timed last-ditch tackle to deny Millo.

Woods made a couple more substitutions as Joe Reade and Jenkins replaced Akintunde and Pepaj. But time was running out for the visitors whose level had dropped off during the latter stages, McCorkell having to scramble back to prevent Kalu’s mis-directed back pass from gifting the hosts another goal.

Northwood had one last chance to force a penalty shoot-out as they won a corner deep into added time and with everyone up including McCorkell, the ball found its way to Sandro whose snatched shot flew well wide of the target as the referee called an end to proceedings.

REPORT by Robin Piper