NORTHWOOD FC   Saturday 11th August 2018   TOOTING & M.UTD. FC

Bostik League South Central

  Northwood 4  Tooting & M. Utd. 3   

Ewington 20, 76, 89
Pearce 79

Dunn 25, Edgeworth 43
Bassett 55

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Luke Sheldrick     1 Liam Sallis
2 Karl Stevenson     2 Danny Bassett
3 Miguel Matos     3 Peter Wedgeworth
4 Wilson Chingoka (74m)     4 Sol Patterson-Bohner
5 Sam Tring     5 Lexus Beeden (86m)
6 Carl Pearce ©      6 Quincy Rowe
7 Jerome Slew     7 Dominic Morgan-Griffiths
8 Luke Jupp (65m)     8 Kadeem Ajeon
9 Ben Pattie     9 Billy Dunn
10 James Ewington     10 Jordan Wilson (46m)
11 Emmanuel Melford-Rowe
    11 Isaiah Jones (80m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Kweku Conrad-Lucan (68m)      12 Ollie Bennett (46m)
14 Matt Cooper (74m)      14 Reece Cave
15 Hakim Nyariki (65m)      15 Elijah Simpson (80m)
16 Bradley Marriott     16 Anis Nuur
17 Caolan Doyle     17 Serg Zamara (86m)


  Referee: Paul Johnson; Assistants: Gary Connell & Laurentiu Hantea      
  REPORT by Robin Piper   PHOTOS by Clive Whitehead  


New-look Northwood’s league campaign got off to a victorious start as Dean Barker’s men staged a sensational comeback to stun pre-season promotion favourites Tooting & Mitcham. Woods included two midweek signings in the starting line-up with the returning Sam Tring partnering Carl Pearce in central defence while Luke Jupp partnered Wilson Chingoka in the middle of the park.

The Terrors settled well and looked the more threatening in the early stages, with their wing-backs finding plenty of space down both flanks, Billy Dunn going close with a rasping shot after good work from Danny Bassett.
But it was Woods who opened the scoring against the run of play as James Ewington applied a neat finish on 20 minutes to continue the  goal scoring form he displayed during the pre-season campaign.

The visitors looked for a quick response and Northwood’s lead proved to be short-lived as they lost possession in midfield, allowing Isiah Jones to beat a possible offside flag and set up Dunn, who despatched the ball beyond goalkeeper Luke Sheldrick for the equalising goal on 25 minutes.

Northwood were struggling to impose themselves and were restricted to long range efforts from Wilson Chingoka and Ben Pattie as the Terrors’ marauding wing-backs continued to cause concern, and Isiah Jones went close with a curling effort before the overlapping Bassett’s shot was saved by the legs of Sheldrick.

And the Terrors deservedly took the lead on 43 minutes as Jerome Slew got in a bit of a tangle as he looked to clear the loose ball, Peter Wedgeworth being presented with the easiest of chances as he converted from close range. Northwood had a chance to regain parity with the final kick of the first half as Pattie’s corner found its way to Ewington but the Woods’ goalscorer scooped his effort over the crossbar.

Woods came out for the second period in positive fashion and they immediately threatened as Emmanuel Melford-Rowe had a good shout for a penalty award turned down after he appeared to be bundled over. The Terrors might have considered themselves a little lucky, and they looked to make the most of their good fortune as the increasingly dangerous Jones shot narrowly wide. At the other end, Northwood left-back Miguel Matos made a strong run into Tooting territory before sending his shot wide of the target.

Woods were beginning to make more of an impression and working themselves into some useful positions. However, they were dealt a cruel blow as they lost possession in the visitors’ half which lead to Bassett applying an emphatic finish to a swift counter-attack to extend the Terrors’ lead on 55 minutes. Northwood were rattled and their frustrations resulted in bookings for Melford-Rowe and Chingoka as a way back into the game looked increasingly unlikely.

Manager Barker utilised all his substitutions as he looked to engineer a Northwood recovery, Hakim Nyariki, Kweku Conrad-Lucan and Matt Cooper replacing Jupp, Melford-Rowe and Chingoka respectively, but Dunn almost put the game completely beyond Woods’ reach as his fiercely struck free-kick hit a back stanchion.

However, Northwood  threw themselves a lifeline when substitutes Nyariki and Lucan combined to create an opportunity for Ewington, who sneaked the ball home at the far post to give the hosts hope on 76 minutes. And things got even better for Northwood three minutes later as Terrors’ goalkeeper Liam Sallis made a hash of Pattie’s lofted free-kick, skipper Carl Pearce the first to react as he gleefully headed home to restore parity.

Woods had engineered an amazing turnaround to leave the visitors shell-shocked, and now went in search of an unlikely victory. And another Pattie free-kick lead to further confusion in the Tooting box which resulted in Ewington getting the final touch to complete his hat-trick and the Northwood recovery, and signal wild celebrations with a minute of normal time left on the clock.

Northwood were faced with a nervous few minutes as they looked to negotiate the ensuing stoppage time. But they coped admirably, defending a dangerous free-kick and a long range volley from substitute Ollie Bennett to secure a remarkable win and make it the perfect start for Barker and his troops.

WoodsTV post-match interviews: Dean Barker    James Ewington