GODALMING TOWN   Tuesday 16th February 2016   NORTHWOOD FC

Red Insure League Cup third round

  Godalming Town 0  Northwood 2   


Hastings 23, Muir 77

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Oneal Garnes     1 Berkley Laurencin
2 Charlie Hutton     2 Joakim Ehui
3 Nick Hutchings     3 Andy Lomas
4 Liam Roberts     4 Mark Burgess
5 Graeme Purdy ©     5 James Budden
6 Chris Musgrove     6 George Nicholas
7 Piers Oldland (72m)     7 Rob Hastings
8 Iven Kumanda (61m)     8 James Burgess © (75m)
9 Joao Andrade (80m)     9 Niko Muir
10 Louis Hutton     10 Louis Stead
11 Danny Bassett     11 Max Holland (34m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Ashley Lloyd (72m)     12 Georges Ehui (34m)
13 Richard Ossai     14 Jon Munday
14 Darren Wheeler (61m)     15 Bayley Brown (75m)
15 Steve Laidler (80m)     16 -
16 -     17 -
      Referee: Adrian Tranter; Assistants: Mark Shapland & Brian White      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  




Northwood booked their place in the Red Insure Southern League Cup quarter-finals with this solid performance at fellow Division One Central side Godalming Town that extended their unbeaten away record to twelve matches. There was just one enforced change from the side that had secured a comprehensive victory at Uxbridge, as Georges Ehui was struggling to get through the traffic in time so his brother Joakim Ehui was chosen to start as cover in the unfamiliar right-back role.

On a cold evening, the Woods started with plenty of confidence and attacking intention but it was the home side who went closest in the early stages when a free-kick pumped in saw James Budden head back across his own goal and when a shot was flicked goalwards it needed Mark Burgess to clear his lines. But after nine minutes, it was almost the opening goal for Northwood as Louis Stead clipped in a corner which Budden cleverly headed goalwards and Liam Roberts had to clear off the line. Two minutes later James Burgess tried his luck with a long-range drive that was always going wide of the target.

The Woods continued to press and good approach work led to Stead’s shot which deflected and looped up and onto the top of the goal-net. Then, a rare mistake from Berkley Laurencin in goal saw his attempted clearance gain no distance and he lost out to Joao Andrade in a battle to regain possession but the G’s striker wasted the chance with a shot that trickled wide. But the Woods made their dominance pay after 25 minutes when a good ball put Rob Hastings ahead of his marker down the right and he lifted a shot over the oncoming goalkeeper Oneal Garnes and into the empty net from wide of the penalty area.

The Woods winger tried it again a few minutes later but this time Garnes was just able to stretch and catch the ball above his head but there was a blow for Northwood on 34 minutes as Max Holland limped off with a hamstring strain. Georges Ehui had just made it to the subs bench but was brought on at right-back with Joakim Ehui moving to the left flank.

It was Joakim Ehui who went close on 42 minutes, cutting in and hitting a crisp shot on the turn that flew just wide of the near post but Godalming, who had changed formation to allow skipper Graeme Purdy to push up to a more familiar forward role, were making some inroads. And Purdy followed one weak strike with a better, low drive that had Laurencin blocking but then recovering to smother the loose ball.

There was still plenty of work to do for the Woods after the break and after 51 minutes the home side broke forward quickly after Stead lost possession. Roberts led the charge and slipped it through to debut attacker Iven Kumanda who powered forward but his shot ended up in the side-netting. Two minutes later Godalming were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside the box but Louis Hutton wasted the opportunity with a shot that struck the defensive wall and was cleared while a strong run from Kumanda got him past Georges Ehui but his shot flew wildly over the top.

Garnes made a save at his near-post for the home side after Joakim Ehui had poked a shot at goal while Laurencin saved equally comfortably from a Louis Hutton effort but the Woods went very close to a second goal on 61 minutes. Niko Muir managed to work some space and hit a good shot on the turn that had Garnes stretching to push the ball away. Hastings was quickest to the rebound but the keeper recovered to save again. Still the ball ran loose and Hastings then played in Andy Lomas who had raced into the box but his effort flew high over the bar.

The G’s introduced their talisman Darren Wheeler as sub and although he was unable to make any real impact, the Woods started to defend a little too deep and it allowed Godalming to find space to shoot from deep. Laurencin made a good save low down to deny Roberts and then Piers Oldland’s strike was not far over the top. Oldland went closer still on 70 minutes with another run from halfway and a good effort that Laurencin had to be sharp to get across to and push the ball wide of the upright.

But Northwood notched an important second goal two minutes later and it was a real cracker as Muir twisted and turned outside the box before firing a shot that nestled just inside the far post to give the ‘keeper no chance. It was the Woods’ top scorer’s 50th goal for the club in his 100th appearance and a great way to celebrate the milestone; the first to reach it since Steve Hale and Scott Fitzgerald both got there back in October 2001 – over fourteen years ago.

The goal killed off any resistance from the home side and the contest petered out after this so it is Northwood who will now travel to play Division One South & West side Winchester City for a place in the semi-finals. The date is yet to be decided but will be in week commencing 29th February. The Hampshire side only crept back into the Southern League when an extra place opened up late in the summer having finished runners-up to Petersfield Town in the Wessex League. But since then they have really made their mark, currently in second place in the table and they can boast the best scoring record in the league (72 goals) as well as being able to call upon the League’s top scorer Warren Bentley (over 30 goals). To reach this stage Winchester have won three away games – at Petersfield Town, AFC Totton and Premier Division side Hungerford Town.