ENFIELD TOWN   Saturday 7th May 2016   NORTHWOOD FC

Middlesex Senior Cup Final

  Enfield Town 0  Northwood 2  


Nicholas 41, Muir 86

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Nathan McDonald     1 Berkley Laurencin
2 Mickey Parcell     2 Alex Nolan
3 Ricky Gabriel     3 Andy Lomas
4 Claudiu Vilcu     4 Steve Brown ©
5 Stanley Muguo (46m)     5 James Budden
6 Nathan Livings (79m)     6 George Nicholas
7 Tyler Campbell     7 Max Holland (75m)
8 Bradley Quinton     8 James Burgess
9 Bobby Devyne (79m)     9 Niko Muir
10 Harry Ottoway     10 Louis Stead (88m)
11 Corey Whitely     11 Rob Hastings (90+1m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Jordan Lockie     12 Joakim Ehui (75m)
14 Samir Bihmoutine(46m)     14 Myles Stephenson (88m)
15 Jandir Da Cruz     15 Bayley Brown (90+1m)
16 S Shaban (79m)     16 Mark Burgess
17 Dernell Wynter (79m)     17 Georges Ehui
      Referee: Daniel Richardson; Assistants: Jack Ohene & Chris Potter      
  REPORT by Alan Evans    PHOTOS by James Brown
Video highlights here


The Woods claimed the Middlesex Senior Cup for the second time in their history with this solid victory over Ryman Premier outfit Enfield Town, who had only narrowly missed out on the play-offs. It was nine years earlier that Northwood had won the competition for the for first time in their 24 years of entering, and once again they went into this game with the “underdogs” tag but after previous cup wins over other Middlesex-based Ryman Premier teams – Harrow Borough, Hendon and Staines Town – they went into this one with plenty of confidence.

39-year-old James Burgess, who had played in the Final for Hendon in the 2003 Final when the Greens beat Enfield Town 2-0 in the Town’s only previous County Cup Final appearance, was restored to the line-up after having completed the suspension that saw him miss the final seven games of the season. Their opponents had to leave a trio of late season signings out of their squad as they weren’t qualified in time, so there was a place in their starting line-up for their own manager Bradley Quinton, at 37 still a couple of years short of his opposing number eight.

Enfield Town had scored no less than eighteen goals in their three previous rounds of the Senior Cup while Northwood had scored two in each round to reach the Final and it was no surprise that it was the Town that made the early running. Northwood had to defend well in those early stages and after 11 minutes a good run and cross from Corey Whitely was headed away by Steve Brown, back from his injury problems, at the near post. Two minutes later a ball played down the middle put Bobby Devyne in with a chance but he shot well over the bar.

Niko Muir had the first half-chance for the Woods on 18 minutes but his effort was blocked and he was unable to bring the ball down from the rebound. Whitely made a trademark tricky run soon after this but took on too many and his eventual shot was blocked by Andy Lomas and cleared. Then a free-kick saw Nathan Livings hook a shot that was always rising and never likely to threaten Berkley Laurencin in goal.

Lomas was starting to get forward down the left and supplied an excellent ball to Louis Stead in space but he mishit his shot which was sliced well wide. Enfield Town continued to press and Tyler Campbell produced the best effort on goal to date after 23 minutes with an attacking run and shot from distance that flew into the side-netting, and two minutes later Harry Ottoway’s effort took a wicked deflection off Burgess and dropped onto the roof of the net. From the resulting corner, Whitely chipped a shot towards goal, but he it drifted through to Laurencin who took the ball comfortably.

But the Woods grew in confidence having survived the early pressure, and on 28 minutes a sweeping five-man move eventually fed Muir, whose shot arrowed only just wide of the post. Brown then almost got on the end of a Stead corner but was just beaten to it by Ottoway and then good work from Max Holland set up Rob Hastings but his shot was blocked for another corner.

But there was a real turning point in the match on 41 minutes as Lomas looked to make progress down the left and Whitely came across with a badly mistimed challenge, off the ground, that went over the ball and took him down. No-one was really arguing that it was a red card offence and it left Town with ten men. The fracas after the event also brought bookings for Stanley Muguo and Northwood’s Muir. The response from the Woods was almost instant and clinical, as Lomas raced down the left to get on the end of a Muir ball and sent over a superb cross, which was met by George Nicholas’s powerful downward header that beat goalkeeper Nathan McDonald and put Northwood in front.

That lead could easily have been doubled before half-time. James Budden got his head to a Lomas free-kick after Devyne had picked up another yellow for deliberate handball but McDonald got his hands to it. Then a Burgess pass put Hastings through on goal but he lifted his shot just too high and it cleared the bar.

Enfield made changes at half-time, Muguo replaced by Samir Bihmoutine while manager Quinton dropped into a back-three as they looked for a way back into the cup-tie. On 48 minutes a deep cross picked out Micky Parcell who outjumped Lomas but headed over the top. A minute later a free-kick from Livings crept all the way through and Laurencin saved low down.

But the Woods were looking to take advantage of their extra man and Lomas and Muir combined well to put Stead in with a good chance but a late challenge took the ball off his foot as he went to shoot. After 59 minutes Holland’s run produced an excellent cross and the ball had to be hooked away well while under pressure from Hastings.

Laurencin comfortably dealt with a shot from Campbell before another good move from Lomas put Hastings in front of goal but he had two efforts well blocked before Stead latched onto the loose ball but fired well wide. Parcell’s dangerous cross was well dealt with by the safe hands of Laurencin before Claudiu Vilcu and then Campbell both shot well wide as Enfield’s challenge started to falter.

On 71 minutes Northwood produced a fine move that saw Nicholas play Muir through on goal and he squared to Holland, who should have scored but saw his effort blocked by McDonald. A minute later, Budden picked up a yellow card when catching substitute Dernell Wynter out wide but thankfully there was cover behind him and from the resulting free-kick Laurencin made a fine save to keep out the strike from Bihmoutine.

There was a brief hope for Town as a good ball put defender Vilcu through down the right and he did well to stop it running out for a goal-kick but then his cross lacked any quality and it flew to safety. That was about it for Enfield, and the Woods were holding on comfortably before finally settling the game on 86 minutes as another good move found Muir in a bit of space and Northwood’s top scorer let fly with a cracking shot that gave McDonald no chance. Laurencin maintained his clean sheet with a late save to deny Parcell but the final whistle soon followed and the Woods had taken the Senior Cup with a 2-0 victory.

There were good performances all-round, and although it was George Nicholas who was named man of the match by the County judges, the defence had played really well throughout and deserved their clean sheet. Alex Nolan, who had been mascot when the club had beaten Hayes to win the Senior Cup last in 2007, had a fine game at right-back and history repeated itself as brother Max Nolan was mascot for Northwood this time around! After three full seasons in charge, it was a great result for Mark Burgess’ side, winning their first silverware in that time.