HARROW BOROUGH FC   Tuesday 15th September 2015   NORTHWOOD FC

Emirates FA Cup First Qualifying Round Replay

  Harrow Borough 0  Northwood 1  


Stephenson 90+1

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Ben Goode     1 Berkley Laurencin
2 Josh Webb     2 Joakim Ehui
3 George McCluskey (89m)     3 Andy Lomas
4 Anthony Page     4 Jon Munday
5 Michael Peacock     5 Steve Brown ©
6 Spencer McCall     6 George Nicholas
7 Michael Bryan     7 Max Holland (90+3m)
8 Mark McLeod     8 James Burgess
9 M Charles-Smith © (73m)     9 Louis Stead (76m)
10 Lewis Driver     10 Michael Murray (60m)
11 Kamaron English (65m)     11 Rob Hastings
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Dylan Cascoe     12 Nick Turner
14 David Taylor (89m)     14 Myles Stephenson (76m)
15 Shaun Preddie     15 Perry Dicker (90+3m)
16 Connor French (73m)     16 Liam Baker
17 Jack Waldren (65m)     17 Niko Muir (60m)
18 -     18 David Moran
19 -     19 Bayley Brown
      Referee: Neil Thompson; Assistants: Paul Andrews & Anthony Quinn      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  



The Woods grabbed a place in the next round of the Emirates FA Cup with a real late show as substitute Myles Stephenson forced home a Joakim Ehui cross a minute into stoppage-time of a tie that the home side had dominated for long periods. Mark Burgess was forced into one change from the side that had gone close to winning at the first attempt on Saturday as regular right-back Omar Vassell was away working. Winger Joakim Ehui was dropped in to the unfamiliar role as cover against one of his former clubs while Max Holland made the starting line-up.

Harrow made four changes with former Woods favourite Michael Peacock returning to bolster the defence having missed the weekend’s game. George McCluskey, who also made an appearance for Northwood last season, came in at left-back, Spencer McCall started for the first time in midfield and Kamaron English was preferred on the left to Dylan Cascoe.

And it was the home side who were fast out of the blocks on a surface made slick by the day’s rain. It took eight minutes for the first chance to arrive for the Borough as a neat move saw Michael Bryan and McCall combine to find Lewis Driver in the box but his shot on the turn was well saved low down by the advancing Berkley Laurencin. A quickly-taken corner after 13 minutes found McCall in plenty of space and he hit the target with a shot but Laurencin gathered comfortably. A minute later the Woods ‘keeper was in action again to keep out another Driver strike at his near post and Harrow continued to hold all the aces as the half progressed.

But, after those early scares, the Woods defence began to settle more and although the home side enjoyed plenty of possession and worked hard to ensure that Northwood remained on the back foot at all times, they were unable to find a killer ball. Steve Brown and Jon Munday defended like Trojans in the centre alongside James Burgess who was pressed into a series of headed clearances while Ehui and Andy Lomas managed to stop the supply at source out wide. Harrow hardly let up the fast tempo during the first-half while the Woods were unable to counter in their usual fashion with the only real attacking opportunity coming from a Michael Murray free-kick but Harrow goalkeeper Ben Goode claimed it confidently.

The half-time break was a welcome one for Northwood but there was still all to play for after skipper Marc Charles-Smith flicked a header wide early on and then fired into the side-netting after robbing Lomas out wide. Shortly after this McCall found space for shot from distance and that flashed only just over the bar and then the Woods made their first substitution with Murray making was for the introduction of Niko Muir. Muir was involved almost immediately, chasing a ball out wide and then pulling it back into the path of a marauding Lomas who fired into the side-netting.

Just a minute later, Harrow had their best chance of the second-half when an awkward bounce allowed Charles-Smith to get ahead of Brown but the striker pulled his shot wide with just Laurencin to beat. The Woods were now beginning to grow into the game more and after Driver headed over after a deep free-kick from Josh Webb, the extra pace of substitute Myles Stephenson, on for Louis Stead, began to put the Borough defence under pressure.

After 84 minutes Holland showed quick feet to get past two defenders on the right and after Peacock had half-cleared his cross, it sat up nicely for George Nicholas who hit a half-volley that just cleared the bar. Time was ticking when McCluskey limped off from the left-back position and shortly afterwards the Woods exploited that area to find the winning goal. Ehui burst forward onto a ball down the right and found himself in acres of space to deliver the perfect cross. Four players had flooded the box and it was Stephenson, who had got across Peacock, that was able to deflect the ball past Goode from the centre of the goal to send the sizeable crowd contingent from Northwood into surprise celebrations.

Time was added on for the goal celebrations and a late substitution but Harrow were unable to make inroads against a Woods defence that now looked more comfortable but there was a chance in the sixth and final minute of stoppage-time for Borough. A long throw came in from the right and a couple of bounces took it across to Mark McLeod but his shot hit his own team-mate and flew well wide.

The final whistle was a welcome one for Northwood as they notched their first win at Earlsmead for almost fifteen years and move into the second qualifying round for the first time in three years. Next up on Saturday 26th September will be a home game against Didcot Town from the South & West Division One of the Evo-Stik League Southern after the Oxfordshire side squeezed past VCD Athletic 4-3 with a 94th minute winner in their replay. The two clubs were regular opponents during the Woods spell in the Hellenic League in the early 1980s but they have not met since April 1984 when Northwood won 3-1 at Northwood Park.