Northwood 2  Guernsey 1

Saturday 16th December 2023


1 Roraigh Browne
2 Harry McKenna
3 Deago Dunbar Bonnie
4 Luke Tingey ©
5 Romario Jonas
6 Harry Gallagher
7 Carl Stewart
8 Teddy Stacey
9 Godlove Oppong (46m)
10 Sam Jenkins (85m)
11 Kofi Anokye-Boadi
12 Zeid Hannachi
14 Reece Cameron (46m)
15 Keagan Cole (85m)
16 Harry McCorkell
17 -

Josh Addison, Niall Hainsworth, David Merris, Thomas Dodds, Thomas Vaudin, Sebastian Vance (Keene Domaille 77m), Charlton Gauvain , Dave Rihoy, Owen Wallbridge, Ross Allen, Matt Loaring

The Woods secured three valuable points in this clash against the Green Lions with both sides inside the bottom four at the start of the game with Christmas approaching.

There was a formation change to the side that had lost narrowly at Ascot United a week earlier with Romario Jonas coming in to axis a three-man defence while Carl Stewart replaced Harry McCorkell, who picked up a knock the week before, in the centre of the midfield. Curtis Brown was allowed to get minutes playing for Aylesbury Vale. The visitors were without main striker Sam Murray but were able to start with legend Ross Allen up front for only his third start of the season and his first away from home.  

Northwood made a swift start to the game in just the second minute when Harry McKenna set up Sam Jenkins for a shot that he side-footed wide of the post and seven minutes later there was a quick break which led to Kofi Anokye-Boadi being played in down the left but his shot was kept out by Josh Addison in the Guernsey goal.

There was still only 13 minutes on the clock when Browne made another great block as a recycled corner was met by Allen with a classy volley at the back post. Two minutes later a cross from the left was flicked on by the head of Sebastian Vance and Browne did well to push the ball up with Harry Gallagher attempting to head clear. It didn’t get far enough, Jenkins was unable to help it on and Charlton Gauvain looked certain to put the Green Lions in front with a left-footed strike, only for Gallagher to make an instinctive headed block on the line for a corner.

The Woods were seeing plenty of the ball in the wide areas but neither Deago Dunbar-Bonnie or McKenna were able to take advantage with final balls and crosses both lacking real quality.

PHOTOS by James Brown

Guernsey continued to pose the most threat with David Merris clipping the crossbar from distance and then Allen turned provider for Owen Wallbridge who raced through on goal. He shot early across the face of goal but wide of the target.

With half-time approaching, the visitors almost created another great chance as two forwards got through an offside call but the opportunity was wasted as the ball rebounded kindly for the Woods.

There was a change at the break as the ineffective Godlove Oppong came off feeling an injury and he was replaced by Reece Cameron up front. He made an immediate impact with a strike from 20 yards that left Addison flat-footed but it was just wide of the post.

Jenkins was next to go close as he worked space for a shot that was pushed wide by Addison in goal and the Woods took the lead form the resulting corner. Dunbar-Bonnie delivered a pinpoint corner which dropped neatly onto Cameron’s head and he converted from inside the six-yard box.

Three minutes later Gallagher went close from a free-kick that was inches wide of the upright but the Green Lions roared back with an equaliser after 63 minutes as Allen cut in from the left and the ball rolled kindly for Matt Loaring to score from close-range.

Just three minutes later, Browne kept the scores level, making a fine save to deny Gauvain and there was still all to play for both after 71 minutes, the Woods expertise from set-pieces proved valuable once again. Dunbar-Bonnie’s first in-swinging corner almost dropped in, Addison just getting a touch to turn the ball over the bar but the second saw Gallagher head towards goal and Anokye-Boadi was able to add a headed touch in front of Addison which was over the line before two defenders attempting to clear.

The Green Lions created another chance for Allen but his strike was well saved by Browne while Loaring’s effort from the loose ball was also blocked but the Woods saw out the remainder of the game with more confidence and came closest to scoring after 83 minutes. Match-winner Anokye-Boadi made a speedy run down the left, cut across and played a ball back into the path of Jenkins but his shot was straight at Addison who saved comfortably.

Keagan Cole replaced Jenkins, who had picked up an unnecessary yellow card for dissent, for a ten-minute cameo and the Woods saw out the closing-stages well against a Guernsey side whose spirit was finally quashed.
The three points lifted Northwood up two places in the table but there’s still plenty of work to be done in the weeks ahead.

REPORT by Alan Evans