Northwood 1  Westfield 1

Saturday 9th April 2022


1 Daniel Purdue    
2 Kyal Williams    
3 Andy Lomas    
4 Keagan Cole ©    
5 Luke Tingey    
6 James Gurteen    
7 Kristian Belousas    
8 Matt Surmon    
9 Josh Helmore    
10 Sydney Ibie (88m)    
11 Carl Stewart    
12 Jesse Boateng (88m)    
14 Will Robinson    
15 Tommy Boxer    
16 Sam Cahill    
17 Ryan Young    

Westfield: Drew Churchwell, Kai Davis, Anis Nuur, David Amate , Luke Elliott , William Efambe (Kai Hamilton-Olise 74m), IK Hill, Troy Timothy, Jacob Breckon, Emmanuel Adebiyi (Liam Montague 84m), Caleb Wright


Northwood welcomed Westfield into their home ground on a windy day at Fenton Civil Engineering Stadium hoping to finish their last home game of the season with a bang. Former manager Simon Lane returned to Northwood Park for the first time since parting ways with the club, hoping to get a win to help aid his Westfield side in their current relegation battle. In the end both sides had to settle for a point each in a game which saw both sides create chance after chance which in turn resulted in miss after miss, with no side able to grasp at more than one opportunity.

Northwood were looking to bounce back from a 4-1 defeat away to Chertsey Town and decided to make a couple of changes to the starting line-up. Kyal Williams came in at right wing back, with Jesse Boateng dropping to the bench after getting his first start for the club last week. Kristian Belousas came in for Ryan Young who sat amongst the subs.

It was Westfield who started the brighter of the 2 teams, having a couple of off-target shots within the first 5 minutes. Northwood then decided to wake up and started asking questions of the Westfield back line including an opportunity in which Belousas cut back a ball into the box which was unfortunately not met by anyone in red. As the clock struck 10 minutes, Westfield goalkeeper Drew Churchwell was judged to have handled the ball outside the box whilst attempting a drop kick. Woods captain Keagan Cole stepped up to take the free kick just outside the box. The centre- back punished Churchwell’s mistake by blasting the ball into the bottom left corner, putting Northwood 1-0 up in the game.

Westfield had responded quickly, and it was only 2 minutes later when referee John Perry awarded the away side a penalty. Goal scorer Cole was accused of pushing a Westfield attacker inside the box and the referee seemed to agree - although all the home supporters were outraged as it was an extremely soft one to give. Westfield’s William Efambe then stepped up to take the penalty but, unfortunately for him and his team, he scuffed it wide of the post - a terrible take really. A travesty for Westfield but Northwood would’ve felt like justice was served.

Churchwell was soon called back into action, having to smother Sydney Ibie’s shot after he glided his way through the defence. The man in between the sticks then got a strong hand to Luke Tingey’s header from the corner, parrying it well with his defence eventually clearing.

Whilst Northwood were getting shots away, Westfield were still in control of the ball, looking to play direct throughout the game, particularly with their right back David Amate who was constantly getting high up the pitch whilst looking to cause some damage to the home side's defence. Northwood withstood the attacks though and around the 31st minute, they managed to create a glorious goal scoring opportunity. Ibie switched the ball out to Kyal Williams on the right-hand side who put in a tantalising cross onto the head of Woods striker Josh Helmore, but he saw his effort smack onto the post and bounce back into play.

The game started to open up after this and Westfield took advantage of the situation. With 10 minutes of the half left to go, Troy Timothy saw his shot blocked emphatically by a Northwood defender. Annis Nuur then managed to play a nice ball through to Ik Hill, and with the chance to equalise, he saw his shot roll wide of the goal. Northwood soaked up this pressure and it was then their chance to attack with Ibie. The Dutch born attacker powered into the Westfield area and eventually cut the ball back to Stewart who played a clever first time pass out to Williams, who’s cross just managed to evade Ibie. Westfield engineered the last clear-cut chance of the half as Hill had won a foul after a silky turn. The subsequent free kick was put into the box by Timothy and met by the head of his captain Luke Elliot, but the defender could only nod his shot into the side netting. After this, Northwood remained firm and stood tall coping with the copious constant pressure from their opponents. Eventually, the referee then brought the half to a close with Amate receiving a yellow card for dissent at the start of the break.

The two teams returned to the pitch with fans hoping for the entertainment to continue - and continue it did. While the sun still may not have been bright, Northwood’s start to the half was and they found themselves playing with a fast pace and on the counterattack. One of these attacks led to a corner for the home team which was played short. Andy Lomas then whipped the ball into Helmore but to his dismay, his firm header was cleared off the line. These attacks also caused Elliot to receive a booking as he tried to break up play.

This seemed to have woken up the Westfield players as they started to grow into the game and started to dominate the ball. The team produced more shots, but none had tested the Northwood goalkeeper thus far. That was until the 59th minute when a Westfield head got onto the end of a free kick forcing Daniel Purdue to parry. The ball went back into the attacker, but it was Northwoods turn to survive from point blank range as James Gurteen heroically got back on the line and cleared the ball.

If Northwood were to get through this game, they needed a second and their wish had almost come true in the 63rd minute. Belousas clipped a ball into Ibie who managed to come up with a cute nutmeg on his marker, but his shot ended up over the bar. This didn’t demotivate Northwood from pursuing their attacks though; Helmore saw his speculative volley dip just above the woodwork and Lomas had to have his (and the winds’) corner tipped behind by Churchwell.

Westfield weren't going to go down without a fight and they got their chance as Jacob Breckon was wiped out by Carl Stewart in the area after Purdue had spilled a shot and for the second time today the referee pointed to the spot. There could be no doubts about the foul or the penalty itself as Hill slotted it in the bottom corner, sending the keeper the wrong way. It was 1-1 in the 73rd minute and after slightly riding their luck, Northwood were back to square one. Westfield didn’t take their foot off the pedal after this as they continued to bombard the Woods end with attacks.

The last 10 minutes of the game saw Ben Bukowski’s boys search for a winner and they got mightily close. After another shot was skied, Northwood took their usual long throw, only this time the wind tricked the Westfield keeper into misjudging the flight and punching it backwards. But just after it had crossed the line the referee blew for a foul that not even his linesman could explain, meaning the game stood at 1-1 for the time being. Westfield continued defending well and made plenty of tackles, clearances and blocks including one against Josh Helmore from a tight angle, a shot that looked destined to bulge the net.

As the 90th minute approached, the end-to-end game didn’t tire out with the lively Ik Hill seeing his powerful shot beaten away well by Purdue. Northwood then seemed to play pinball in their opponent's box with their shot finally taken but unfortunately - you guessed it - it went over the bar. This match went right down to the wire with the Fields’ Breckon putting a ball right across the face of goal, almost begging to be converted into the winner, but it managed to miss everyone.

Ultimately, no team was able to find that winning touch and the points were shared as the referee blew for full time. A game that included homecomings, drama, thrilling action was concluded and both teams will now have to play their final few games to earn their respective position in the league. Thank you to the 134 that showed up to the game!