Charlie Hayford's 2 stunners aren't enough
  Tuesday 2nd September 2019

Velocity Trophy
Group 8





Robin Piper   
James Brown


Northwood 2
Staines Town 3

1 Rob Partington  
2 Karl Stevenson  
3 Miguel Lopes De Matos  
4 Jaiden Irish  
5 Sacha M’Baye (46m)  
6 Imran Uche  
7 Louis Bircham (46m)  
8 Charlie Hayford  
9 Kingsley Eshun  
10 Kiye Martin (46m)  
11 Kweku Lucan (66m)  
12 Chris Gosling  
14 Liam McCrohan (46m)  
15 Luke Holness (46m)  
16 Matt Cooper (66m)  
17 Alex Witham (46m)  
STAINES: Denzel Gerrar, Isi Richard, Joey Taylor, Malaki Coker (Maxwell Ndah), Rhys Paul, Aaron Ibe, Dara Dada-Anité, Ashley Lodge, Klajdi Cani (Jamie Philpot 62m), Andrew Demby, Che Krabbendam (Isaac Thompson 88m)  

The search for the first win of the season continues for Northwood after Staines took the points in this Velocity Trophy group game. The Isthmian League cup has a new sponsor and a new group format this year and Woods were hoping to kick-start their season against a Swans outfit who have had a mixed start to the season following their relegation from the Southern Premier.

There were a number of changes to the Northwood team, with Miguel Matos replacing Matt Cooper at left-back while Sacha M'Baye partnered Imran Uche in central defence with Liam McCrohan making way. Kingsley Eshun and Kiye Martin made their first starts in attack and midfield respectively with Luke Holness and Alex Witham reverting to the bench.

The match began at a furious pace with Martin almost latching onto Kweku Lucan's low cross before the former tried his luck from distance. At the other end, Maliki Coker was threatening with a series of forays down the visitor's right flank, keeper Rob Partington saving well before a testing cross just evaded the on-rushing Klajdi Cani.

Staines kept up their early momentum and Woods were grateful to Martin who cleared Aaron Ibe's shot off the line following a corner. Northwood enjoyed some respite as Uche headed narrowly wide from a Charlie Hayford corner while Eshun saw his shot blocked after Louis Bircham created the opening.

However, the Swans should have taken a deserved lead as Isioma Richard's run and cross presented Cani with a glorious chance but he miscued in the six-yard box.

Having weathered the storm Northwood began to find some cohesion with Bircham seeing his half-volley deflected wide before both Uche and Martin were foiled by Staines keeper Denzel Gerrar.

But Northwood proceeded to shoot themselves in the foot as M'Baye was dispossessed on the edge of the box giving Che Krabbendam time and space to roll the ball home to give Staines a 40th minute lead.

Woods manager Scott Dash rang the changes at half-time with McCrohan, Holness and Witham replacing M'Baye, Martin and Bircham. And Northwood didn't have to wait long for an equaliser as Hayford despatched a delightful, curling free-kick inside the near upright to restore parity on 49 minutes.

Staines looked to respond and Partington saved well from Coker before Woods survived a goalmouth scramble to keep the scores level. The visitors made a couple of changes and substitute Jamie Philpott was soon in the action as he restored  the visitor's lead on 64 minutes with a simple finish.

Matt Cooper entered the fray in place of Lucan and took on an unfamiliar midfield role but Northwood were struggling to make much of an impression. However, Woods gained a lifeline through the golden boot of Hayford once again as he repeated his earlier effort  with a near identical free-kick to even matters on 83 minutes.

Having dragged themselves back into the contest the Woods faithful were hoping for an exciting finish. But the drama was down the wrong end as Krabbendam was allowed to run unchallenged across the Northwood defence before sending a low shot into the far corner of the net to complete his brace with five minutes remaining. The goal knocked the stuffing out of Woods who were unable to muster a response, Staines deservedly securing the win.