Northwood 2 Wealdstone 2

(Northwood win 7-6 on penalties)


Tuesday 21st February 2023


1 Andrew McCorkell    
2 Junior Paiva (44m)    
3 Andy Lomas (46m)    
4 Carl Stewart    
5 Romario Jonas    
6 Harry Gallagher    
7 Shane Cojocarel    
8 Teddy Stacey    
9 Gareth Chendlik    
10 Dan Williams (80m)    
11 Tristan Goodridge (24m)    
12 Parris Mason (80m)    
14 Micah Jackson (24m)    
15 Keagan Cole (44m)    
16 Joe Reade    
17 Brandon Kalu (46m)    

Wealdstone: Khan, Hearn, Kinsella, Harvey (Polatkan 75m), Mundle-Smith, Barrett, Jobakteh (Teweldabrmane 61m), Phillips, Adams, Brown, Babalola (Brookshaw 80m)


The Woods squeezed into the quarter-finals of the last remaining cup competition of the season with a victory in a penalty shoot-out against a youthful Wealdstone side who gave an excellent account of themselves.

With the Stones playing a National League game away at Chesterfield on the same night, they bolstered their side with seven academy players to add to four members of the first-team squad, led by experienced skipper Lewis Kinsella. Northwood had issues of their own with injuries ruling out Sam Jenkins, Luke Tingey, James Gurteen, Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway, Juwon Akintunde, George Nicholas and Sandro Costa while Josh Helmore was also unavailable.

Thankfully the competition allows for guest appearances and in came youngster Tristan Goodridge and the experienced Shane Cojocarel to bolster a starting line-up which saw five changes from the game at Merstham on Saturday.

There was a fairly even start to the half with Wealdstone looking lively up front and Junior Paiva picked up an early yellow card for a mistimed tackle. Dan Williams, on his home debut, tried a couple of efforts from distance but each time the visitors ‘keeper Arun Khan got down well to save and he also survived a cut head which had to be bandaged up. At the same time, Woods injury problems continued with Goodridge having to be replaced by Micah Jackson on 24 minutes.

Two minutes later, the Stones should have been ahead but Andrew McCorkell made a fine double-save and then Paiva blocked a third shot on the line. But on 31 minutes, a well-flighted free-kick from Kinsella was planted straight on the head of Armani Adams who made no mistake to put the visitors 1-0 ahead.

The Woods were disjointed, Jonas was booked for a cynical challenge and then Paiva was stretchered off with an ankle injury – replaced by Keagan Cole just before the break. Jackson tested the keeper once more from a free-kick deep into stoppage-time but the Stones were still ahead at the break.

Brandon Kalu replaced Andy Lomas at half-time as the Woods looked for some way back into the game and on 50 minutes, Cole knocked in an accurate free-kick which saw Gareth Chendlik rise for header which looked destined for the back of the net but somehow flashed wide of the far post.

Just two minutes later it looked game over for Northwood as Kalu clipped an attacker in the act of shooting from close-range and a penalty was awarded along with a red card being issued to leave the Woods with ten men. Kinsella made no mistake from twelve-yards and Wealdstone were now cruising at 2-0.

But the beleaguered Woods raised their game almost immediately and then got a little lucky when Jackson cut in from the right and his shot for goal clipped a Stones defender to loop up and into the top corner of the net, giving Khan no chance of getting to the ball.

Jackson tried again on 69 minutes with a 30-yard effort which had Khan diving to his left to push it round the post and make a fine save. But from the resulting corner, knocked in by Jackson, Williams got up to head home at the far post.

Back level, the Woods had their tails up now and Jackson was again the provider of a cross which found the head of Chendlik but this time his header was blocked for a corner which came to nothing.

With time running out, Cojocarel knocked a ball down to Chendlik just outside the box and the striker’s volley looked like a spectacular winner until it flew just wide of the post. Teddy Stacey was also just wide with a stoppage-time strike and the final whistle came with the scores still level.

The Woods went first in the penalty shoot-out and both sides hit the target with skills and accuracy for the first thirteen spot-kicks! Chendlik, Carl Stewart, Jackson, Cojocarel, Gallagher, Stacey and Mason all netted for the Woods to keep them in front at 7-6 before Elijah Hearn missed the target for the Stones.

Northwood now move into a quarter-final against Spartan South Midlands League side St. Panteleimon next month as they seek to win the Charity Cup for the first-ever time.

REPORT by Alan Evans