Northwood 2  Westfield 1

Saturday 25th March 2023


1 Andrew McCorkell    
2 James Gurteen    
3 Andy Lomas    
4 Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway    
5 Luke Tingey ©    
6 Romario Jonas (76m)    
7 Shane Cojocarel (84m)    
8 Teddy Stacey    
9 Josh Helmore    
10 Dan Williams (88m)    
11 Micah Jackson    
12 Junior Paiva (76m)    
14 Gareth Chendlik    
15 Keagan Cole    
16 Carl Stewart (84m)    
17 Jack Smith (88m)    

Westfield: Sonny Wheeler, Ali Mansaray, George Wallace, John Adebiyi, Luke Elliott, Niran Butler, Marcio Magalhaes-Neves, Alfie Huckle (Andrew Crossley 58m), Jake Baxter, Didi Ndombe , Johnny Efedje (Florian Envoudou Ada 78m)


Northwood got their play-off drive back on track as they put the previous week’s disappointing result at Thatcham behind them to edge past a useful Westfield outfit.

There were a number of changes to Woods’ starting eleven, Josh Helmore replacing Gareth Chendlik in attack while Shane Cojocarel returned at the expense of Carl Stewart. There were also changes in defence with James Gurteen and Romario Jonas starting in place of Keagan Cole and the suspended Harry Gallagher while Junior Pavia made way for Micah Jackson at right wing-back.

Northwood enjoyed a positive start with Helmore heading narrowly over after Gurteen had helped on a Luke Tingey throw into the danger area before Dan Williams saw his header palmed away by goalkeeper Sonny Wheeler after latching onto an Andy Lomas cross.

Woods continued to make all the early running and Cojocarel was the next to go close as he made space before releasing a curling shot which narrowly cleared the Westfield crossbar while Jackson had a shot charged down in the box.

The Field briefly threatened as Didi N’Dombe was afforded room to manufacture a shot which landed on the roof of the Northwood net. But Woods were now moving the ball about with a confidence which has been rarely seen in recent weeks as a couple of slick attacks saw Teddy Stacey’s low cross gathered by Wheeler with Helmore waiting to pounce before Jackson latched onto a Williams flick-on but dragged his shot wide of the far post when well placed.

The visitors were beginning to find some attacking rhythm as Andrew McCorkell was called into action as he dealt with a Jake Baxter effort before the Woods keeper kept out a shot from the lively Marcio Neves.

But Northwood continued to look dangerous with Wheeler saving bravely at the feet of Helmore after the latter looked to latch onto Cojocarel’s slide rule pass. And Woods opened the scoring on 37 minutes as Williams combined with Helmore before sending over a deep cross which was pulled back by Jackson into the path of Cojocarel who applied the finish for his second goal in Northwood colours.

Woods had a wonderful opportunity to extend their lead as Williams broke clear of the Field defence but he was denied by the advancing Wheeler who capped off a fine first half with a block to keep the deficit down to a single goal going into the halftime break.

Westfield came out strongly after the break and they should have drawn level as Baxter set up N’Dombe but he blazed over with the goal at his mercy. But the Field kept the pressure as both Alfie Huckle and John Adebiyi tried their luck from distance.

Woods briefly threatened as Williams fired a cross-shot narrowly over. But the visitors were soon back on the front foot and they got their reward for their improved second half showing as they restored parity from the penalty spot on the hour through Baxter after a Jonas trip on Neves.

Northwood looked to respond and they worked the ball through to Jackson on the edge of the box and his curling effort flew narrowly wide of the far post while at the other end, McCorkell dealt with a freekick from substitute Andrew Crossley.

But it was Northwood who got their noses back in front with 16 minutes left on the clock as Jackson unleashed a low, angled shot from 25-yards which proved too strong for Wheeler. Woods made a change as Jonas made way for Junior Pavia. But before the substitute had a chance to get into the game he was receiving his marching orders along with Westfield’s N’Dombe after the latter took exception to Pavia’s questionable challenge.

Carl Stewart was introduced for Cojocarel as Northwood looked to shore things up with 10 minutes remaining. But the Field managed to carve out a couple of opportunities in the closing minutes as Baxter broke away before dragging his shot wide while the same player was off target again with a long-range attempt.

Northwood made a further change as the contest entered five minutes of added time with Jack Smith replacing Williams for his home debut. But there were to be no further scares for the hosts who saw the game out to further strengthen their position in the race for the play-offs.

REPORT by Robin Piper