THAME UNITED FC   Tuesday 28th November 2017   NORTHWOOD FC

Evo-Stik League South, East

  Thame United 3  Northwood 3  

West 32, 35, Goss 70

Chingoka 23, 64, Martin 71

Team line-up  
  Team line-up
1 Craig Hill     1 Brendan Hazlett
2 Calvin Evans     2  Isaac Olorunfemi
3 David Lynn     3 Nebay Haile (80m)
4 Ellis Hercules     4 Michael Buckley ©
5 James McGowan (46m)     5 Lewis Hobbs
6 Tom Ashworth     6 Lewis Ochoa
7 Ben Connelly     7 Wilson Chingoka
8 Lynton Goss     8 George Lutaaya
9 Ben Sturgess     9 Mahlondo Martin
10 Dan West     10 Tayshan Hayden-Smith
11 Harry Mepham (83m)     11 Tom Gilbey
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Nick Harrison (46m)     12 Kojo Gyimah (80m)
14 Adam Morris (83m)     14 James Gurteen
15 Ben Gray     15 Declan Nche
16 Matt Johnston     16 -
17 -     17 -



Referee:Harry Moore, Assistants: Daniel Jacobs, Sam Ingrey



  REPORT by Robin Piper  



Northwood twice came from behind and survived a late penalty scare to secure a share of the spoils on a bitterly cold evening in Oxfordshire. Simon Lane had to juggle a much depleted squad with Bradley Hewitt, Harry Newman and leading scorer Jermaine Osei missing from last Saturday’s line-up, the Woods manager opting for a 3-5-2 formation. Nebay Haile was deployed in a left wing-back role for his first start in Northwood colours while Mahlondo Martin partnered Tayshan Hayden-Smith in a new look attack.

The hosts were quickly into their stride with Dan West having a shot easily gathered by goalkeeper Brendan Hazlett before the striker threatened again but was unable to keep his header down from a Harry Mepham cross. Thame continued to press, with David Lynn seeing his long-range effort turned onto the post by Hazlett with Lewis Hobbs doing enough to thwart Lynton Goss as he looked to convert the rebound.

Having survived the early pressure, Woods gradually began to find their rhythm. Hayden-Smith found space in the box but his snap-shot flew wide of the target before Issac Olorunfemi  ventured forward from  the back to send a long-range shot over the crossbar. Northwood were looking increasingly comfortable and they were rewarded with the opening goal of the evening on 23 minutes as Wilson Chingoka scored his first goal in Northwood colours with a speculative shot from the corner of the box which left home goalkeeper Craig Hill Flat-footed before nestling in the far corner of the net.

Woods were playing with renewed confidence and they threatened once again as Martin latched onto a Hayden-Smith through-ball but the danger was averted by the home defence as they prevented Martin from getting a clear sight at goal.

However, the weaknesses of a Northwood defence lacking the dominant presence of skipper Hewitt were ruthlessly exploited by Thame as they took the lead with two goals in three minutes. West took advantage of slack defending as he headed home unchallenged from Lynn’s cross on 33 minutes before West converted  a free header from  a Lynn corner to put the hosts ahead in the 36th minute.

There were further chances at both ends before the interval, Chingoka and Haile both finding themselves in good positions but unable to capitalise while at the other end, a Lynton Goss shot lacked the power to seriously trouble Hazlett in the Northwood goal.

Woods began the second period in a positive manner and Martin had a wonderful opportunity to restore parity for the visitors but he was unable to beat goalkeeper Hill in an one on one situation after Chingoka had split the Thame defence with a neat through-ball.  And Chingoka was involved again moments later as Hill spilled a high ball into the box, the Northwood midfielder unable to convert the loose ball.

There were a couple of scares for Northwood as Mepham shot over for the host’s from close range before the lively Goss ran at the heart of the Wood’s defence but dragged his shot wide of the upright.

Northwood  now  were enjoying  greater possession of the ball and they deservedly drew level  on 64 minutes, Hill parrying Martin’s fierce shot onto the crossbar but Chingoka was the first to respond to the rebound as his header crept over the line for his second goal of the evening. Woods set about looking for the winning goal and Chingoka wasn’t far away with another header before Michael Buckley’s shot was comfortably gathered by Hill.

But it was Thame who regained the lead in the 70th minute against the run of play as their strike duo of West and Goss combined before for the latter stabbed the ball past Hazlett to cap a slick move. Northwood remained undaunted and they engineered an immediate response with an equalising goal on 71 minutes,  Martin capping a fine second half performance by crashing the ball home from close range after Olorunfemi’s run and cross.

Woods continued to push for a winning goal with Hayden-Smith and Martin both going close. But it appeared that Northwood’s efforts were going to be in vain as a Hazlett infringement  led to Thame  being awarded a penalty in the final minute of normal time. However, Goss stepped up and sent his spot-kick crashing against the crossbar.

But the drama continued as Northwood immediately went up the other end and Martin’s surging run was abruptly ended on the edge of the Thame box, Buckley’s ensuing miscued free-kick bringing the curtain down on a highly entertaining  evening  with honours deservedly even.