DORKING WAND'S   Saturday 1 October 2016   NORTHWOOD FC

FA Trophy Preliminary Round

  Dorking Wanderers 3  Northwood 6  

Medlock 41, 75, Gunner 68,

Stead 22, 54, 79, Debattista 23,
Bircham 30, J Burgess 52,

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Milan Stojsavljevic     1 Montel Joseph
2 Robb Sheridan (78m)     2 Alex Nolan
3 Dean Gunner     3 Callum Wright
4 Ben Dyett     4 Mark Burgess (61m)
5 Jake Hill (60m)     5 James Budden
6 Anthony Oaks ©     6 Louis Stead
7 Jake Beecroft     7 Frankie Jones
8 Matt Briggs     8 James Burgess ©
9 Billy Medlock     9 Ryan Debattista
10 Tom Tolfrey (60m)     10 Louis Bircham (70m)
11 Dan Evans     11 Luke Heneghan (78m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Kev Terry (78m)     12 Joakim Ehui (70m)
14 Chris Boulter     14 Myles Stephenson (78m)
15 Luke Hackett (60m)     15 Ismael Ehui
16 James McShane (60m)     16 Filipe Anjos (61m)
17 Jerome Beckles     17 Thomas Spenser
      Referee: John Pike; Assistants: Richard Sargent & Adrian Harris      
  REPORT by Alan Evans   
PHOTOS: Steve O'Sullivan & James Brown




The Woods stormed into the next round of the Buildbase FA Trophy with a classy performance that saw them net six times away from home against a side leading the way in Ryman Division One South. Manager Mark Burgess kept faith with the same starting line-up that had performed well for much of the league game against Kempston Rovers a week earlier, leading 4-0 before eventually being pegged back for a 4-4 draw.

Dorking had won all six home games prior to this cup-tie and had also won eleven of thirteen matches played all season so would have started very much odds on favourites for this encounter. Yet they were blown away by Northwood in another excellent first half display. The home side had the early attacks with Anthony Oaks shooting well over and then Tom Tolfrey forcing goalkeeper Montel Joseph into action, saving comfortably.

The Woods gradually started passing the ball well and after Luke Heneghan had fired one effort into the side-netting, Louis Bircham beat his marker and fired in a low shot which goalkeeper Milan Stojsavljevic got down to well to keep out. The opening goal came after 22 minutes as Ryan Debattista found Heneghan with a good ball and although he wasn’t able to get a shot on goal, the ball ran loose and Louis Stead pounced with a neat curling effort that found the far top corner.

Just a minute later the Woods had doubled the lead as the keeper failed to hold a shot from Bircham and Debattista was on hand to fire home the loose ball. The Wanderers had an opportunity to pull one back soon after as a good ball dropped neatly for Dean Gunner who had ghosted forward well but he volleyed over the bar from close-range.

They were made to pay. Frankie Jones had a good chance to score but hit his strike across goal and wide but on the half-hour Bircham went for goal again and this time his effort caught a deflection that wrong-footed Stojsavljevic and flew in for a 3-0 lead. Stead had another effort saved by the ‘keeper soon after but in the final ten minutes of the half Dorking began to rally. Joseph beat out a good strike from the tricky Matt Briggs and after Billy Medlock had skied one effort, a solid shot from Oaks was again well stopped by the Woods ‘keeper.

He could do nothing to stop the home side from reducing the arrears after 41 minutes though as Briggs did well on the right and then chipped a neat ball which was well converted by Medlock. Before the break Briggs curled a shot that was only inches wide of the far post and then Joseph was forced into action again, saving well from Dan Evans.

So, with the memory of the previous week’s capitulation still fresh in the mind, there was still plenty of trepidation as the second half started but things again went Northwood’s way. After just six minutes, Jake Hill pushed Debattista in the box right under the nose of the Referee and a penalty was awarded. With a string of successful spot-kicks behind him in recent weeks, Stead stepped up confidently but the keeper dived the right way and kept it out. It might have been quite a blow but from the resulting corner, the ball was lifted to the far post where James Burgess headed home a rare goal to restore the three-goal advantage. It was only the veteran’s third goal for the club and his first since February 2014, when he scored at Leighton Town.

It got even better just two minutes later as Noland combined with Heneghan to slip a great ball through to Stead who slipped the ball past the keeper for his second of the game. That really should have been all over but the two sides continued to keep the crowd entertained. Mark Burgess left the field to nurse his slight injury while Dorking made a couple of substitutions and the home side pulled a goal back on 68 minutes. Nolan blocked a shot from Jake Beecroft but it ran loose and Gunner found space to accurately arrow a shot into the bottom corner.

When Medlock notched his second of the game after 75 minutes, there were again a few worried looks amongst the visiting supporters but this time there was no last minute panic as a deep free-kick was headed back across goal by James Budden and a combination of Stead and a home defender forced the ball in for a sixth Northwood goal with Stead credited for his first-ever Northwood hat-trick. The reward for this excellent win is another away trip, this time to the leaders of the Woods’ own Evo-Stik League Southern Central Division Royston Town.