Guernsey 3  Northwood 3

Sunday 21st April 2024


1 Andrew McCorkell
2 Harry McKenna (71m)
3 Deago Dunbar-Bonnie
4 Harry McCorkell ©
5 Harry Gallagher (23m)
6 Stephan Langley
7 Archie James
8 Teddy Stacey
9 Lucas Sinclair
10 Dan Williams
11 Kofi Anokye-Boadi
12 Sam Jenkins
14 Godlove Oppong (71m)
15 Martin Flannery
16 Luke Tingey (23m)
17 Jeremy Stewart

Josh Addison, Ben Solway, David Merris (Jacques Cauvin 78m), Thomas Dodds, Thomas Vaudin, Sebastian Vance, Charlton Gauvain (Brandon Wallace 84m), Dave Rihoy, Samuel Murray, Owen Wallbridge (Ross Allen 70m), Matt Loaring

The Woods' long trip to the Channel Islands produced the proverbial game of two halves as the home side romping to a three-goal lead by half-time only for the visitors to storm back after the break to force a draw, though it could easily have been all three points.

Following Thursday night’s defensive frailties in the 6-3 loss at Binfield, the Woods rang the changes both to formation and personnel with skipper Luke Tingey rested while Harry Gallagher returned after injury for his first start since mid-March. Harry McCorkell skippered the side.

Guernsey were still looking for a point to be mathematically sure of avoiding relegation but in their open stadium, the strong breeze was always going to play a part and it was with the Green Lions in the first half.

The match was only two minutes old when a hopeful ball forward dropped kindly for Charlton Gauvain but he saw his shot under pressure saved by Andrew McCorkell in the Woods goal. He had more joy after eight minutes though when McCorkell made a hash of a clearance and Gauvain was able to fire it back past the stranded keeper to give the home side an easy lead.

Northwood were struggling to make any real impact with just a deflected Dan Williams effort to show, but were almost gifted an equaliser themselves after 21 minutes when an awkward back-pass from Matt Loaring was missed by goalkeeper Josh Addison but then bounced just wide of the post.

There was another problem for the Woods two minutes later when Gallagher suffered a recurrence of his injury, limping off to be replaced by Tingey as Guernsey continued to hold sway.

McCorkell made another recovery save after a poor clearance from Stephan Langley but the Green Lions then doubled their lead after 35 minutes thanks to some more good work from Gauvain. He cut in from the left and battled past both Harry McKenna and Langley. His ball into a crowded area led to McCorkell pushing the ball onto the bar and there was a couple of ricochets before a goal was signalled, the home side accrediting Sam Murray with a touch on the goal-line.

With half-time approaching, the home side continued to press and Murray was put through on goal by Gauvain. The Woods keeper dived and blocked his effort with the ball trickling on but just wide of the post. From the resulting corner, Dave Merris let fly with a good strike from the edge of the box and McCorkell flew to his left to push his effort wide.

Just when it was looking like Northwood would be two goals behind at the break, the Green Lions got lucky in stoppage-time as Loaring worked some space to deliver a ball into the box and it took a slight deflection off a Woods defender before curling in at the far post.

The pattern of the game reversed completely after the break with Northwood immediately on the front foot. The first of several long-throws from Tingey was headed on by Harry McCorkell but Addison claimed it comfortably. A minute later, Deago Dunbar-Bonnie crossed from the left and picked out Williams. His header lacked the power to beat Addison but Archie James was almost in before the keeper collected it safely.

After 51 minutes, Kofi Anokye-Boadi made his first real impact with some good approach work and then a shot on the turn but it was deflected wide and the corner was over hit. It was all Northwood at this stage and two minutes later another Tingey throw was allowed to bounce in the danger area. McCorkell got his head to the loose ball again but Addison once more gathered it safely.

Guernsey finally managed to get upfield themselves on 56 minutes with Owen Wallbridge creating a chance but Loaring’s shot was blocked. Back came Northwood with both Anokye-Boadi and Lucas Sinclair having shots clocked on the edge of the six-yard box on the hour, and the pressure finally told three minutes later when James curled a corner to the far post where Tingey stole in to head home.

Just two minutes later, Tingey turned provider with another of his monster throws directed perfectly towards Sinclair who was able to head home from close-range and suddenly it was game on for the Woods. After 68 minutes, Sinclair became the playmaker as he was sent down the left and his cross found McKenna coming in from the right flank but his shot was well blocked.

Just two minutes later, the Woods felt that they should have had a penalty when a cross from Dunbar-Bonnie was clearly blocked by the arm of a defender who turned his back on it but appeals were waved away.

In a positive attacking move, McKenna was replaced by Godlove Oppong after 71 minutes and three minutes later, Northwood pulled level. It was another corner from James that caused the problem and although this time Tingey’s header was blocked, it dropped kindly for Langley to stab home from close-range to make it 3-3.

Having got level, the Woods then lost a little bit of momentum but with three minutes left of normal time, they had the chance to win the game when Anokye-Boadi twisted and turned inside the box to get the ball across to Sinclair in front of goal but he got underneath it and side-footed his shot over the crossbar from six-yards.

The Green Lions though had one chance to take all three points themselves as they were awarded a free-kick just outside the box on the left. Veteran striker Ross Allen, on as a substitute, was always favourite to try his luck but his curling effort was always just too high.

Two minutes into stoppage-time, it was Northwood’s turn for a free-kick. It was a bit further out and it was Sinclair who was given the opportunity to make amends but his strike deflected for a corner. From that, James again curled it goalwards and it clipped the top of the crossbar before bouncing to safety with the final whistle coming soon afterwards.

REPORT by Alan Evans