NORTHWOOD FC   Saturday 26th January 2019   WESTFIELD FC

Bostik League South Central

  Northwood 1  Westfield 3   

Charles 58

Hayden 45, Watson 65,
Nkoma 82

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Luke Sheldrick     1 Gary Ross
2 Dan Newton     2 Jack Dean
3 Miguel Matos     3 Julius Mngadi
4 Kieran Asumadu-Sakyi (71m)     4 Arsen Ujkaj
5 Imran Uche     5 Gregory Hayden
6 Jon Munday ©      6 Dale Burnham
7 Dan Pett     7 Tinashe Nkoma
8 Chris Gosling     8 Louie Downey (72m)
9 Kweku Lucan (74m)     9 Antonios Kozakis (46m)
10 Jabir Laraba (68m)     10 George Frith (63m)
11 Tremayne Charles     11 Dylan Cascoe
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Sam Jenkins     12 Matt Steer
14 Kyran Worrell (74m)     14 Aaron Watson (63m)
15 Leigh Stevens (71m)     15 Adam Bellmaine
16 Andrew Ofosu (68m)     16 Graeme Purdy (46m)
17 Zaied Sabti     17 Harry Carter (72m)


  Referee: Alan Cresswell; Assts: Martyn Mitchell & Matthew Hopton      
  REPORT by Robin Piper   PHOTOS by James Brown  



Northwood's poor home form continued as they slipped to a third straight defeat at The Acretweed against play-off chasing Westfield.

The visitors came into the match looking for their fifth league win on the spin and Woods' manager Scott Dash looked to counter the attacking threat by recalling Dan Newton at right-back in place of the unlucky Sam Jenkins. There was an enforced change in central defence with Jonathan Munday assuming the captain's armband on his return to the starting line-up as a replacement for the unavailable Carl Pearce, while midfielder Kieran Asumadu-Sakyi came in for the suspended Yahya El-Khabouche.

Westfield enjoyed the better of the early exchanges as they forced a couple of corners, with keeper Luke Sheldrick called upon to deny Greg Hayden and Dale Burnham. Northwood were struggling to reproduce the flowing football of the previous week's win at Ware and were restricted to long-range efforts from Newton and Kweku Lucan while Sheldrick was tested once again as he dealt with low shot from Antonios Kozakis following another corner.

However, as the game neared the half-hour mark Woods began to grow into the contest and worked themselves into a couple of useful positions, with Chris Gosling firing wide when well placed.

Westfield maintained their attacking impetus with Kozakis once again drawing a save from Sheldrick while the speedy duo of Tinashe Nkoma and Dylan Casco were a constant threat down both wings, the former seeing a low shot hit the back stanchion of the Northwood goal.

At the other end, Dan Pett created a couple of openings for the hosts as his cross was headed wide by Lucan before a clever through-ball found Jabir Laraba who was unable to get sufficient purchase on his shot. But Northwood's fallibility at defending corners was in evidence again as they conceded on the stroke of half-time, Greg Hayden forcing the ball home to give Westfield the lead in stoppage time.

Woods came out strongly after the break with Lucan not far away with a 25-yard effort, before Imran Uche saw his header tipped over by 'keeper Gary Ross following Gosling's driven free-kick. And Gosling was the creator once more as his corner found Uche, who had his shot cleared off the line while Tremayne Charles went close with a long-range free-kick.

Westfield reminded Northwood of their attacking threat as a quick break saw Nkoma get beyond the home defence but he shot into the arms of Sheldrick. But it was Northwood who deservedly drew level on 58 minutes through Tremayne Charles with his first goal for the club as he applied the finish to a slick move involving Miguel Matos and Gosling.

Northwood went close to taking the lead as Charles turned provider as he set up Uche whose shot on the turn was saved by Ross. And  the visitors responded with another quick counter-attack which saw Sheldrick produce a point-blank save to deny Cascoe. But the Woods custodian was left helpless as Cascoe's low cross found substitute Aaron Watson, who converted with ease to restore Westfield's lead on 64 minutes.

Woods utilised all their substitutes as they sought a way back into the contest, Andrew Ofosu and Kyran Worrell being added to the attack with Laraba and Lucan making way while Leigh Stevens brought fresh legs to the midfield in place of Asumadu-Sakyi.

Stevens almost made an immediate impact as he shot narrowly wide, but Woods had the stuffing taken out of them as Nkoma latched onto a through-ball before delivering an emphatic finish into the far corner to extend the visitor's lead with eight minutes left on the clock.

Northwood continued to press for some consolation, with Worrell having a shot saved before Pett stabbed a shot wide. But it wasn't to be for the Woods, who were left to reflect on another defeat at The Acretweed as the curtain came down on a topsy-turvy January.