Ashford Town 0  Northwood 6

Tuesday 27th February 2024


1 Andrew McCorkell
2 Stephan Langley
3 Deago Dunbar Bonnie (82m)
4 Harry McCorkell
5 Luke Tingey ©
6 Harry Gallagher 
7 Harry McKenna
8 Teddy Stacey
9 Lucas Sinclair
10 Dan Williams (84m)
11 Kofi Anokye-Boadi (79m)
12 Adam Laaref (79m)
14 Carl Stewart (84m)
15 Martin Flannery (82m)
16 Sam Jenkins
17 -

Arber Grosha, Sam Sesay (Liam Mac Devitt 46m ), Alex Stingelin, Sam Humphreys, Addison Garnett , Prince Kandolo, Alexander Sami , Jack Smith (Kingsley Eshun 55m), Juwon Akintunde (Reanu Grossett 55m), Connor Young , Deven Reid-Solanki

In a triple boost, the Woods recorded a comprehensive midweek victory at Ashford, easing thoughts of relegation, improving their lacklustre away record over the last year and seeing striker Lucas Sinclair take the plaudits for what was an excellent team performance.

Having dropped points at Sutton on Saturday and with an eye on the conditions, there were three changes to the eleven who began the game. Stephan Langley made his first start for the club while Harry McKenna and Harry McCorkell strengthened the engine room. The Ashford side included former Woods Jack Smith and Juwon Akintunde in their starting line-up while another, Kingsley Eshun was on the bench.

And Northwood were on the front foot from the start with McKenna playing Dan Williams in on goal but his shot deflected up and over the diving Arber Grosha in goal, just clearing the bar. The Woods forced a number of corners and throw-ins that caused plenty of panic in the home defence yet it was the home side that went close to taking the lead on 17 minutes. Andrew McCorkell pulled off a fine save to deny Akintunde but immediately, a long-ball out of defence from Langley sent Sinclair through on goal and he neatly chipped the oncoming keeper to put his side in front.

Seven minutes later, Grosha was in action again to cut out a McKenna cross and the Woods continued to threaten when Harry Gallagher headed a Luke Tingey throw goalwards but the keeper was able to collect comfortably.

It was after 32 minutes that Northwood added a second goal as Sinclair got his head to a corner swung in by Deago Dunbar-Bonnie. Grosha dived to push the ball against the inside of the post but the assistant referee signalled that the ball had already crossed the line before the keeper had made his save.

PHOTOS by James Brown

The Woods continued to dominate. Sinclair won a free-kick right on the edge of the box but Gallagher’s strike clipped the defensive wall and then Langley flicked on another Tingey throw which forced Grosha into a fine save. Just before the half-time whistle another well-delivered corner from Dunbar-Bonnie saw Sinclair try an overhead-kick that came back off the base of the post.

Ashford made one change at half-time in an effort to turn the tide but Northwood remained in the ascendence. Langley again headed on a Tingey throw and Sinclair headed at goal but without the power to beat the busy keeper and then Williams and Sinclair broke through the defence and looked set to score but the latter’s pass was unable to set up the Woods top scorer.

After 56 minutes, another Dunbar-Bonnie corner was headed on by Tingey and fell to Gallagher but his strike was straight at Grosha before a ball chipped forward was headed past the keeper by Williams but the loose ball was cleared.

Just a minute later, Williams appeared to have ended his short goal drought when he fired home through a ruck of players but the assistant referee ruled it out with an offside call and it wasn’t until the 68th minute that Northwood scored a third goal. Dunbar-Bonnie’s corner was only half-cleared, McCorkell headed back into the danger-area and Gallagher managed to get a good header towards goal with Langley making sure from close-range.

The home side were struggling to make any impact, despite further substitutions and Sinclair completed his hat-trick after 73 minutes when Williams broke down the right and squared to his strike partner and he finished tidily.

Adam Laaref replaced Kofi Anokye-Boadi and Williams manged to get his deserved goal on 82 minutes, his first of the month, as Dunbar-Bonnie got another assist with a good touch in the box and the Woods then made further substitutions, Martin Flannery and Carl Stewart introduced for Dunbar-Bonnie and Williams.

The two substitutes combined from a short corner that saw Stewart’s shot kept out by Grosha but there was finally a good chance for the Tangerines in the final minute of the game as Connor Young got in a cross from the right and Alex Sami lifted his strike just after the bar.

It was two minutes into stoppage-time that Sinclair bagged a fourth, robbing Grosha of the ball and then just beating a defender to the loose ball to knock it into an empty net. Things got even worse for Ashford a minute later when Sami picked up a second yellow card for dissent which saw the home side finish the game with ten men.

REPORT by Alan Evans