Burnham 1 Northwood 4

Tuesday 24th August 2021


1 Montel Joseph ©    
2 Ryan Avery    
3 Aaron Petch    
4 Leo Decabo    
5 Arthur Linturn    
6 Gradi Milenge    
7 Shakeel Morris    
8 Declan Nche    
9 Ismael Ehui (90m)    
10 Matt Ayres (81m)    
11 Matteo Esposito (84m)    
12 Ezekiel Williams (81m)    
14 Matt Surmon (84m)    
15 Sam Coles (90m)    
16 Mo Sahnoun    
17 Tom Unsworth    
18 Tristan Noel    

Burnham: Carl Dennison, Naor Ben Ami, Alfie Branwhite, Harvey Pope, Ashleigh James (Melvy Nsomi 65m), Joey Gritt, Firas Chniba , Rashid Hamid (Manny Williams 76m), Gavin James, Mitchell Dunstall (Oliver Bishop 60m), Jayden Moore


Northwood progressed to the next round of the Cup with an emphatic replay win over Burnham at the 1878 Stadium. Ben Murray was able to name a starting eleven which was unchanged from the first encounter as Woods looked to progress to the First Qualifying Round and a home time against Chichester City.

On a perfect evening for football and on their newly laid 3G pitch, the hosts forced Northwood to do some defending in the opening minutes, wide men Firas Chniba and Jayden Moore forcing corners while Mitchell Dunstell wasn’t too far away with a long range effort.

Having withstood the early pressure, Woods began to show as they moved the ball around with confidence. And the visitors almost forced Burnham into conceding the opening goal as the determined Matt Ayres chased down an attempted back pass, the hurried clearance falling to Matteo Esposito who’s shot on his weaker foot was wide of the target.

Play switched to the other end as the Blues broke quickly with Moore firing in a near-post shot which was well saved by Northwood stopper Montel Joseph.

But it was Woods who opened the scoring on 17 minutes as Esposito’s slide rule pass split open the Burnham backline with Shakeel Morris running onto the ball and delivering a cool finish for his third goal in as many games.

And four minutes later, Northwood’s evening got better as they extended their lead after Esposito and Ismael Ehui combined to set up Declan Nche who fired in a low shot from just outside the box which flew into the opposite corner of the Burnham net for his first goal for the club.

The hosts looked to respond and another mazy run and shot from Chniba lead to Woods conceding a corner before a freekick from Moore was comfortably dealt with by Joseph.

But Woods continued to ask questions as they kept up the tempo with a strong finish to the first half – a sweeping move involving Morris and the impressive Matt Ayres ending with Esposito’s shot being deflected behind before Ehui turned sent a shot on the turn narrowly wide after more good work from Ayres.
And Woods’ final move of the opening period saw Nche surge into the Burnham box and send a ball across the face of goal which just evaded the on-rushing red shirts.

The second half was slow to ignite with both sides enjoying an equal share of possession and a well-drilled Northwood preventing any serious threats to their goal. However, the Blues did win a free-kick in a central position on the edge of the box, but the wall did its job to avert the danger.

Northwood were looking increasingly assured and they had a great opportunity to put the tie to bed as a ball over the top from Ryan Avery sent Ehui clear, but home keeper Carl Dennison was quickly off his line to smother the shot which rebounded off the Woods striker and almost into the Burnham net.

However, Ehui wasn’t to be denied as he produced an emphatic finish, following a great run from left-back Aaron Petch, to score his first goal since returning to Northwood colours and to make it 3-0 on 78 minutes.

Ezekiel Williams replaced Ayres on 81 minutes, the latter having struggled on with a wrist injury following a fall early in the second half, while Esposito made way for Matt Surmon as Woods looked to shore things up for the closing stages. However, Burnham gave themselves a glimmer of hope as substitute Manny Williams pulled a goal back on 87 minutes with a low shot which crept over the line after Joseph got a hand to the veteran striker’s effort.

But there were to be no further dramas for Northwood, and they put the icing on the cake in stoppage time with a fourth goal, Williams producing a fine finish to open his account for the club after Ehui created the opening.
Ehui made way for Sam Coles as the clocked ticked down on a wonderful evening for Murray and his evolving team, a sweet moment for the Woods supporters who suffered the disappointment of defeat on the same ground in last season’s competition and who could now celebrate their team’s safe passage into the next round.