FC ROMANIA   Saturday 18th August 2018   NORTHWOOD FC

Bostik League South Central

  FC Romania 1  Northwood 3  

Ghinea 43

Slew 23, 80,
Ewington 87

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Adrian Darabant     1 Luke Sheldrick
2 Sergiu Maximov     2 Karl Stevenson
3 Cosmin Sandu     3 Miguel Matos
4 Felix Lupu     4 Hakim Nyariki
5 Gabriel Ghinea (60m)     5 Sam Tring
6 Aurelian Tirca     6 Carl Pearce © (51m)
7 Andrian Balsanu     7 Kweku Conrad-Lucan (62m)
8 George Taban     8 Wilson Chingoka
9 Toby Cleaver (53m)     9 Ben Pattie (80m)
10 Maradona Chiriac (79m)     10 James Ewington
11 Andrei Baciu     11 Jorome Slew
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Robert Rogojina     12 Emmanuel Melford-Rowe (62m)
14 Mihai Dinu (60m)     14 Tom Massey (51m)
15 Vladut Sighiartau (53m)     15 Matt Cooper
16 Mihai Botosan (79m)     16 Ned Clarke
17 -     17 Chris Gosling (80m)



Referee: Craig Pullen; Assistants: Doug Lawson & Sam Carrington



  REPORT by Alan Evans   PHOTOS by James Brown  



Northwood notched two late goals to spoil the party for FC Romania as the home side played their first-ever game at Step 4 in their short history. It makes it two wins from two for new manager Dean Barker’s fresh-look side who have hit the ground running and sit second in the fledgling league table.

Barker made a couple of changes to the starting line-up with Kweku-Conrad Lucan replacing Emmanuel Melford-Rowe while Hakim Nyariki came in for the injured Luke Jupp to team up with fellow teenager Wilson Chingoka in central midfield. New signing Ned Clarke joined Chris Gosling and Tom Massey for their first appearances on the bench.

FC Romania had been promoted late in the summer having finished third in the Essex Senior League and they lined up in the colours of their country’s flag – Yellow, Blue and Red – with the Woods making their first use of their new Royal Blue change colours – though with white shorts to avoid a clash with their opponents.

And it was no surprise to see the home side begin at a fast pace and with some crisp passing that saw them force a series of corners through the skills of Maradona Chiriac without really threatening a goal. The closest they came was a shot from skipper George Taban that was always flying high. But on nine minutes, with their first attack, the Woods could have been in front. Sam Tring’s excellent ball from the back put Ben Pattie in on goal but he skied his shot and the chance was gone.

Karl Stevenson picked up an early booking for a foul on Felix Lupu but Northwood gradually worked their way into the game and a Pattie free-kick from out wide after 17 minutes almost caught out goalkeeper Adrian Darabant who did well to keep it out with a dive to his left.

Then, on 24 minutes the Woods were in front. Chingoka played an excellent ball from deep in his own half which found Jorome Slew out wide on the left. He cut in across the penalty-area, avoiding a series of half-hearted challenges before powering a shot which flew into the top corner to give Darabant no chance.

FC Romania responded well though and continued to look for openings. Awarded a free-kick just outside the box for a harsh handball against Chingoka, Lupu hit his shot fiercely and not far wide of the goal. And the home side could have been level after 41 minutes after a good ball to the far post saw Sergiu Maximov meet it with a first-time header which flew straight at goalkeeper Luke Sheldrick.

Just a minute later Maximov was involved again as he travelled with the ball into the box and flew theatrically into the air under a challenge from Miguel Lopes de Matos. Normally that sort of reaction would see a Match Official wave away penalty claims whether there was contact or not but not on this occasion. The Referee pointed to the spot and Gabriel Ghinea made FC Romania history by emphatically dispatching his kick into the top corner.
The Woods tried to rally before the break but Nyariki’s shot on the turn following a long-throw from Stevenson, flew well wide.

Northwood started the second-half well and were awarded a free-kick of their own just outside the box on 48 minutes. Pattie fired his shot round the wall and the ‘keeper did well to keep it out. Slew was quickest to the rebound but again Darabant blocked his effort and the ball was cleared.

Skipper Carl Pearce limped off with a leg injury after 55 minutes with Tom Massey coming on for his Woods debut and five minutes later FC Romania went close as Chiriac made space for a low shot which Sheldrick saved well low down by the post. It proved to be the home side’s last effort on goal.

Pattie put in a good cross after 63 minutes which found Kweku Lucan at the far post but his finish lacked composure and flew over. He was soon replaced by Melford-Rowe who started to make inroads down the right flank, winning a series of free-kicks and the Woods began to control the game as FC Romania appeared to flag a little.

But it was after 83 minutes that Northwood finally regained the lead and it was a long, diagonal ball from Stevenson that caused the damage. It dropped over the attempted clearance of the full-back and Slew was in with a neat chip over the ‘keeper that dropped in for his second goal of the game.

It got better for the Woods four minutes later when Melford-Rowe played a square ball that found James Ewington, who pounced to follow-up his opening-day hat-trick with the killer goal in this one.