First victory for the Woods
  Tuesday 17th September 2019

Isthmian League
South Central

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Robin Piper   
James Brown


Northwood 3
Staines Town 1

1 James Hoskins  
2 Patrick Campbell  
3 Matt Cooper  
4 Jaiden Irish  
5 Liam McCrohan  
6 Andrew Tirivanhu  
7 Harry Lodovica (78m)  
8 Charlie Hayford  
9 Alex Witham (55m)  
10 Dan Pett (68m)  
11 Kweku Lucan  
12 Karl Stevenson  
14 Kingsley Eshun (55m)  
15 Luke Holness (78m)  
16 Miguel Matos  
17 Chris Gosling (68m)  
STAINES: Denzel Gerrar, Jean-Luc Kinsaba-Musi, Joey Taylor, Stefan Wright (Malaki Coker 45m), Samuel Amure, Antonio Simeone, Ashley Lodge, Dara Dada-Anite, Scott Walker (Maxwell Ndah 64m), Mahrez Bettache, Che Krabbendam  

Northwood achieved their first league win of the season at the sixth attempt with a deserved win over fellow strugglers Staines Town. Woods were looking to overcome their worst start to a season since they lost their opening five Southern Premier games back in 2005. There were a couple of changes to the team, with recent signing Patrick Campbell coming in for Karl Stevenson at right-back while midfielder Dan Pett was given his first start of the season in place of the injured Louis Bircham.

Northwood were quickly into their stride, playing with a verve and tempo which had the Swans on the backfoot and the lively Kweku Lucan wasn’t far away with a confident strike from distance. And Lucan was central to Northwood taking an 11th minute lead, latching onto a long ball from the back and playing in skipper Alex Witham who finished with aplomb.

Staines looked to hit back and launched a series of attacks with the dangerous Che Krabbendam creating  an opening for Scott Walker whose shot was blocked before the latter saw another effort parried by goalkeeper James Hoskins.

Woods were coping well with the Staines response, Jaiden Irish working well in midfield and the burgeoning central defensive partnership of Liam McCrohan and Andrew Tirivanhu looking increasingly assured. And having soaked up the Staines pressure, Northwood were soon back on the attack with some neat, incisive play as Charlie Hayford was denied by the legs of Swans goalkeeper Denzel Gerrar before the latter dealt with efforts from both Hayford and Witham.

With play flowing from end to end, Northwood had some more defending to do as Krabbendam and Joey Taylor went close while Hoskins was on hand to deny Samuel Amure.  At the other end, Woods should have increased their lead as Gerrar miscued a clearance straight to Lucan but his shot failed to seriously trouble the Swans stopper.

However, Northwood were not to be denied as Gerrar could only parry a fierce shot from Campbell with Harry Lodovica on hand to bundle the ball home to extend the lead on 36 minutes.

Woods went in search of further goals before the break, Witham combining well again with Hayford whose shot narrowly cleared the crossbar before Lucan’s run and cross found Pett who saw his shot tipped over by Gerrar.  And Northwood created another opening with the last kick of an entertaining first half, Lucan running onto Lodovica’s flick-on but dragging his shot wide.

Northwood continued in the same vein after the break with Lucan missing a couple of gilt-edged chances while Lodovica saw his effort deflected for a corner. But having squandered the opportunities to put the game to bed, the inevitable happened as Staines  pulled a goal back on 54 minutes as Dara Dada-Anite’s speculative strike took a wicked deflection and flew beyond the reach of the back-pedalling Hoskins.

Woods were forced into a change on 56 minutes as Witham succumbed to the ankle injury he suffered in a late challenge before the break, Kingsley Eshun his replacement up front. And as Northwood looked to regroup, the Swans were offering an increasing threat as  McCrohan made a last ditch tackle to thwart another attack.

Chris Gosling was introduced for a tiring Pett as Woods looked to shore up the midfield but Staines continued to push for the equaliser, Hoskins producing a fine save to deny substitute Malaki Coker. However, after enduring a sustained spell of pressure, Woods were able to breathe more easily as they restored the two-goal margin on  78 minutes, Hayford’s delightful free-kick being headed home at the far post by McCrohan for his first Northwood goal.

Woods made their final substitution as Lodovica made way for Luke Holness but the focus shifted to the Northwood half in the closing stages as Staines looked for some consolation,  Maxwell Ndah directing a free-header into the arms of Hoskins before Coker attempted a spectacular overhead in the dying seconds.

But it wasn’t to be for the Swans and Northwood were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief at finally securing their first league win of the season and their first at the Acretweed since the win over Chipstead back in March.