Ross Thompson 1
Edward Hatcher 2
Francis Lynam 3
Jamie Tompkins (Capt) 4
Elliot Gibbs 5
Chris Michael 6
Will Hudson 7
Tomas Jansons 8
Ryan Lee 9
Oliver Wright 10
Max Duffy 11
Jake O'Meara (5) 12
Aiden Lynam (10) 14
John Fitzpatrick 15
Dan Briggs 16
Maccabee Thomas 17



For the second time in ten days, an FA competition proved less than successful for the Woods as the Under 18s fell at the first hurdle in the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday night.

Yet it all seemed fine for the first fifteen minutes as Northwood's youngsters started off at a blistering pace and raced into a two goal lead. From the off it was all-out attack and Tomas Jansons was first to test the 'keeper with a firm shot which was well taken by Bradley Gibbons. Ollie Wright then tried a speculative effort which was well wide before a throw-in from Edward Halstead was headed on by Wright and Max Duffy saw his volley well saved.

The opening goal came on ten minutes when a corner was played short to Chris Michael, whose curling cross was met by the head of Jamie Tompkins, who crashed the ball past the 'keeper.

Four minutes later Michael was on hand to fire into the roof of the net after Gibbons had failed to hold a stinging 20-yard drive from Jansons and the Woods appeared to be well in command.

But Redbridge had already showed signs that they were a force to be reckoned with, with two lightning-quick strikers, and they pulled a goal back almost immediately when a good delivery from a free-kick out wide on the right found Joe McElvoy, who converted at the far post.

Three minutes later a long ball saw Elliot Gibbs fall short with a header back to his goalkeeper and Harry Oniha seized onto the ball, taking it past Ross Edwards but then losing control with the goal at his mercy.

It was still a very open game, and Northwood almost increased their lead on 20 minutes when a half-cleared free-kick fell to Michael and his well-struck volley crashed back off the post.

Yet, two minutes later the visitors were level as another long-ball through the channel saw Oniha outstrip Tompkins and fire an unstoppable shot past Thompson.

The half continued at a fast pace, with Jansons going close for Northwood and then Charlie Georgiou shooting wide from a good position for the Blues.

It was another pacy run from Georgiou after 29 minutes that stretched the Woods shaky defence once again, and his cross picked out McElvoy who fired home his second of the game.

Northwood showed good character to battle back again and Jansons was unlucky with a lob of the 'keeper which saw Gibbons back-pedal and just get a touch onto the post and wide.

After 39 minutes Ryan Lee robbed a defender of the ball but saw his shot deflected wide and then, from the resulting corner, Michael hit a great strike which flashed inches wide of the post.

It was a more cagey affair after the break as the Woods looked to get the important goal which would bring them back level but good work from Duffy saw them create a couple of early chances. Duffy himself found room for a shot which was just wide after 54 minutes and then he set up Lee for a wild shot which was too high.

The introduction of Maccabee Thomas as a substitute for Lee brought some extra width and he got in a cross soon after but Gibbons claimed it bravely and safely.

As the second half wore on, the Woods began to take more risks at the back and the visitors pace started to have an affect once again. After 67 minutes, a ball down the line saw Oniha get the better of Gibbs and race through on goal but this time Thompson made a good save at his near post.

Four minutes later a poor ball from Harry Hayley allowed Michael a glimpse of goal, but he shot straight at Gibbons who held comfortably, and then Duffy had another good chance but blasted over from ten yards.

Northwood lost defender Gibbs to injury for the final ten minutes, with striker Jake O'Meara the last throw of the dice. He tested the 'keeper from a tight angle soon after but Redbridge were threatening with every attack and Thompson pulled off another fine save to deny McElvoy his hat-trick.

It was two minutes into stoppage time that the Woods came close to forcing extra-time as Tompkins connected with a corner, but his goal-bound effort was blocked by a defender.

Oniha raced through a threadbare defence just a minute later, robbing Frankie Lynam of the ball, but then putting his shot wide of an open goal. But he finally bagged his second of the game six minutes into time added on when he found himself on his own and rolled the ball past a helpless Thompson.

The Under 18s recovered from their FA Youth Cup exit last season at Ashford Town by going on to complete a brilliant treble and the latest group will be keen to replicate that success as they move on from this latest defeat.


1 Bradley Gibbons
2 Daniel Alison
3 Connor Mitchell
4 Josh Green (Capt)
5 Josh Palmer
6 Jimmy Curtis
7 Charlie Georgiou
8 Harry Hayley
9 Harry Oniha
10 Joe McElvoy
11 Sonny Reed
12 Billy Sherrin (11)
14 Miguel Martins
15 Adam Duke (7)

Sam Bunce

17 Scott Darby (8)