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Staines Town 1  Northwood 8

Saturday 23rd April 2022

 

NORTHWOOD
     
     
   
1 Dan Hosier    
2 Jesse Boateng (77m)    
3 Andy Lomas    
4 Keagan Cole ©    
5 James Gurteen    
6 Matt Surmon    
7 Ryan Young (72m)    
8 Kyal Williams (81m)    
9 Josh Helmore    
10 Sydney Ibie    
11 Carl Stewart    
Substitutes  
12 Sam Cahill (81m)    
14 Dan Daggett    
15 -    
16 Teddy Stacey (72m)    
17 Kristian Belousas (77m)    
 


Staines: Alfie McMaster, Derek Feyi, Yahya Aly, Shayan Ghamarinezhad, Sernad Hoxha , Jesus Narvaez Mendoza, Leonardo De Carvalho Pedro (Daniel Kratschmar 68m), Eleftherios Metso, Maciej Tajs, Ivor Jovanović, Kyle Mendez (Rolly Ilunga 80m)

   

Woods signed off for the season in style with a resounding victory over relegated Staines Town as they recorded their biggest league win since the 1992 London Spartan League and Cup double winning season when they achieved a 12-1 success over Beckton United.

Staines have suffered a turbulent few weeks with the very future of the club in doubt and unable to host games at their Wheatsheaf Park home – hence the kind gesture from Wealdstone to offer their Grosvenor Vale stadium to allow the Swans to complete their season’s fixtures.

Northwood went into the game looking to finish the season on a high following the Easter weekend disappointment at Chalfont St Peter and the absence of suspended pair Sam Jenkins and Luke Tingey prompted a change to a 4-2-1-3 formation – James Gurteen returning to partner Keagan Cole in central defence, Ryan Young being restored to his favoured right-sided attacking role, while Kyal Williams moved into the hole behind central striker Josh Helmore.

On an excellent playing surface and with the slope and strong breeze in their favour, Woods made a bright start as Cole went close with a free kick on the angle before Williams’ shot on the turn flew narrowly wide of the far post. And Northwood were rewarded for their positive start as they opened the scoring on six minutes as Williams finally broke his goalscoring duck for with a low shot which found its way past keeper Alfie McMaster.

But the Swans posted the perfect riposte as Northwood conceded possession from a good attacking position allowing Kyle Mendez to break downfield before setting up Maciej Tajs who swept the ball home to restore parity in the ninth minute.

Woods were soon back on the offensive forcing a couple of corners and after Matt Surmon had seen his header deflected wide, he made no mistake from Williams’ second set piece as he headed home at the far post to regain the lead on 21 minutes. And history repeated itself six minutes later as another Williams corner found the head of Surmon once again as he directed his effort beyond McMaster for his second of the afternoon.

Photos by JAMES BROWN

Williams was pulling the strings for Northwood as he looked to attack at every opportunity with a shot flying the wrong side of the upright before another attempt rebounded off the post after Helmore and Sydney Ibie had combined to set up the opportunity. However, Williams was not to be denied as he capped an impressive first forty-five with his second goal on the stroke of half-time, a sublime effort from 25-yards which gave McMaster no chance at it arrowed into the top corner of the net.

Staines began the second period in a positive fashion as they looked to salvage something from the afternoon and with the wind at their backs, they began to ask questions of Northwood – Hosier producing a good recovery save after his miscued clearance fell to Tajs whose shot was clawed away by the Woods stopper before Derek Feyi’s shot on the turn narrowly cleared the crossbar.

Northwood resisted the spell of pressure and began to threaten themselves as Williams fed Young whose cross-shot was tipped over by McMaster, while another Williams corner nearly paid dividends again as Cole went close with a low diving header.

The Swans to their credit stuck to their task and they worked another good position from which Tajs tried his luck with a low shot from just outside the box which didn’t quite have enough curl on it.

With play flowing from end to end, Williams wasn’t far away from a hat-trick strike with an attempted chip after good work from Surmon. And Williams turned creator on 66 minutes as he ran at the Staines defence before threading the ball through to Ibie, who delivered an emphatic finish into the far corner for his seventh goal of the season.

Woods made a change on 71 minutes as they welcomed back Teddy Stacey following his injury lay-off, Young making away after putting in a solid afternoon’s work. And Stacey almost made a dream return as he found himself in a wonderful position but unselfishly elected to try and play in Carl Stewart when the shot might have been the better option. At the other end, the Swans had an opportunity to reduce the arrears but substitute Dan Kratschmar shot straight at Hosier when well placed.

Attacker Kristian Belousas was introduced for Jesse Boateng, after a good shift in the right-back berth, as Northwood went looking for further goals and the sixth strike duly arrived on 79 minutes as Helmore finished off a sweeping move involving Williams and Ibie.

Northwood made their final substitution as the impressive Williams made way for Sam Cahill. And Woods continued to press and the biggest cheer off the afternoon was heard on 85 minutes as Surmon completed the most unexpected of hat-tricks with a cool finish after being delightfully picked out by Stewart.

But there was still time for one final strike as Helmore completed the scoring in added time with his tenth goal of the campaign to bring the curtain down on the rollercoaster that was the 2021/22 season. It has been a remarkable achievement from the management team and squad to turn around what appeared a lost cause when they came in, transforming the fortunes of a club which was bottom of the table in November and leading them to an 11th placed finish and putting the smile back on the face of Northwood F.C. and its supporters. Thank you!

Report by ROBIN PIPER



         
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