Woods' relegation dog fight continues
  Saturday 1st February 2020

Isthmian League
South Central

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Alon Farrow   
James Brown


Northwood 1
Chertsey Town 4

1 Chris Rackley  
2 Enoch Ekongo  
3 Mack Miskin  
4 Charlie Malin  
5 Jordan Payne  
6 Dominic Rhone  
7 Max Holland (82m)  
8 Charlie Hayford ©  
9 Craig Mathieson (56m)  
10 Eric Lopes  
11 Joakim Ehui (74m)  
12 Azeez Alabi  
14 Tristan Noel  
15 Festus Lori (82m)  
16 Marley Hamilton (56m)  
17 Samuel Adetiba (74m)  
CHERTSEY: Nicholas Jupp, Lewis Jackson, Mason Welch-Turner, Kevin Maclaren, Matthew Drage, Quincy Rowe, Lubomir Guentchev (Andrew Crossley 84m), Casey Maclaren, Jake Baxter, Scott Day (Ashley Lodge 78m), Jonathan Hippolyte (Samuel Murphy 69m)  

Northwood’s poor form continues after another dire performance against the visitors Chertsey Town. Eric Lopes’ strike for the Woods was a mere consolation to the away side’s four goals.

Caretaker managers John Nolan and Dave Lawrence made a handful of changes from Jamie Leacock’s last game in charge, with Max Holland, Craig Mathieson (first start) and Joakim Ehui all coming into the starting eleven. The latter making his second full debut for Northwood, after a previous spell with the club.

The home side started the match poorly. Sloppy passes and poor defending lead to the opening goal in the 14th minute. Curfews’ rangy winger Jonathan Hippolyte produced a smart off the ball run to lose his marker Enock Ekongo, finishing comfortably after getting on the end of a Jake Baxter low-driven cross.

After being at fault for the first goal Ekongo did not let his head drop, his effort from 25-yards flew inches wide of the post. Although Northwood were starting to get a foothold in the game, their right-hand side was constantly being exploited by the directness of Hippolyte. His pass across goal set up Scott Day to shoot from two-yards out, but it was the feet of Chris Rackley that prevented an almost certain goal.

Down the other end of the pitch, eventual goal scorer Lopes, was the only Woods attacker causing problems for the Curfews defence. What could have been a goalscoring opportunity, a quick counter, led by a weaving dribble run from aforementioned Lopes, fizzled out after he held onto the ball for too long.

Towards the back-end of the first half, Northwood were caught sleeping on the ball not once but twice, with the second mistake proving costly. Holland controlled poorly, letting Lewis Jackson nick the ball off him and produce a thunderbolt strike that beat Rackley all ends up.

The second half started like the first ended, dominant from Chertsey. A heroic goal line clearing header from Dominic Rhone prevented the visitors from going even further ahead.

Against the run of play it looked like Northwood had got themselves back into the game. Lopes got on the end of a Mathieson flick-on to calmly slot into the net.

But as the old cliché goes, “you’re always most vulnerable right after scoring.” No more than one minute after the home side got one back, they conceded again, with Baxter scoring for the visitors.

Going into the latter stages of the match, temperatures started to rise. With both sides being involved in petty scraps.

And it was Chertsey who delivered the knockout blow, although it looked like Northwood had already thrown in the towel. Scott Day saw his deflected shot wrong-foot Rackley and nestle into the back of the net.

The relegation dog fight continues.