Northwood 1  FC Romania 0

Tuesday 29th September 2020


1 Hafed Al-Droubi    
2 Calvin Dickson    
3 Jaden Sharman    
4 Ryan Phillips    
5 Dave Thomas (c)    
6 Reece Yorke    
7 Diogo Da Silva (64m)    
8 Marcelo Graca    
9 Devonte Totesaut (69m)    
10 Denerson Moreira (77m)    
11 George Isaac    
12 Aaron Morgan (69m)    
14 David Castanho    
15 Baback Dehghani    
16 Charlie Kuehn (64m)    
17 Richard Ward (77m)    

FC Romania
Adrian Darabant, Marvin Wray (John Kyriacow 73m), Cristi Arotaritei, Sergio Manesio, James Smith, Izichukwu Okiwute, George Lutaaya (Adrian Hurdubei 73m), George Taban , Austin Courtney, Vincent Follea (Alex Rita 46m), Matthew Campbell


Northwood got their Isthmian South Central season up and running with a narrow victory in their first league game at the Fenton Civil Engineering Stadium.

There were a couple of changes from the team that started against Basildon United in the FA Trophy, Calvin Dickson replacing Baback Dehghani in the right wing-back berth, while there was a first start for Reece Yorke on his return to the club on a dual registration arrangement with Chesham United as the central defender fitted seamlessly into the Woods back three.

Northwood took the game to Romania from the off with Devonte Totesaut shooting narrowly wide following a sweeping move involving Denerson Moreira and Jaden Sharman, before the latter was involved again as his deep cross was pulled back by Dickson into the path of George Isaac, whose shot rebounded off the upright.

Woods maintained their early attacking momentum and they were rewarded for their bright start by taking a tenth minute lead from the penalty spot after Isaac was clipped as he ran at the Wolves defence after being released by a delightful ball from Marcelo Gracas, Totesaut making no mistake from 12 yards for his first Northwood goal.

The one-way traffic continued with Romania struggling to get out of their half, Isaac’s crossfield ball picking out Dickson who cut in from the flank and fired in a long range shot which flew narrowly over while Moreira tried his luck from distance with an effort which deflected wide of the target.

The visitors finally found their way into Northwood territory and forced a corner which found the head of Izi Okiwute whose downward effort was safely gathered by Woods keeper Haf Al-Droubi.

Having had a spot of defending to do, Woods were soon back on the attack with a series of slick, incisive moves which should have seen them increase their lead,  Moreira having a wonderful opportunity to open his Northwood account as he was played in by Totesaut but he dragged his shot wide from a good position.

At the other end, in a rare moment of attacking cohesion for the visitors, Courtney Austin tested Al-Droubi who showed a strong hand as he kept out a low shot before Moreira had another opportunity for Northwood after more good work from Totesaut, but the shot was dragged wide once more.

The Wolves made a change at the break with Alex Rita replacing Vincent Follea and the substitution seemed to have the desired effect as the visitors forced a series of corners with Northwood struggling to regain the momentum of the first period. And Al-Droubi had to be alert as he dealt with a shot from Matthew Campbell after a strong run from the Romania attacker.

Woods were forced into a change  on 64 minutes as Charlie Kuehn replaced Diogo Da Silva in the midfield after the latter failed to shake of a knock to his ankle and the hosts continued to be asked questions by a rejuvenated Romania but the experienced back three of Yorke,  Dave Thomas and Ryan Phillips were dealing well with the threat.

Having played some delightful football in the opening period, Northwood’s main attacking threat was now coming from the long throw of Dickson and not for the first time in the evening, a Dickson throw into the box was flicked on by Yorke and was met by Isaac but his header cleared the crossbar.

Woods made a change in attack with 20 minutes left on the clock as Totesaut made way for Aaron Morgan, who was quickly into the action as he showed strength and speed to win the ball and lay off to Kuehn but his shot failed to trouble Wolves keeper Adrian Darabant.

Northwood made their final substitution, Richard Ward being introduced for Moreira, as they continued to seek a second goal to make the game safe and the Woods substitute was immediately involved as he fired in a long range shot which flew wide of the target.

The home side were unable to increase their slender lead and they had to endure a nervous few minutes as they played out stoppage time a man short after the unfortunate Morgan received a red card for what the referee deemed ‘dangerous play’ as he won the ball despite there being no contact with an opponent – not quite the gift the experienced striker was expecting on his birthday!

However, Woods had displayed a solidity and resilience which, despite a disappointing second half in an attacking sense, had ensured they kept a clean sheet to bag their first points of the season.

REPORT by Robin Piper