Bill Fishenden
Nicky Pearce 2
Luke Lynam 3
Terry Hogan 4
Stuart Onslow (C) 5
Shane O'Neill 6
Ryan Duffy 7
Elliott Buchanan 8
Mikel Thomas 9
Ben Trout 10
David Sexton 11
Jack Bennett (7) 12
Anthony Ladyman 14
Chris White 15

A brilliant win and a mammoth performance from the youth team in this F.A. Youth Cuo preliminary round tie.

The squad was boosted by the loan of Elliott Buchanan and Shane O’Neill, from the first team squad, and they formed a high quality combination in the centre of midfield. However, his was offset by the loss of centre half Adam Gill to injury. Stuart Onslow was asked to move in to the centre of the defence and was captain for the night.

In front of an excellent crowd Northwood got off to a lightening quick start and Elliott Buchanan forced the keeper in to making two quality saves, in the first 10 minutes, as he launched stinging drives from outside the area.

Northwood continued to force the pace, with the strikers making excellent runs in to the channel areas as the midfielders found them with a series of searching through balls. During this period of sustained pressure the goalkeeper was forced to bail out Enfield as Mikel Thomas fully extended him with a fierce drive. The deadlock was finally broken on 16 minutes, when some great interplay from Ben Trout and  Mikel Thomas culminated in another howitzer of a drive from the latter which the keeper just managed to parry away.  However, the ever alert Ben Trout gleefully seized upon the rebound and headed the ball in to the unguarded net.

Enfield immediately upped their game and started to get a little ascendancy in the middle of the park. Bill Fishenden made one comfortable save from a long range effort after 20 minutes and was then grateful for some heroic defending, first from Terry Hogan and then subsequently by Nicky Pearce and Stuart Onslow. It would be fair to say that Enfield wereBen Trout scores the second Northwood goal threatening to get back on level terms as the first half drew to its conclusion.

The visitors were forced to withdraw their number one goalkeeper at half time as he had jarred his left hand saving Elliott Buchanan’s second shot in the first 10 minutes of the match. The half time instructions from the Northwood management team centred around the need to start the second half fast, keep the tempo high and look to get the ball in to the channel areas as quickly and as often as possible. 

After five minutes of the second half the team were in dream land as a wonderful sweeping move saw Luke Lynam find Ben Trout in the hole who swivelled and laid the ball out to the fast advancing Ryan Duffy. Duffy hit a first time looping cross from the right hand side which completely fooled the Enfield keeper. The cross eventually reached ‘sniffer’ Trout, who once more nodded the ball in to the empty net.

Enfield then made their job significantly more difficult when their centre forward was sent off after 55 minutes for kicking one of the Northwood players. Probably resulting from frustration, but the referee simply had no choice but to issue the red card.

To the great credit of the away team, they battled their way back in to the game and scored an equaliser from a 65th minute penalty. Probably best not to comment on this decision except to say not a single player in the Enfield team appealed for it.

Despite now playing with 10 men, the goal appeared to galvanise the Enfield team, who pushed forward relentlessly in search of an equaliser. Bill Fishenden made a breathtaking save with his feet in the 71st minute as one of the Enfield strikers got in to a one on one position in front of goal. Jack Bennett replaced the tiring Ryan Duffy, on 71 minutes, who had once more run his heart out for the team. 

The last 19 minutes of the match was tense gripping stuff as possession ebbed and flowed with no quarter given on either side. In the 88th minute Northwood almost sealed the game when a wonderful cross field pass from Luke Lynam was met by Mikel Thoms who once more brought out a brilliant save from the goalkeeper.

The final whistle was a welcome sound to all in a red shirt. Enfield Town were a very classy outfit, and this is a big scalp for the Northwood boys. The team once again performed particularly well as a ‘team’. The two strikers Thomas and Trout were magnificent, covering acres of grass and constantly upsetting the Enfield defence. Terry Hogan was once more a giant in the centre of the defence and the team were certainly grateful to be able to field first teamers Buchanan and O’Neill. However, the man of the match has to go to make shift centre half Stuart Onslow who was certainly captain fantastic. 

Important that the lads now keep their feet on the ground but if they continue to match their skill with the same level of aptitude and endeavour then there could be a few more reports of this nature as the season progresses.