Woods bounce back with impressive win
  Saturday 30th November 2019

Isthmian League
South Central






Robin Piper   
James Brown


Harlow Town 1
Northwood 2

1 Joe Ringer  
2 Patrick Campbell  
3 Azeez Alibi  
4 Charlie Malin  
5 Ethan Flanagan  
6 Gabriel Piorkowski  
7 Luke Holness  
8 Charlie Hayford ©  
9 Harry Lodovica (79m)  
10 Eric Lopes  
11 Tyrone Pink  
12 Festus Lori  
14 Patrick Akwasi-Bronyan (79m)  
15 Yashma Romeo  
16 -  
17 -  
HARLOW: Josh Bexon, Oliver Finch (Christian Adu Gyamfi 81m), Yanick Kissi, Hugo Odogwu Atkinson, Miles Mitchell-Nelson, Samson Doherty, Terrell Egbri, Elwin Larty (De'juane Taylor-Crossdale), Tayo Oyebola , Amar Lewis, Tiannie Wilson  

Northwood bounced back from the previous week’s humiliating 6-1 defeat with an impressive win over the fourth-placed Hawks on the 3G pitch at The Harlow Arena. Manager Jamie Leacock chose to go with a three-man backline of Patrick Campbell, Ethan Flanagan and Azeez Alibi, while there was a welcome return for midfielder Gabriel Piorkowski. There was a also a debut in midfield for new signing Charlie Malin following his switch from Bedfont Sports.

Woods started brightly as they looked to put last week’s disappointment behind them and Harry Lodovica wasn’t far away with a long range effort, before Charlie Hayford was denied by keeper Josh Bexon after the Northwood playmaker was picked out by Tyrone Pink.

Harlow’s strategy was clear as they looked to make an impact with their direct approach and Woods were indebted to Alabi as he executed a perfectly timed last-ditch tackle to deny the lively Tayo Oyebola. At the other end, Hayford’s cross found Pink with time and space in the box but his shot lacked the power to seriously trouble Bexon.

Play continued to flow from end to end in an entertaining opening quarter, Joe Ringer denying Tiannie Wilson with his feet before gathering another effort from the Harlow winger while Lodovica’s ball found Luke Holness whose shot on the turn was blocked in the six-yard box.

Woods were more than holding their own, with debutant Malin making an impression in the middle of the park and they threatened again as Pink saw his low shot turned onto the upright by Bexon, before the former’s hanging cross fell to Hayford, whose shot was deflected for a corner.

The resulting set-play led to Woods taking a deserved lead on 22 minutes as the ball came out to Eric Lopes just beyond the angle of the box, and he despatched a delightful curling shot into the far corner for his second Northwood goal.

And things got even better for Woods  two minutes later as they extended their lead following another Hayford corner, Flanagan powering a header beyond Bexon for his second goal in Northwood colours. Buoyant Woods looked to add to their tally as Lopes was denied another goal as Bexon was down quickly to deal with the shot after more good work from Hayford.

The Hawks looked to respond and Northwood had some defending to do before the half-time break, Ringer dealing with a Samson Doherty free-kick, Alabi denying Oyebola once again with a timely tackle before the latter hooked narrowly wide after he latched onto a free-kick to the far post.

Northwood knew they could expect a renewed response from Harlow after the break, and the hosts introduced De’Jaune Taylor-Crossdale as they looked for a way back into the game, with Piorkowski dropping back to deal with the threat. And the substitution had the desired effect as Taylor-Crossdale supplied the cross which was headed home by Oyebola to reduce the arrears three minutes into the second-half.

The Hawks kept up the pressure on Northwood, with Terrell Egbri sending a half-volley narrowly over the bar before Ringer produced a smart save to deny Wilson.

While the hosts were enjoying plenty of possession, Woods were working hard to deny Harlow any real clear-cut chances. And after soaking up the pressure, Northwood asked  questions of the Hawks as Flanagan went close with another header from a Hayford corner, while Malin saw a shot deflected wide.

Patrick Akwasi-Bronyan was introduced for Lodovica on 78 minutes as Woods looked to negotiate the latter stages of the contest. And  Harlow continued to be frustrated by Northwood and resorted to the route one approach as they grew increasingly desperate.

Woods were closing in on a well-deserved victory but they had to defend a corner and a long throw into the danger area as the two minutes’ added time indicated by the referee turned into a nervous four minutes.

But the Northwood defence stood firm and Leacock and his men were able to celebrate a crucial win, their third in four league games, which takes them up a couple of places and four points clear of F.C. Romania  and Ashford Town who continue to occupy the bottom two places.