NORTHWOOD FC   Saturday 23rd December 2017   HARTLEY WINTNEY

Evo-Stik League South, East

  Northwood 3  Hartley Wintney 1  

Newman 15, Chingoka 24,
Martin 86

Eagle 27

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Xavi Comas     1 Chris Harris
2 Isaac Olorunfemi     2 Callum Eagle
3 Tom Gilbey     3 Lou Paget
4 David Taylor     4 Joe Paris (64m)
5 Lewis Hobbs ©     5 Dean Stow
6 Lewis Ochoa     6 Liam Eagle
7 Tayshan Hayden-Smith     7 Paul Hodges
8 Wilson Chingoka     8 Josh Webb
9 Romelle Alomenu (46m)     9 Jake Baxter
10 Mahlondo Martin (90m)     10 Rowan Vine
11 Harry Newman     11 James Tennant (64m)
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Paulo Montella (46m)     12 Jake French (64m)
14 Nebay Haile     14 Adam Everiss (64m)
15 Kojo Gyimah (90m)     15 James King
16 Declan Nche     16 Anthony Millerick
17 Femi Azeez     17 George Frise
      Referee: Jon Creswick; Assistants: Mike Coen & Dave Bushell    


  REPORT by Robin Piper        PHOTOS by James Brown  




It was a tale of two penalties as Northwood avenged their season opening trouncing in Hampshire with a win over Hartley Wintney in an entertaining affair at Chestnut Avenue. Manager Simon Lane had to reshuffle his troops once more as he was without the services of influential skipper Brad Hewitt and goalkeeper Brendan Hazlett. There was a welcome return for Tom Gilbey who lined up alongside David Taylor and captain for the day, 17 year  old Lewis Hobbs, in a three -man defence with debutant Xavi Comas between the sticks.

The visitors were quickly into their stride with a series of attacks, Jake Baxter going close before Comas was called into action as he got down well to turn Josh Webb’s low shot around the upright after Northwood failed to clear a corner. Baxter was prominent once again as he sent over a teasing cross but Callum Eagle sent his header into the side-netting.

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Having survived the early pressure, Woods began to ask questions of their own, Newman with a surging run and cross which was gathered by goalkeeper Chris Harris before another sweeping move saw Newman set up Tayshan Hayden-Smith, who shot into the arms of Harris.

Hartley threatened again through Baxter following  another incisive break but his close-range shot was charged down by Romelle Alomenu. And Northwood immediately counter attacked to open the scoring on the 15 minute mark, Hayden-Smith latching onto Harris’ poor clearance to tee up Newman who delivered an emphatic finish. Things got even better for Northwood as they increased their lead on 24 minutes. Wilson Chingoka’s long-range shot was parried by Harris but had enough momentum for the ball to cross the line.

However, the visitors deservedly reduced the arrears with a goal on 27 minutes as Callum Eagle finished with ease following a cross to the far post . The play was now flowing freely from end to end, Callum Eagle going close once more while at the other end,  Hayden- Smith saw his rasping volley deflect past the upright following good work from Newman. And the latter was involved again as his goal-bound shot deflected for a corner.

Northwood continued to press with a strong finish to an entertaining first period, Webb blocking Newman’s shot on the line after the latter combined well with Mahlondo Martin. Woods made a change at the break, with Alomenu making way for Paolo Montella who took up a position on the right flank,  Martin undertook  the central striker’s  role, the hosts switching to a flat back four with Lewis Ochoa moving to right-back.

And Northwood began the second-half as they ended the first as they continued to threaten the Hartley rearguard, Martin latching onto Newman’s hanging cross but heading wide. However, the visitors were presented with a golden opportunity to draw level as they were awarded a penalty after Paul Hodges was upended by Hobbs just before the hour-mark but Comas produced a superb save to deny Dean Stow from the spot.

The disappointment only seemed to spur Hartley on as  James Tennant went close before Liam Eagle shot narrowly wide. At the other end the lively Martin shot wide of the upright before the same player drew a save from Harris.

Northwood continued to search for the goal to make the game safe,  with Martin sending a curling shot just past the post. And Woods ’ formational fluidity was  in evidence again as Ochoa moved back into midfield with Isaac Olurunfemi assuming the right-back role.

The visitors were looking increasingly dangerous, as Baxter, Webb and Paul Hodges all threatened, but the Northwood rearguard stood firm. And Woods were able to breathe more easily as they were awarded a penalty four minutes from time as the tireless Newman was caught by Callum Eagle, Martin seeing his penalty saved by Harris but making no mistake with the rebound.

Kojo Gyimah was introduced for Martin as the clock ticked down and Montella almost added a fourth,  but was denied by an offside flag as he bore down on the Hartley Wintney goal, bringing the curtain down on an impressive Northwood display.