Anthony Ladyman
Nicky Pearce 2
Luke Lynam 3
Terry Hogan 4
Adam Gill 5
Stuart Onslow 6
Shane O'Neill 7
David Sexton 8
Mikkel Thomas 9
Ben Trout 10
Jack Bennett 11
Ryan Duffy (10) 12
Scott Purdue (11) 14
Daniel Brown (4) 15
Mikkel Thomas 16
Bill Fishenden 17

Northwood under 18’s recorded an emphatic 8-0 victory to progress in to the next round of the League Cup. Although Andover were probably not the strongest of opposition, this should not distract from a tremendous display of pass and move from Northwood.

The boys were very quickly in to their stride and there was only 2 minutes on the clock when Mickelle Thomas got to the right hand bye line and pulled the ball back for the advancing Stuart Onslow to crash it in to the net.

Northwood, full of confidence, stroked the ball round, frequently using Ben Trout, dropping off in to the hole, as the link man. A second goal was inevitable, and on 20 minutes a repeat move saw Shane O’Neill stroll down the right hand side, this time pulling the ball back for Mickelle Thomas to clinically finish.

The lead was further extended in the 29th minute when another flowing move found Ben Trout in the box. Trout jinked past one player and was then felled by the flailing leg of the last defender….a stone wall penalty. Trout himself got up and crashed the kick down the middle to make it 3-0.

Further chances followed for Jack Bennett, Shane O’Neill, and Ben Trout.  In the middle of this there was also a dubious disallowed goal for offside.

Half-time saw manager Gary Gray replace Terry Hogan with Daniel Brown, whilst  Scott Purdue took over from an impressive Jack Bennett. As a result of these changes captain David Sexton dropped back in to central defence. The team talk was simple, keep moving the ball quickly and maintain the work rate to create space.

The team certainly responded to these instructions and the first quarter of an hour of the second half saw them enjoy a real purple patch. Two minutes in to the second half a great passing move ended with Ben Trout pulling the ball back from the bye line for Mickelle Thomas to stroke home.

The fifth goal soon followed as a brilliant piece of interplay between Daniel Brown and Ben Trout ended with the latter rounding the goal keeper and sliding the ball across the box for Mickelle to tap in, thereby securing his hat-trick.

Ben Trout made way for Ryan Duffy on 55 minutes and the sub was soon displaying the full range of his tricks on the right hand side of midfield. Northwood continued to pour forward from all parts of the pitch.  On 63 minutes Nicky Pearce broke free on the right hand side and found Daniel Brown on the edge of the box, with a precise pass. Brown skipped inside a challenge, and struck the sixth goal of the game with his left foot.

The best goal of the game followed after 67 minutes, when the increasingly influential Daniel Brown slipped MickelleThomas through in the left hand channel. Thomas smashed the ball in with his first touch from all of 20 yards.

The scoring was finally completed on 75 minutes when a glorious cross field pass from Luke Lynam found Ryan Duffy just inside the box. Duffy’s first touch was assured and his second saw the ball arrowing in to the bottom left hand corner. After that the match petered out and with the rain pelting down the final whistle was a welcome respite. 

A very good performance but this has to be repeated when they meet the stronger teams. Stuart Onslow put in another towering performance in midfield, the wide players Bennett, Purdue and Duffy shone whilst the two front runners, four goal Thomas and Trout, gave a fine displayof forward play. The 140 mile round trip was worth it!

Team: Anthony Ladyman, Nicky Pearce, Luke Lynam, Terry Hogan (Daniel Brown), Adam Gill, Stuart Onslow, Shane O’Neill, David Sexton, Mikkel Thomas, Ben Trout (Ryan Duffy), Jack Bennett (Scott Purdue).