Corinthian-Casuals 2  Northwood 1

Saturday 6th April 2024


1 Dan O'Brien
2 Harry McKenna
3 Deago Dunbar-Bonnie
4 Carl Stewart
5 Luke Tingey ©
6 Stephan Langley (84m)
7 Denzel Effah
8 Teddy Stacey (59m)
9 Dan Williams
10 Archie James (69m)
11 Kofi Anokye-Boadi
12 Julio Fresneda (59m)
14 Godlove Oppong (69m)
15 Harry Gallagher (84m)
16 Jeremy Stewart 
17 -

Tom Theobald, Marc Lida-Gballou, Oscar Walton, Quade Taylor, Sean Sankanu, Michael Samson, Exauce Ditu, Andrew Herring (Tyrell Butler 60m ), Melford Simpson (Anton Barnett 68m), Aderi Arthur-Dede, Frazier Osunkoya (Shyam Taank 82m )

The Woods made their first visit to King George’s Field for over 30 years but it was ultimately a disappointing one as bottom of the table Corinthian-Casuals recorded an invaluable three points in their unlikely quest for avoiding relegation; their first win in 22 league matches.

Northwood went into the game forced into many changes due to injuries and unavailability with both Andrew and Harry McCorkell both sidelined alongside Lucas Sinclair and Sam Jenkins. With stand-in goalkeeper Matt Messer also ruled out with injury, there was a debut for Dan O’Brien between the sticks while Denzel Effah made his first start since joining in March while teenage attacker Archie James started a league game for the first time.

The home side had gone close to pulling off a shock a week earlier when they led play-off certainties Leatherhead 2-0 in the first-half before eventually going down 3-2 and they started this game full of the same confidence.

While they had the benefit of a strong wind behind them, Casuals played some excellent, attacking football in the first twenty minutes and they quickly established another two-goal advantage. The first goal came after just two minutes play as a thrown-on, delivered from the left, was allowed to drop into the danger-zone and Frazer Osunkoya showed good finishing skills to hook the ball past O’Brien in goal.

The Woods briefly thought that they were level just four minutes later as good approach work from Dan Williams saw him set up Effah for a neat finish inside goalkeeper Tom Theobald at his near-post, only for what looked a tight offside flag to rule it out. But the home side were relentless and Osunkoya almost had his second with just seven minutes on the clock, only to see his shot come crashing back off the post. They didn’t have to wait that long for a second though as a quick ball through released Aderi Arthur-Dede and the striker slid it past the oncoming O’Brien to net his fifth goal in successive matches.

PHOTOS by James Brown

The Woods worked hard against the wind to get a foothold in the game and they did have some success but Harry McKenna’s cross was comfortably dealt with by Theobald and Williams headed a good chance wide when Kofi Anokye-Boadi picked him out with a good cross but another offside flag at least spared the blushes of the Woods top scorer.

Arthur-Dede again broke through the Northwood backline after 28 minutes but this time he was denied by O’Brien who managed to block his shot with an outstretched leg and keep the Woods in the match.

Stephan Langley battled in the box after a corner to set up Teddy Stacey for a shot but it was stabbed weakly wide and it was still Casuals who had the best opportunities before the break. Firstly, Sean Sankanu was given the freedom of the park to roam from his own half but his shot was well taken by O’Brien.

In the fourth minute of stoppage-time, it was almost a third as Arthur-Dede again rode a challenge to get a shot off but this time Luke Tingey managed to clear off the line. Then, just before the break, Anokye-Boadi got in down the left but his shot flashed well over the bar.

There were still high hopes that the Woods could emulate Leatherhead from the previous week as the second-half started. James tested Theobald from a free-kick on 50 minutes and six minutes he had his first Northwood goal as he got on the end of an excellent ball from Williams to flick it home. Northwood forced a series of corners but without getting the delivery quite right and then made a couple of substitutions with Julio Fresneda and Godlove Oppong replacing Stacey and goalscorer James with twenty minutes still to play.

After 73 minutes, Williams got ahead of his marker as he raced on to a through-ball and chipped Theobald only to see the ball come back off the post as another dubious offside flag was raised once again. A similar move put Williams in once more six minutes later but this time Theobald came out and saved with his legs to deny him.

Anokye-Boadi was next to go close, after a series of crosses flashed across the box, as his effort deflected but straight at the keeper guarding his near-post and Tingey also went close as one of his throws came back out to him and he shot just wide of the same post.

Time was running out when the Woods were awarded a free-kick just into the seven additional minutes of stoppage-time. Substitute Harry Gallagher was given the opportunity but, though on target, his effort lacked the power to beat the keeper.

And, just a minute later, Deago Dunbar-Bonnie tangled with a Casuals attacker who came from behind him as he looked to clear and rather harshly was shown a straight red for denying a goalscoring opportunity. With only ten men, the Northwood challenge fell away and Casuals held on to record a notable victory. It was Northwood’s first red card in a league game all season.

REPORT by Alan Evans