Enrico Beltrami 1
Elliot Gibbs 2
Nick Glenday 3
Jamie Tompkins 4
Nicky Pearce 5
Jack Bennett 6
Aryan Taj 7
Scott Purdue 8
Luke Aldridge 9
Courtney Francis 10
Aiden Lynam 11
Oliver Wright (7) 12
Edward Hatcher (2) 14
Danny Power (3) 15
Francis Lynam 16
Chris Michael 17



The Under 18s made a disappointing exit from the first hurdle of the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday night, losing narrowly by the odd goal in five to fellow Middlesex club Ashford Town.

On a bitterly cold night, it was all out action from the start, with Warren Harris heading over from close-range after just six minutes and then Courtney Francis shooting wide for the Woods two minutes later.

Ashford took the lead after 14 minutes when a poor clearance from goalkeeper Enrico Beltrami saw George Baldock hit a first-time shot back over his header and into an empty net.

It rocked the Northwood side who had to defend deep for ten minutes or so but once they had weathered the storm, they began to make inroads once again.

Francis didn't get enough power into his shot to beat goalkeeper Jeremy Kholey, and then Aryan Taj let fly with a 30-yarder, which the home 'keeper did well to push wide. From the resulting corner, the ball was only cleared as far as Francis who hit a brilliant shot from just outside the box and seemed a certain goal until Kholey managed to push the ball up and over as a reflex save.

From almost 1-1, it was then 2-0 as a quick break from the skilful Marcello Graca saw him square the ball and Nick Glenday's challenge on Harris was deemed a penalty offence. Sam Pollard tucked away the spot-kick and it was looking like a mountain to climb for the Woods.

However, they stormed back before the break. After 37 minutes, Taj played an good ball out wide to Jack Bennett and he raced into the box before cutting the ball back for Francis to reduce the arrears with a crisp strike.

Then, five minutes later, Taj levelled himself with a powerful, low shot from 25 yards which nestled in the bottom corner, giving Kholey no chance.

All-square and all set for more entertainment in the second-half and Northwood, who had to replace the injured Glenday with Danny Power at the break, started really well.

A free-kick, flighted in by Bennett, found the head of Nicky Pearce but he headed across goal and wide.

After 54 minutes, another good strike from Taj, this time a curler, was well pushed over by the 'keeper.

The home side still looked dangerous on the break though and Beltrami saved well from Baldock soon after and then the same player hit the crossbar with another good strike.

On the hour, the Woods almost grabbed the lead when a quick break saw Francis play in Luke Aldridge and with just the 'keeper to beat, he hit his shot straight at Kholey, who saved gratefully.

Just a minute later, Graca countered when he found space for a shot from outside the box which powered into the top corner and the home side were back in front.

Injuries to Taj and Elliot Gibbs left the Woods needing to regroup before they could try to get back into the game but the last ten minutes saw them piling on the pressure. The unlucky Francis got one shot looking goal-bound, only for it to be blocked by his own player, and then a strike from Aiden Lynam was deflected just wide for a corner.

Bennett made plenty of inroads down the left flank in the closing stages but despite some good deliveries, the final touch was lacking in the middle and Ashford were able to hold on to their narrow advantage through to the end.


Ashford Town

1 Jeremy Kholey
2 Tom Snowdon
3 Tom Butler
4 Guy Hollis
5 Sam Pollard
6 Adam Fearn
7 Danny Jones
8 Sonny Russell
9 Marcello Graca
10 Warren Harris
11 George Baldock
12 Nick Hardy
14 Danny Byron (6)
15 Byron Watkins (2)

Simon Gess

17 Darrell Burgess