Northwood 3  FC Deportivo Galicia 0

Tuesday 18th April 2023


1 Andrew McCorkell    
2 James Gurteen    
3 Andy Lomas    
4 Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway    
5 Luke Tingey © (67m)    
6 Romario Jonas    
7 Shane Cojocarel (76m)    
8 Carl Stewart (69m)    
9 Josh Helmore (76m)    
10 Osaretin Otote (69m)    
11 Teddy Stacey    
12 Sandro Costa (76m)    
14 Gareth Chendlik (76m)    
15 Keagan Cole (69m)    
16 Harry Gallagher (67m)    
17 Micah Jackson (69m)    


Northwood bounced back from a disappointing weekend league performance to secure the club a fifth Charity Cup final appearance with victory against their Combined Counties First Division opponents.

Woods tweaked their starting XI with Keagan Cole making way for Romario Jonas in defence while Teddy Stacey returned to undertake a less familiar right wing-back role. There were also changes in attack with Josh Helmore replacing Gareth Chendlik while Osaretin Otote was given his first start with Dan Williams failing to recover from the knock he received at South Park.

Northwood started well against a team which had only played the previous evening as they battle through an and end of season fixture backlog in their quest to reach their own play-offs. And Woods opened the scoring with 10 minutes played as Andy Lomas delivered a perfectly weighted cross which was swept home by Helmore.

Deportivo responded by winning a freekick in a central position and Anton Fernandez wasn’t far away with his 25-yard effort which flew narrowly over the Northwood crossbar.

However, Woods were soon back on the offensive as they created a series of chances – James Gurteen and Lomas combining to release the lively Otote who got round the back of the defence but was unable to pick out a red shirt to apply the finish while a Luke Tingey throw almost fell nicely to Jonas in the six-yard box but he was unable to connect as the ball span away from him. And the visitors had keeper Miguel Sanchez to thank as he kept out Helmore’s shot from Stacey’s cross before Shane Cojocarel and Lomas saw their follow-up attempts blocked.

Deportivo’s cause wasn’t helped when they lost their skipper Fernandez to injury and Woods continued to dominate with Riccardo Greenaway-Alexander squandering a wonderful chance to extend the lead as Sanchez misjudged the bounce of the ball to leave the net unguarded but the Woods midfielder’s shot found the side-netting.

And Northwood went close again as Otote beat the fullback before centring towards Cojocarel who was inches away from getting his header on the enticing cross, while the latter’s jinking run ended with a neat ball through to Helmore who was denied by Sanchez once more.

Woods continued in a similar vein after the halftime break with Lomas drawing another save from Sanchez after good work from Otote. But the second goal finally arrived for Northwood as Helmore’s low strike from 20-yards proved too strong for Sanchez to extend the lead on 59 minutes.

Northwood went for the kill with Helmore turning provider for Otote, who unfortunately scuffed his shot when well placed before a mazy run from Cojocarel caused alarm in the Deportivo box until the ball was hurriedly cleared upfield.

The visitors stuck bravely to their task and despite some tiring legs continued to play their football and they briefly threatened as Anton Pendrice-Jones attempted an audacious overhead-kick attempt which narrowly cleared the woodwork.

Northwood made a double substitution on 69 minutes as Cole and Micah Jackson were introduced for Stewart and Otote respectively. And Cole was soon into the action as his delivered a free-kick into the Deportivo box which was latched onto by Gurteen with Sanchez on hand again as he clawed the shot away.

Woods made further changes with Sandro Costa and Chendlik entering the fray, Cojocarel and Helmore’s work done for the evening. And Chendlik almost made an immediate impact as he got on the end of Stacey’s cross into the box but the substitute couldn’t get enough on the shot to trouble Sanchez.

However, Chendlik wasn’t to be denied as another lofted free-kick from Cole was headed back across goal by Jonas and this time the striker made no mistake as he headed home to make it 3-0 with five minutes left on the clock.

There was still time for Sanchez to further show his prowess between the sticks as he kept out a shot from Costa. But there were to be know further additions to the scoreline with the icing being put on Northwood’s evening as news filtered through that a play-off spot had been confirmed courtesy of Binfield’s defeat to Marlow, the latter being the visitors on Saturday for what could be a play-off dress rehearsal, with the Blues securing a third place finish.

REPORT by Robin Piper