Northwood 4  Corinthian-Casuals 0

Saturday 12th August 2023


1 Andrew McCorkell    
2 Teddy Stacey (77m)    
3 Deago Dunbar Bonnie    
4 Carl Stewart    
5 Luke Tingey ©    
6 Harry Gallagher    
7 Osaretin Otote (90m)    
8 Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway    
9 Dan Williams    
10 Jack Smith (72m)    
11 Kofi Anokye Boadi    
12 Luke Brophy    
14 Ben Crowder (72m)    
15 Romario Jonas    
16 Sam Jenkins (77m)    
17 Harry McCorkell (90m)    

Kevin Manuel, Travis Prescot, Oscar Walton , Francis Quarm, Callum Morris, Johnathan Kamara (Jason Evans 63m), Ayomide Majekodunmi , Rmarni Blankson , Reece Deakin, Kenny Watson (Rory Spence 18m), Nathaniel Williams


Northwood kicked off the new season in style with a resounding win over Corinthian-Casuals, who arrived at the Skyline under the management of Casuals old boy and former Palace favourite Andy Gray as they look to bounce back from last season’s relegation from the Isthmian Premier.

Woods included two debutants in their starting lineup – Deago Dunbar-Bonnie being preferred to Luke Brophy at left-back while Kofi Anokye-Boadi started on the right of a three-pronged attack. There were also places on the bench for 17-year-old Ben Crowder and new boy Harry McCorkell.

The contest got off to a cagey start with neither side seriously threatening in the early stages, the visitors enjoying the greater possession with a series of long-range attempts and Jonathan Kamara hooking wide as he looked to latch onto a free-kick to the far post.

Northwood began to find their feet and they had an opportunity to open the scoring as Dan Williams managed to get beyond goalkeeper Kevin Manuel but scuffed his shot as looked to convert from a tight angle. At the other end, substitute Rory Spence, on for the injured Kenny Watson, barrelled his way beyond Dunbar-Bonnie but was thwarted by a fine block from ‘keeper Andrew McCorkell.

Woods maintained their attacking momentum as Anokye-Boadi made good headway down the right flank and whipping in a delicious cross which was inches away from the stretching Willams before the latter broke quickly and picked out Osaretin Otote, who cushioned the ball towards Carl Stewart who was crowded out by the Casuals defence.

After Williams had tested Manuel with a low drive which was turned around the upright, Northwood has some defending to do as McCorkell blocked an effort from Reece Deakin on the angle while Spence should have done better as he broke into the box but blazed over with only McCorkell to beat.

PHOTOS by James Brown

Woods responded as Williams broke clear of the Casuals defence before being denied by the advancing Manuel. However, the hosts finally managed to break the deadlock a minute before the interval as Teddy Stacey’s low cross found its way to Otote who kept his composure to sweep the ball home for his first competitive goal in Northwood colours.

And Woods went close to adding a second in stoppage time as Manuel produced a flying save to keep out a rasping shot from Anokye-Boadi.

Northwood continued in a similar vein upon the resumption as they looked to build on their lead - Anokye-Boadi crashing a shot against the crossbar after he latched onto Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway’s flick-on from McCorkell’s up field ball, Otote causing panic in the Casuals box with a mazy run as he tried to set up Williams and Stewart having a shot gathered by Manuel.

Woods were given the perfect opportunity to consolidate their advantage just before the hour after a penalty award for handball after Stacey’s fierce drive from the edge of the box was blocked by a Casuals defender; Manuel keeping out Williams’ spot-kick but unable to keep out Otote’s follow up as he fired into the opposite corner from a narrow angle to extend the lead on 59 minutes.

Northwood were now in full control, and it was no surprise as Otote completed a sublime hat-trick on 66 minutes as he cut into the box from the left flank before unleashing a shot which flew beyond Manuel and into the far corner of the Casuals net.

Woods made a change as Crowder was given his senior debut as a replacement for Jack Smith and the hosts went in search of further goals with Manuel once again keeping out an effort from the impressive Anokye-Boadi before Williams was denied by the slightest touch from the Casuals stopper.

However, McCorkell had to be at his best as he looked to maintain Northwood’s clean sheet as he produced a smart save to keep out a fiercely struck shot from Jason Evans. Northwood utilised their full quota of substitutions as Stacey made way for Sam Jenkins at right-back and Harry McCorkell was introduced for his debut, with man of the moment Otote taking his leave to a well-deserved applause.

Woods could feel hugely satisfied by a job well done but they weren’t finished yet as they completed the scoring in the final seconds of seven minutes of added time with Williams getting a well-deserved goal as he converted from close range after being teed up by Crowder – the perfect ending to a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon for Northwood.

REPORT by Robin Piper