Woods get boost with deserved win
  Tuesday 12th November 2019

Velocity Trophy
Group 8





Robin Piper   
James Brown


Northwood 1
Uxbridge 0

1 Joe Ringer  
2 Enock Ekongo  
3 Mack Miskin  
4 Gabriel Piorkowski (82m)  
5 Ethan Flanagan  
6 Liam McCrohan  
7 Luke Holness (84m)  
8 Charlie Hayford ©  
9 Kweku Lucan (90m)  
10 Eric Lopes (81m)  
11 Tyrone Pink  
12 Kiye Martin (81m)  
14 Festus Lori (84m)  
15 Kingsley Eshun (90m)  
16 Chris Gosling (82m)  
17 Harry Lodovica  
UXBRIDGE: Michael Edegbe, Mark Goodman, Elliott Poley, Mark McLeod, Alan Hedley, James Harper, Màrk Bitmead (Shawn Richards 65m), James Burgess (Lonit Talla 71m), Callum Bunting, Alex Paine (Ruddock Yala 77m), Michael Kalu (Luke Heneghan 78m)  

New look Northwood gave themselves a much needed boost with a well   deserved win over near neighbours Uxbridge in their final Velocity Trophy group game.

Woods’ line-up featured three new faces with right-back Enock Ekongo and midfielder Gabriel Piorkowski joining from Hayes & Yeading United, while Wealdstone youngster Eric Lopes started in an attacking role. There was also a welcome return for Ethan Flanagan as he was reunited with Liam McCrohan in central defence.

Northwood looked a different proposition from the team which has struggled so badly in recent times, showing real commitment and attacking intent from the off as they took the game to Uxbridge. McCrohan went close as he headed narrowly wide from  a Charlie Hayford corner while Kweku Lucan flashed a shot across the face of the visitors’ goal.

Woods continued to ask questions of the Uxbridge defence and Lucan might have done better from a good position following a slick move but his shot failed to trouble goalkeeper Michael Edegbe, while Lopes saw his shot deflected into the side netting.

And Northwood were rewarded for their positive start by taking the lead on 19 minutes, Ethan Flanagan hooking the ball home from another Hayford corner for his first goal in Northwood colours.

Reinvigorated Northwood went in search of more goals as they continued to play with a verve and passion that has been sadly missing in recent weeks. Tyrone Pink, playing against his former club, sent a shot narrowly wide, before another incisive move involving Pink and Lucan led to Lopes seeing his shot blocked by the Uxbridge defence.

The visitors finally began to find some attacking cohesion as Mark Bitmead had a couple of efforts on goal but keeper Joe Ringer was on hand to deal with the threat. But it was Woods who finished an impressive first half the stronger as the industrious Piorkowski broke from the middle of the park and fed Pink, whose shot was charged down, while Mack Miskin followed up to fire the rebound over the crossbar.

Woods continued to threaten following the restart, Hayford’s free-kick finding the side netting before Luke Holness jinked his way into the Uxbridge box but was unable to keep his shot down.

However, having managed to restrict Woods to the single goal lead, Uxbridge began to get more of a grip in midfield and were looking increasingly threatening with Michael Kalu firing over after a neat build up while Bitmead was denied by Ringer as the faintest of touches diverted the striker’s shot onto the upright.

Uxbridge utilised four of their substitutes as they continued to probe the Woods’ rear-guard but the defence, marshalled by the  impressive duo of Flanagan and McCrohan stood up to the challenge. Northwood were beginning to tire as the contest moved into the closing stages and fresh legs arrived in the form of Kiye Martin, Chris Gosling and Festus Lori with Lopes, Piorkowski and Holness making way.

Woods had some more defending to do as Uxbridge forced a couple of corners with Ringer saving well from Callum Bunting before the same player was off target with a header. The home side were growing increasingly anxious as they continued to protect their precious lead, conceding a free-kick on the edge of the box but substitute and former Northwood man Luke Heneghan’s effort was comfortably gathered by Ringer.

But as the clock ticked over into the fourth minute of added time, the visitors were offered a lifeline as Ekongo, who had enjoyed a fine debut at right-back, was adjudged to have illegally impeded Bunting in the box.

However, Northwood were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief as Ringer pulled off a superb save to deny Bunting from the penalty spot with the last kick of the game to signal celebrations among the Northwood players.

A significant evening for Jamie Leacock’s reshaped  team with a win which consolidates  Northwood’s position at the top of the group, but has them waiting on the result of Staines Town’s final match against Bedfont Sports to see who will go on to play Enfield Town in the knockout stage.

Woods return to league action on Saturday with a crucial trip to fellow strugglers Ashford Town but can go there with renewed confidence as they look to work their way off the foot of the table.