Northwood 2  Cray Valley (PM) 2

Saturday 16th September 2023


1 Andrew McCorkell    
2 Teddy Stacey    
3 Deago Dunbar Bonnie    
4 Carl Stewart    
5 Luke Tingey ©    
6 Harry Gallagher    
7 Osaretin Otote (90m)    
8 Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway (90m)    
9 Dan Williams (74m)    
10 Godlove Oppong    
11 Kofi Anokye Boadi    
12 Luke Brophy    
14 Harry McCorkell (90m)    
15 Romario Jonas    
16 Sam Jenkins (74m)    
17 Jaden Newman (90m)    
18 Jack Smith    
19 Matt Messer    

Cray Valley:
Max Ovenden, Barney Williams, Arthur Lee, Sonny Black , Freddie Parker, Denzel Gayle (Calvin Ekpiteta 74m), Jensen Grant , Matthew Vigor, Kyrell Lisbie, Hassan Ibrahiym (Mohammed Idris Oshilaya 13m), Clement Asiedu


The Woods’ first game at this stage of the FA Cup for eight years ended with honours even at the Skyline Roofing Stadium as Northwood had to come from a goal down twice to ultimately force a draw and a replay on Tuesday night.

There was just one change to the starting line-up that had been well-beaten at Ramsgate in the FA Trophy a week earlier with young striker Godlove Oppong brought in for his first start of the season in place of Harry McCorkell with the midfield places being shuffled.

The visitors, who were still unbeaten this season, were missing their main goalkeeper Sam Freeman who had picked up a one-match ban after a handball offence in the Trophy a week earlier. They brought in experienced keeper Max Ovenden as his replacement, a former Miller who was with Haringey Borough at Step 3 last season.

There was a blistering start to the game as the impressive speed-merchant Kyrell Lisbie was central and unmarked when an approach down the right was not cleared and it fell kindly for Lisbie to fire into the corner and past Teddy Stacey on the line with just five minutes on the clock.

But the Woods hit back almost immediately as some neat football played around the box led to a clinical pass which put Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway into the box and he finished clinically inside the far post.

There had been just seven minutes gone and both sides had looked good in attack but Cray began to get a hold in the midfield area and the ball out to Lisbie was causing many problems for the Woods defence.

It was from such a ball that the Millers went back in front after 22 minutes as a crossfield pass saw Lisbie race down the left. He had time to look up and send over a cross which was met by Freddie Parker and he diverted it into the net with either a chest or an arm, dependant on your view.

PHOTOS by James Brown

On 35 minutes, Andrew McCorkell kept the Woods in the tie when he managed to get a strong hand on an accurate shot from Black which was arrowing towards the top corner.

Cray Valley had had the upper hand for sure in the first half and the Woods needed to get more of a grip in midfield if they were to stay in the competition. And that they did gradually. After 57 minutes, Oppong and Osa Otote combined well on the right flank to get into a dangerous position and the visitors were happy to concede a corner.

The Woods continued to push and they were rewarded a minutes later when a neat through-ball presented Dan Williams with a chance. He shrugged off the attention of his marker to move into the box and fired past Ovenden to level things up at 2-2.

Northwood had a great chance to get their noses in front on the hour. Harry Gallagher hit the target from a direct free-kick and although Ovenden saved, he couldn’t hold it. Otote was first to the loose ball but the keeper just managed to recover to block his shot and although Kofi Anokye-Boadi looked a possible to get the rebound this time it was a Cray defender who managed to hook it away.

Lisbie was still a constant thorn on the left. He saw one effort fly well wide and then a shot to the near-post was well saved by McCorkell while another break was thwarted by the Woods keeper, grabbing the ball off his foot. In between those strikes, Anokye-Boadi had an opportunity at the other end but shot well over.

After 71 minutes, Oppong hit a shot that had power but was straight at Ovenden who saved comfortably and then the Woods were hit by an injury to Williams, the goalscorer being replaced by Sam Jenkins.

The Millers best chance of winning the tie came after 80 minutes and it was no surprise that it was Lisbie again who streaked ahead of the Woods defence. He looked likely to score until Alexander-Greenaway managed to get back and put in a great block tackle with McCorkell then keeping out the less potent strike.

Northwood’s last opportunity came just after the announcement of four additional minutes of stoppage-time with the award of another free-kick 25 yards from goal. Again, it was Gallagher who struck it, again it was on target but this time Ovenden got behind it well and saved.

When the whistle went to signal a replay was necessary, a game which had seen just one yellow card, suddenly flared up into a brief spell of unrest. The result, a yellow card for the instigator, Cray skipper Arthur Lee but red cards for the two players who got too far involved – the Woods’ Andrew McCorkell and the Millers’ Jensen Grant.

REPORT by Alan Evans