Northwood 1  Ashford Town (Mx) 3

Saturday 23rd September 2023


1 Matt Messer    
2 Harry Gallagher    
3 Deago Dunbar Bonnie    
4 Carl Stewart    
5 Luke Tingey ©    
6 Romario Jonas    
7 Osaretin Otote (83m)    
8 Harry McCorkell    
9 Dan Williams    
10 Sam Jenkins (76m)    
11 Jaden Newman (62m)    
12 Luke Brophy (83m)    
14 Teddy Stacey    
15 Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway (76m)    
16 Godlove Oppong    
17 Curtis Brown (62m)    

Toby Mawer , Sam Humphreys, Ben Holder, Ross McKernan (Alex Stingelin 90m), Jake Eales, Aaron Goode, Harry Woodward (Ed McCrea 85m), Jack Arnold (Will Hellestoe 90m), Scott Day , Ahkeem Belford, Qasim Khan


Northwood suffered an Emirates FA Cup hangover as they slipped to their first league defeat of the season at the hands of their Middlesex rivals on a disappointing afternoon at The Skyline.

Manager Ben Bukowski was forced to shuffle his pack with several players still feeling the effects of the two keenly contested cup ties against Cray Valley Paper Mills – Teddy Stacey reverting to the bench with Harry Gallagher moving across to right-back and Romario Jonas coming into central defence, while Riccardo Greenaway Alexander also started on the bench with Harry McCorkell coming into the midfield.

There was also a change in attack with Godlove Oppong dropping to the bench while Jaden Newman was a late replacement for Kofi Anokye-Boadi, who pulled up in the warm-up. Northwood were also forced into a change of personnel between the sticks as Matt Messer made his league debut in place of the suspended Andrew McCorkell.

Woods started brightly as they enjoyed plenty of possession forcing a couple of early corners before Osaretin Otote fired in a couple of shots which were comfortably dealt with by Ashford goalkeeper Toby Mawer. Northwood continued to make all the early running as Gallagher played in Dan Williams who dragged his shot past the upright before Newman headed wide after Jonas flicked on a Luke Tingey throw into the six-yard box.

However, Woods were stopped in their tracks on 20 minutes as the Tangerines took the lead against the run of play – Jack Arnold latching on to a long ball from the back by Aaron Goode before despatching the ball beyond Messer.

Northwood looked for an immediate response as Willams slid the ball through to Newman who was denied by Mawer as he got down well to keep out the shot while Otote went close with a curling effort as he cut in from the left flank.

PHOTOS by James Brown

Woods maintained their attacking momentum and the equaliser duly arrived on 42 minutes as another Tingey throw into the box was headed on by McCorkell with Jonas hooking the ball home for his first Northwood goal on his first league start of the season.

However, Woods were dealt a blow as they fell behind again in first half stoppage-time after they failed to clear their lines from an Ashford free-kick – Ross McKernan sending in a delightful effort from the edge of the box which curled beyond the reach of Messer.

The Tangerines threatened to extend their lead early in the second half, but Messer was up to the test as he pulled off a fine save to deny Scott Day. But Northwood’s relief was short-lived as the visitors were awarded a highly contentious penalty for handball against Sam Jenkins as he looked to clear a corner – Qasim Khan stepping up to extend Ashford’s lead on 57 minutes.

Northwood were facing an uphill task if they were to get back into the contest and they rang the changes with attacker Curtis Brown making his long-awaited debut when he replaced Newman, before Alexander-Greenaway and Luke Brophy entered the fray with Jenkins and Otote making way.

However, Woods were struggling to create any real openings and appeared to be running out of ideas as how to break down the well-drilled Tangerines. And it was the visitors who went closest to adding to the scoreline as Messer produced another smart save to keep out a deflected shot from Arnold – the last action of note on a deflating afternoon for Northwood.

REPORT by Robin Piper