Chertsey Town 0  Northwood 0

Saturday 9th March 2024


1 Andrew McCorkell
2 Stephan Langley
3 Deago Dunbar Bonnie
4 Carl Stewart (74m)
5 Luke Tingey ©
6 Harry Gallagher 
7 Adam Laaref (69m)
8 Teddy Stacey
9 Lucas Sinclair
10 Dan Williams
11 Harry McKenna (94m)
12 -
14 Sam Jenkins (69m)
15 Martin Flannery (94m)
16 Archie James (74m)
17 -

Nicholas Jupp, Mason Welch-Turner, Alex Fisher, Luke Robertson, Rueben Collins, Liam Flanighan (Chad Goulter 79m), Reece Robins, Wayne Ridgley, Gianluca Botti, Callum McAllister (Wilfred Omperon 61m), Louis Degand (Toby Little 73m)

The Woods picked up a praiseworthy point from this rescheduled trip to runaway league leaders Chertsey Town, battling it out for a goalless draw against a side who remain unbeaten in twenty-six league games.

The Woods were missing the influential Kofi Anokye-Boadi and Harry McCorkell, both unavailable, so back into the starting line-up came Adam Laaref and Carl Stewart but the Curfews were similarly hit with attacking trio Oliver McCoy, Conor Lee and former Wood Gareth Chendlik also all unavailable on a date that Chertsey would have been free if not for the rearrangement.

Unbeaten at home all season and with a big crowd of over 500 mainly behind them, Chertsey were quickly pushed back by a Northwood side with attacking intent. In the very first minute Laaref combined with Dan Williams to send Deago Dunbar-Bonnie into the box and his cross was blocked for an early corner.

On seven minutes, the same players combined again and this time Dunbar-Bonnie’s cross almost picked out Lucas Sinclair in the centre but the ball was just taken off his toe by a defender. Three minutes later, a Luke Tingey throw was touched on Sinclair and fell into a dangerous area of the six-yard box but again it was cleared. Almost immediately, Laaref danced through the Chertsey defence down the right but his cross failed to pick out any of his fellow attackers.

The home side had hardly had a look-in until the 16th minute when a wayward pass in midfield saw Reece Robins play a quick ball wide to Louis Degand whose cross from the left was aimed for top scorer Gianluca Botti but Andrew McCorkell managed to push it wide before it reached the waiting striker.

PHOTOS by James Brown

The Woods continued to attack freely though, forcing several corners and from one of those, curled in by Dunbar-Bonnie, Harry Gallagher headed on and there was a stab at goal from Sinclair as he was dragged down by Alex Fisher but the ball went luckily straight into the hands of goalkeeper Nick Jupp.

The Curfews started to look dangerous with Wayne Ridgely forcing McCorkell into a save low down at the near post and then skipper Luke Robertson created a chance for himself, getting past Tingey in the box but then shooting wide of the near post.

Northwood were soon back on the attack though. Williams tried his luck from distance with a shot on the turn but it was always climbing too high to worry Jupp in goal and then, on 33 minutes, both Sinclair and Laaref broke forward in a promising move. Sinclair chose to go it alone down the middle rather than pass and he drove into the box before a good tackle from Fisher just stopped him as he shaped to shoot.

It was just a minute later when the Woods went closer yet as Laaref saw his low strike from distance pushed wide by the diving Jupp. From the resulting corner, Tingey got a clean header away but it flashed wide of the post.

Still Northwood pressed for the all-important goal and when a Gallagher free-kick sailed over everyone in the middle, Laaref cut in from the left and aimed a good shot towards the top far corner but Jupp got across to push the ball wide of the target again for an excellent save. As the half came to a close, the home side created a couple of opportunities themselves but both ended with wild strikes that flew over and it remained 0-0 at the break.

There was a slower start to the second half with the Woods perhaps looking to make sure they didn’t concede early but they gradually managed to push forward again and Harry McKenna did well to reach a long kick from McCorkell after 54 minutes. He beat his marker and sent over a cross but Jupp was well-placed to cut it out.

Three minutes later, Teddy Stacey, who had been winning balls in midfield throughout, turned provider to send Laaref down the right. His cross was cut out for another corner which was only half-cleared and Laaref had a clear shot on goal from inside the box but it flew over the top.

Chertsey made changes to try to get more of a foothold in the game while Northwood replaced Laaref for the fresh legs of Sam Jenkins on 69 minutes. Just a minute later, McKenna was yellow carded for a foul while the Woods were momentarily down to ten men and from the free-kick the ball flashed across goal and struck the angle of bar and post.

It was the closest that the home side had come and two minutes later Northwood went similarly close to leading themselves when Williams found space on the left and hit a swirling shot that went inches wide with Jupp only able to watch on hopefully.

It was after 76 minutes that Flanighan headed a corner against the post with the loose ball scrambled away as the Woods luck held but back up the other end Williams got on the end of a cross from McKenna that had been headed out with a fierce goalbound shot but it was well blocked by some desperate defending from substitute Chad Goulter.

As the match headed for the end of ninety minutes, Robertson blasted over after the ball had run to him just outside the box and then McCorkell had to be alert to keep a Robins effort out at his near-post just as the board indicated six additional minutes.

In the end there were eight of them and it was in the seventh that there was the only half-chance during that stoppage-time as Dunbar-Bonnie knocked in the Woods' ninth corner of the match but Gallagher was unable to get more than a glancing header to it and it flashed wide of the far post.

In the end it was a valuable point thanks to a second successive away clean-sheet for McCorkell and his defence, amazingly the first time this has been achieved by the Woods in over eight years when they notched back-to-back 3-0 wins at Chalfont St Peter and Uxbridge.

REPORT by Alan Evans