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Northwood 3 Tooting & Mitcham United 2

Saturday 13th August 2022

 

NORTHWOOD
     
     
   
1 Andrew McCorkell    
2 Luke Tingey    
3 Brandon Kalu    
4 Keagan Cole ©    
5 James Budden    
17 James Gurteen    
7 Ronan Hutchins (88m)    
8 Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway    
9 Lindell Stewart    
10 Sydney Ibie (90m)    
11 Carl Stewart    
Substitutes  
12 Ergys Pepaj (88m)    
14 Josh Helmore    
15 Harry Gallagher (90m)    
16 Sam Jenkins    
6 Romario Jonas    
 


Tooting & Mitcham: James Shaw, Ajani Domingo-Carrington, Shamal Edwards (Momodou Jallow 58m), Cory Walters-Wright, Nikolai Krokhin, Kynan Kirlew-Wright, Ayman Dahdouh (Kareem Akinnibi 72m), Pedro Moco, Eddie Mbango, Baye Ndiaye, Enoch Ako-Adjei (Jordan Clarke 60m)

   

Northwood made the perfect start to their league campaign with a well-deserved win in a topsy-turvy encounter at the Skyline Roofing Stadium.

Woods had to make some last-minute adjustments as central defender Romario Jonas pulled up in the pre-match warm up – skipper Keagan Cole returning to the sweeper role in between James Gurteen and James Budden with Luke Tingey replacing Sam Jenkins in the right wing-back berth, while Brandon Kalu was given his debut on the opposite flank in the absence of Andy Lomas. There was also an enforced change up front as Josh Helmore was still feeling the effects of a kick to the lower back suffered the previous week, so Lindell Stewart took on the central striker’s role supported by Sydney Ibie and Ronan Hutchins.

Northwood were immediately on the front foot as Ibie made a foray into the visitors’ box with his shot being gathered by goalkeeper James Shaw. But Woods were rocked as the Terrors took the lead with just three minutes on the clock, Enoch Ako-Adjei breaking free before firing a rasping shot into the far corner of the net.

Woods had a wonderful opportunity to post an immediate response as Tingey’s strong run and cross picked out Ibie in the six-yard box but unfortunately the ball fell to the latter’s weaker left foot as he lifted his effort over the Tooting crossbar.

Following the lively start, the game slipped into a spell with neither side creating any clear openings before the players took the first of several water breaks as they contended with the extreme heat. However, the contest was brought back to life as the visitors failed to deal with a Tingey throw into the box and Ibie took advantage as he forced the ball home to level on 28 minutes.

Photos by JAMES BROWN

Northwood had some defending to do with Edie Mbango threatening for Tooting after the hosts struggled to clear their lines, but Cole was on hand to execute a timely block. And Woods caused problems of their own when Ibie got round the back of the Terrors’ back line before squaring to Hutchins, who lifted the ball over under pressure from a covering defender.

But Hutchins made his presence felt again moments later when he received a push in the back in the box, with the referee pointing to the penalty spot; Ibie made no mistake from 12 yards for his second goal of the afternoon to put Woods ahead on 42 minutes.

The Terrors were the first to show after the break as Mbango latched onto the loose ball following a penalty appeal for handball, but he dragged his shot wide of the target. However, Northwood were made to pay for their sluggish start to the second period as some sloppy play at the back allowed Ajani Domingo-Carrington to play in Ayman Dahdouh, who gave Woods keeper Andrew McCorkell no chance with a clinical finish to draw Tooting level on 51 minutes.

But Tooting’s joy at getting back into the contest was short-lived as Kalu’s deep cross found the on-rushing Hutchins, who steered his header inside the post to put Northwood back in front with 53 minutes on the clock.
Northwood went close to extending their lead as Ibie combined with Hutchins to create an opening for Lindell Stewart whose shot was dealt with by keeper Shaw. And Woods had another opportunity to consolidate their lead when Stewart played in Ibie but Shaw was up to the challenge once again.

Woods made a change on 88 minutes, Hutchins making way for Ergys Pepaj and with the referee indicating a minimum of 10 minutes added time, substitute Harry Gallagher was added to the fray for his first Northwood appearance as he replaced Ibie.

The Terrors attacked with renewed vigour as they looked to get something from the game in the closing minutes and Woods were indebted to McCorkell who pulled off a superb full-length save to keep out substitute Jordan Clarke’s long-range effort. And the visitors went close again in the final moments as Shaw came up for a corner and his header was only cleared to Clarke, whose shot was cleared off the line by Cole to protect the precious lead and to make sure of Woods’ first opening day league success since beating the same opponents back in 2018.

Report by ROBIN PIPER



         
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