Hanworth Villa 2  Northwood 1

Tuesday 26th September 2023


1 Matt Messer    
2 Teddy Stacey    
3 Deago Dunbar Bonnie    
4 Harry Gallagher (69m)    
5 Luke Tingey ©    
6 Romario Jonas    
7 Osaretin Otote (88m)    
8 Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway    
9 Dan Williams    
10 Harry McCorkell (88m)    
11 Kofi Anokye-Boadi    
12 Luke Brophy    
14 Carl Stewart    
15 Jack Smith (88m)    
16 Sam Jenkins (88m)    
17 Jaden Newman (69m)    

Terry Buss, Kyron Richards, Aston Nunn (Sam Mead 75m), Guy Ansah-Palmer, Baboucarr Jarra, George Wells, Theo Crawford, Seanen McKillop, Kyen Nicholas (Steven Gody 81m), Ben Geraghty, Sam Merson


It was a bad week for the Woods as Saturday’s home defeat against Ashford was followed by this midweek loss at Hanworth Villa who were preparing for their big FA Cup tie at Horsham at the weekend. It was penalties that again proved decisive with the home side being awarded two spot-kicks, both far from clear-cut decisions and both tucked away by Sam Merson.

Matt Messer continued in goal in place of the suspended Andrew McCorkell but Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway, Teddy Stacey and Kofi Anokye-Boadi all returned to the starting line-up in place of Carl Stewart, Sam Jenkins and Jaden Newman.

The Woods started the game well. A couple of early long-throws from Luke Tingey caused issues but a handball claim was waved away and then Osaretin Otote was unable to keep his strike from the edge of the box down.

The Villains hit back when Aston Nunn found himself in loads of space to run onto a quick counter. He drove forward and went for goal but Messer saved at his near post.

Northwood then forced a series of corners, all delivered well by Deago Dunbar-Bonnie, but Villa defended them well as the Woods continued to hold the edge.

That edge was rewarded on 20 minutes when Otote pounced on a loose ball and sent a delightful first-time pass through for Dan Williams to run onto. The Woods’ top scorer showed a good first touch and then buried his shot inside the near post of goalkeeper Terry Buss, who had no chance.

Things had been going well for the Woods until eight minutes later when a cross came in from the right. Messer was unable to catch it cleanly and pushed it onto Harry Gallagher. Though in a natural position, the ball hit the Woods defender between arm and body before he completed his clearance and the referee decided this had to be a penalty. Merson converted with clinical precision and suddenly the home side were back in it.

Williams did have an effort on goal soon after this with a shot from distance that was always climbing too high but the only real chance was to Hanworth Villa as a well-delivered corner was headed by Kyen Nicholas from close range but Anokye-Boadi managed to clear off the line.

PHOTOS by Haydn Kettel

It looked like being all-square at the break but the referee had other ideas. In the second minute of stoppage-time, another quick long-ball saw Messer come towards the edge of the box to clear while Nicholas raced towards him at pace. The Woods keeper was just there first, punched clear, inevitably collided with the Villa forward and most in the ground were shocked to see another penalty being awarded. Merson gratefully tucked it away and the Villains were ahead at the break.

As on Saturday, Northwood’s second half performance showed no glimpses of recovering from being a goal behind at the break. There was a slow start but it was Hanworth who went close after 54 minutes when a quick throw saw the speedy Nicholas in on goal as the Woods defence was caught out but he hooked his effort wide with just the keeper to beat.

Northwood’s only chance came two minutes later when Romario Jonas got a flicked header onto a Tingey throw but it was blocked and cleared. Newman replaced Gallagher to add a bit more attacking flair but it was Villa who had all the pressure, forcing a sequence of corners, one of which was headed wide by George Wells.

Into the final ten minutes, the home side looked to wrap up the three points but Messer made two excellent stops to deny substitute Steve Gody and then Merson who broke through one-on-one and was on a hat-trick.

The Woods will be looking to pick themselves up and put a run of three successive defeats behind them as they travel for another Middlesex derby on Saturday against Uxbridge, though being played outside the County at the home of Slough Town with the Reds new pitch not being quite ready to stage its first fixture.

REPORT by Alan Evans