Northwood 3  Hartley Wintney 0

Saturday 23rd March 2024


1 Andrew McCorkell
2 Harry McKenna
3 Sam Jenkins (90+1m)
4 Carl Stewart
5 Luke Tingey ©
6 Stephan Langley
7 Kofi Anokye-Boadi
8 Teddy Stacey
9 Lucas Sinclair (85m)
10 Dan Williams (90+3m)
11 Harry McCorkell
12 Alex Grant
14 Denzel Effah (85m)
15 Harry Gallagher 
16 Archie James (90+1m)
17 Julio Fresneda (90+3m)

Adam Melville, Momodou Jallow, George Wallace (Sam Bartlett 81m), Harrison Bayley , Liam Gavin , George Winser, Adam Payce (Andry Demira 66m), Mason Obeng (Isaac Ebejer 66m), Conor Lynch, Tayo Oyebola, Reece Wylie

The Woods notched back-to-back wins for the first time since August as they followed their midweek thrashing of Badshot Lea with this comfortable success over Hartley Wintney at the Skyline Roofing Stadium. Ironically, both opponents over the past week were responsible for Northwood’s heaviest defeats this season – both had won their home games 4-0.

It was not much of a surprise that manager Ben Bukowski named an unchanged starting line-up for the Woods, as Deago Dunbar-Bonnie was still ruled out with a hand injury, but there were two new faces on the bench In Denzel Effah and Julio Fresneda, who have arrived from Essex Senior League sides West Essex and Ilford respectively.

The Row, who have hit a loss of form with only one win from six games, made a change in goal with Adam Melville coming in for only his second appearance and there were without recent signing Charlie Wagstaffe who was suspended following a red card last weekend in their 2-2 draw against Thatcham Town.

There was a slow start to the game with neither side getting to grips with the blustery wind but after 14 minutes it was the Woods who made the first real attack. Dan Williams played a good ball through to Lucas Sinclair from inside his own half and the in-form striker cut in against defender Liam Gavin but fired his shot well over the bar.

Just a minute later, it was almost the opening goal. This time it was Harry McKenna with the approach work and he played it across to Williams who took it down superbly before a great strike beat Melville but crashed back off the foot of the post and was cleared.

PHOTOS by James Brown     Sam Bristow's video of the two second half goals is here.

Just after that, there was a sudden hailstorm sweeping across the ground with everyone taking cover as the play continued. Just as that was blowing over, the Row created their first chance with good work from Mason Obeng seeing him get into the box and his shot was well-saved at close-range by Andrew McCorkell.

That appeared to kick-start the Woods again though as they dominated the remainder of the half with Harry McCorkell seeing a header cleared off the line and then the same player was gifted an opportunity when Melville made a hash of a clearance but he lobbed wide.

Northwood had the ball in the net on 32 minutes as Kofi Anokye-Boadi was put through to fire home but it was ruled out by an offside flag and six minutes later it was McCorkell who again got his head to a Williams free-kick but Melville made a comfortable save.

A corner from Sam Jenkins curled into the near-post had to be headed off the line after 43 minutes and with half-time approaching the Woods finally made a breakthrough as Williams fired a good strike from wide on the right of the box. Melville made a good save with a parry but Anokye-Boadi pounced on the loose ball and stabbed it home for his fifth goal in his last seven appearances.

The sun came out for the second half and just four minutes in, McKenna put in a good run and cross to find Sinclair at the near post and he tried to flick the ball up and over the keeper but it went wide. It was another ten minutes until the next opportunity came Sinclair’s way as McCorkell again nodded on a Luke Tingey throw to drop into his path but he was unable to get the necessary connection as the ball flew across the six-yard box.

Then Hartley finally began to ask a few questions of the Woods solid defence with some good play from midfield but they were profligate in the final third with Geroge Winser, George Wallace and Tayo Ayebola all shooting well over the bar with shots from around the edge of the box while Jenkins cleared another dangerous ball into the centre.

And the Row were made to pay when Woods bagged a crucial second goal after 82 minutes. Sinclair did all the hard work, getting the better of Winser on the right, keeping the ball in with some good footwork and then cutting it back to Williams who sent a right-footed shot into the net.

There was a debut run-out for Effah, who replaced Sinclair two minutes later and the newcomer was soon bundled over by fellow substitute Isaac Ebejer, an action which saw the referee point to the spot. Carl Stewart stepped up to send Melville the wrong way to complete the 3-0 scoreline.

REPORT by Alan Evans