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Northwood 2  Bedfont Sports 1

Tuesday 11th January 2022

 

NORTHWOOD
     
     
   
1 Daniel Hosier    
2 Sam Jenkins    
3 Andy Lomas    
4 Keagan Cole ©    
5 Tommy Boxer    
6 James Gurteen    
7 Alex More    
8 Teddy Stacey    
9 Josh Helmore (90m)    
10 Kyal Williams    
11 Carl Stewart (83m)    
Substitutes  
12 Sam Cahill    
14 Ryan Young (83m)    
15 Yiannis Constantinou (90m)    
16 Matt Surmon    
17 Daniel Purdue    
 


Bedfont: Matte Pierson, Kevin Diomande, Michael Dwayne-Holden, Lewis Pegg, Joseph Morrison, Joe Jackson, Usman Lalustani, Max Webb (Darryl Sanders 46m), Ezekiel Bademosi (Jordan Esprit 57m), Lewis Flatman (Daniel Williams 57m), Connagh Wilks

   

There was late drama at The Fenton as Northwood booked their place in the semi-finals of the Middlesex Senior Cup with a stoppage-time win over league rivals Bedfont Sports.

Woods took to the field with a new strike partnership of debutant Josh Helmore and Alex More in the absence of Micah Jackson and Sydney Ibie, who were missing through injury and suspension respectively. There was also a first start for attacking midfielder Kyal Williams.

On a soft but perfectly playable surface, the contest was slow to ignite with neither side making much headway in the early stages. But Northwood gradually began to make an impression with wing-back Sam Jenkins breaking into the Bedfont box and almost latching onto a Tommy Boxer through-ball.

Woods continued to see plenty of the ball, and Helmore wasn’t far away from opening his Northwood account as he prodded wide after a Keagan Cole corner found its way to him. And the former Binfield forward was involved again moments later as he turned provider to Jenkins who broke into the box once more before being denied by a last-ditch tackle.

However, Northwood found themselves behind against the run of play on 36 minutes as Lewis Flatman stroked the ball home on the rebound after keeper Dan Hosier had saved his first attempt; Woods frustrated as the officials ignored appeals for handball and a possible offside flag in the build-up.

Woods looked to restore parity before the break and Jenkins created an opening for Helmore, but his snatched shot flew wide of the upright. And Helmore was in the thick of it again as he was crowded out by the Bedfont rearguard, but not before the impressive Jenkins showed his defensive qualities with a timely intervention as the visitors looked to extend their lead.

Northwood came out in determined fashion after the break, with the link up play of Jenkins and Williams down the right flank continuing to ask questions of the visitors. And it was from this source that Woods fashioned a deserved equaliser on 56 minutes, Jenkins receiving a return from Williams before drilling in a low cross which was gleefully converted by Helmore at the far post.

Bedfont responded by introducing two of their highly rated strikers, Daniel Williams and Jordan Esprit, in a double substitution to link up with Darryl Sanders in a three-pronged attack. But buoyed by their goal, Woods maintained their attacking momentum with Helmore executing a smart turn and cross which just evaded the on-rushing Andy Lomas and Carl Stewart.

Play continued to ebb and flow as both sides looked to settle the contest without the need of a penalty shootout – Usman Lalustani firing narrowly over the Northwood bar and Sanders drawing a smart save from Hosier, while at the other end, a throw into the Eagles box caused a panic with Helmore making a nuisance of himself, almost resulting in an own goal. And a further combination between Williams and Jenkins created another opportunity for Helmore, but his header was wide of the target.

Stewart, who once again provided a solid platform for the Woods midfield alongside the relentless Teddy Stacey, made way for the fresh legs of Ryan Young with 83 minutes on the clock. And both sides continued the search for a winner in the final frantic minutes, Joe Jackson having a run and shot for Bedfont while Cole attempted an audacious long-range attempt which was gratefully gathered by the visiting keeper Matte Pierson. And with the contest moving into added time, Woods had a strong penalty appeal waved away as Helmore appeared to be upended by Pierson as he chased a through-ball.

However, Northwood were not to be thwarted, and having been awarded a free-kick out near the right touchline, More’s delicious delivery was latched onto by Stacey, whose effort was spilled by Pierson with the loose ball being swept home by Boxer – cue delirium from the fans behind the goal as Woods celebrated the deciding strike and a long-awaited home success to take them into the last four of the competition.

Report by ROBIN PIPER