Woods have something to shout about!!
  Tuesday 25th February 2020

Isthmian League
South Central

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Robin Piper


Northwood 1
Marlow 0

1 Jamie Stephens  
2 Sam Jenkins (39m)  
3 Dave Thomas ©  
4 Marcelo Graca  
5 Mark Kirby  
6 Haluna Masembe  
7 Radu Stefanoaica  
8 Luke Jones (58m)  
9 Romario Hart  
10 Lucas Toti  
11 Eric Lopes (69m)  
12 Festus Lori  
14 Jaden Sharman (39m)  
15 Yiannis
Constantinou (58m)
16 Excellence
Muhemba (69m)
17 Craig Carby  
MARLOW: Phil Brown, Evans Lamboh (Kelvin Bossman 61m), Isaac Olorunfemi, Jay Welch (Sanchez Parkes 80m), Adam Richards , Alex Salmon, Jordan Edwards, Jordan Brown, Kameron English, Ashleigh Artwell (Junaid Bell 33m), Harry McDonnell  

Northwood finally had something to shout about as they put an end to their dreadful run of 12 consecutive losses in all competitions with a well-deserved win over mid-table Marlow to move off the bottom of the table.

Manager Rob Ursell  brought Marcelo Graca and Lucas Toti back into the Woods midfield while there was a new look to the defence with experienced Chesham United loanee Mark Kirby partnering new signing Haluna Masembe in the centre, with skipper Dave Thomas switching to left-back. And there was a familiar starter at right-back with last season’s ‘Manager’s Player of the Year’ Sam Jenkins returning on another dual registration arrangement with Chesham United.

Both sides struggled to find their rhythm in the early stages, Jordan Brown scooping a shot over the bar for the Blues following a corner and Eric Lopes firing wide with a shot on the turn for Northwood in a tentative start to proceedings.

Woods gradually settled and they began to ask questions of the Marlow defence with Jenkins showing the home fans what they had been missing this season with a number of forays down the right flank. One Jenkins run ended with a shot being blocked for a corner while another slick move saw the right-back combining with Romario Hart, who played  in Lopes but he lifted his shot over from a good position.

However, Woods weren’t having it all their own way as the lively Kamaron English was proving a threat for the visitors. Northwood goalkeeper Jamie Stephens pulled off a double save to deny English as the latter’s low shot took a nasty bobble in front of the ex-Barnet stopper before the Marlow winger shot wide from the edge of the box following a jinking run.

But it was Northwood who broke the deadlock on 32 minutes as Lopes  had his corner-kick returned to him before picking out Hart whose near-post header was too strong for Marlow keeper Phil Brown.

Woods suffered an injury blow as Jenkins tweaked his knee in a block tackle and had to make way for Jaden Sharman on 39 minutes, with the substitute slotting in at left-back and Thomas switching to right full-back.

The loss of Jenkins might have interrupted Woods’ momentum as  half-time approached but the hosts went close to adding before the break. Hart’s run and cross just evaded Radu Stefanoaica, who was enjoying another good game following Saturday’s impressive debut.

Northwood resumed in a similar vein following the restart as Lopes created an opening for Stefanoaica but the latter saw his shot deflected behind for a corner.

The match was warming up nicely as Woods went in search of a crucial second goal while the Blues looked for a way into the contest. Stephens was on hand to deal with an effort from former Wood Issac Olorunfemi while Masembe produced a timely interception to block Junaid Bell’s close range shot. At the other end, a delightful Luke Jones through-ball played in Stefanoaica whose shot was blocked by the on-rushing Brown.

Yiannis Constantinou was introduced for Jones just before the hour-mark as Northwood looked to put the game beyond Marlow and they went close again as the Blues defence failed to deal with a Lopes corner, Hart  beating Brown to the loose ball but sending his flicked header narrowly wide of the upright.

Lopes was the next to threaten for Woods following good work from Sharman as his cross-shot skimmed the Marlow crossbar.

Woods had some defending to do as Marlow renewed their efforts to get something out of the game but despite seeing plenty of the ball, the Blues were struggling to make much of an impression against a resolute Northwood backline.

Lopes was replaced by Excel Muhemba with 20 minutes left on the clock as Woods sought fresh legs up top for the final stages. And Northwood continued to look fairly comfortable as supporters began to nervously check their watches in the hope of witnessing that long awaited win.

Marlow were gradually running out of ideas and despite a scare as English found space to fire in a shot which was dealt with by Stephens, Woods were able to negotiate the remaining  minutes without serious drama before the final whistle was greeted with both relief and joy by players and supporters.