Woods miss opportunity to increase gap
  Tuesday 10th March 2020

Isthmian League
South Central





Robin Piper   
James Brown


Staines Town 1
Northwood 1

1 Tyla Dickinson  
2 Luke Jones  
3 Jaden Sharman (56m)  
4 Haluna Masembe  
5 Craig Carby  
6 Dave Thomas ©   
7 Gui Monti  
8 Marcelo Graca  
9 Romario Hart (73m)  
10 Lucas Toti  
11 Eric Lopes (61m)  
12 Excel Muhemba (73m)  
14 Ahmed Elsahib (56m)  
15 David Castanho (61m)  
16 Tristan Noel  
17 Koakim Ehui  
STAINES: Jacob Adams, Finlay Titchmarsh, Frederick Hill, Andrew Blake , Matthew Males , Dquame Copeland, Jamie Splatt , Ryan Richefond, Tayo Oyebola, Marcel Barrington (Levi Phillips 81m), Simon Offei (KJ Osu 55m)  

Northwood missed the opportunity to open up a nine point gap on their bottom-placed opponents as they had to settle for a draw against Staines Town, who finished the game with eight men following  three red cards.

There were a couple of changes to the Woods team that beat Ashford Town on Saturday. Eric Lopes came back in for Radu Stefanoaica who failed to shake off his ankle injury, and there was a debut for Guilherme Monti, who has been playing at Spartan Midlands Division one outfit St. Panteleimon, as a replacement for Mihai-Andrei Chiriac.

Northwood  started well on a lumpy surface which did well to beat the recent heavy rain and they weren't far away with a Monti free-kick from the edge of the box.

The contest had an open feel with play switching from end to end, Woods keeper Tyla Dickinson coping comfortably  with efforts from Ibitayo Oyebola and Afriyie Offei Gyimaha before Romario Hart's delightful ball inside the fullback released Luke Jones who might have taken the ball on further before unleashing a shot over the Swans' crossbar.

New Staines signing Marcel Barrington was beginning to show in attack and he should have opened the scoring as his close range shot rebounded of the crossbar after the lively Oyebola created the opening.

The hosts were beginning to gain control around the 30 minute mark as they launched a series of attacks with Finlay Titchmarsh  going close while Dquame Copeland and Oyebola  headed over from corners.

But Northwood stood firm, with Craig Carby in particular enjoying a fine game in the defensive back three. And they began to get back on the front foot as Lopes shot narrowly wide before Jones played in Hart who twisted and turned his way into the box but saw his effort blocked by keeper Jacob Adams as he delayed his shot.

Both sides had further chances before the end of an entertaining first period. Barrington's attempted lob was gathered by Dickinson before the latter turned provider for Oyebola who headed over for the Swans while Lopes might have done better from a good position after a neat lay-off from Hart.

Woods were quickly on the offensive upon the resumption and they broke the deadlock with a slick move on 49 minutes as Lucas Toti released Jones down the right flank and his low cross was met by Lopes who slid the ball home for his seventh goal of the campaign.

Swans' task was made harder on 52 minutes when Matthew Males was given his marching orders when he was deemed to be the last man as he impeded Hart.

Woods introduced another debutant in David Castanho on the hour as a replacement for Lopes and the visitors threatened further goals as Hart and Monti went close.

Hart made way for Excel Muhemba on 73 minutes, but two minutes later Staines were back in the contest as Oyebola crashed the ball into the roof of the net after Dickinson had fumbled a corner with more than a hint of a foul on the Woods keeper.

Northwood looked to regain the initiative, Castanho firing over from distance while Toti shot wide before Adam parried another effort from the Brazilian.

With the game moving into stoppage time, Staines suffered  their second dismissal as Andrew Blake hauled back Muhemba.

And confusion reigned seconds later as Swans' Jamie Splatt was booked for leaving and returning to the pitch without permission during a delayed substitution, the referee finally brandishing a red card after he remembered  the same player had already been booked. The game then restarted with the intended substitute illegally on the pitch before he was waved off by the referee. Confused!

Unfortunately, Woods were running out of time and a Monti free-kick from the edge of the box was the last opportunity  that they failed to grasp as the ball flew harmlessly  over the woodwork to bring the curtain down on an eventful evening.