Hendon 3  Northwood 2

Tuesday 23rd January 2024


1 Roraigh Browne
2 Harry McKenna (86m)
3 Deago Dunbar Bonnie (86m)
4 Luke Tingey © (54m)
5 Romario Jonas
6 Harry Gallagher
7 Carl Stewart
8 Teddy Stacey (81m)
9 Dan Williams
10 Archie James (73m)
11 Kofi Anokye-Boadi
12 Ben Crowder (86m)
14 Joe Reade (81m)
15 Martin Flannery (73m)
16 Sam Jenkins (54m)
17 Mikey Tierney (86m)

Matt Kerbey, Simeon Olarerin, Lucas Perry, Blaise Riley-Snow (Billy Leonard 67m), Dave Diedhiou, Ethan Light, Shaun Lucien (Kay Brosnan 61m), Finlay Macnab (Kurtis Cumberbatch 67m), Joe White, Niko Muir, Luca Allinson (Hamza Semakula 61m)

Despite a very competitive performance at Step 3 play-off challengers Hendon, the Woods saw their chance of any cup glory this season ended by a hat-trick from Northwood “old-boy” Niko Muir who showed all his experience to put his side into the semi-finals.

With seven players ruled out through injury, unavailability or being cup-tied, the management introduced a blend of youth for the cup-tie, with 18-year-old Archie James making his debut having arrived from Oxhey Jets while Woods youth teamers Joe Reade and Ben Crowder were included on the bench alongside another youngster, Mikey Tierney.

There was also a surprise second debut for top scorer Dan Williams who has returned to the fold after a short spell back at Uxbridge.
And, after a bright start by the Woods, it was Williams who gave his side a great start with just twelve minutes on the clock.

Receiving a ball with his back to goal just outside the box, he turned and drilled a shot that swirled and gave goalkeeper Matt Kerbey no chance.

The industrious running of James and Kofi Anokye-Boadi has Hendon on the backfoot in the first twenty minutes but they were unable to maintain that intensity and the home side gradually worked their way back into the game with Shaun Lucian starting to cause a few problems.

But generally, the Northwood defence looked solid and Hendon’s final ball was tending to be overhit in the windy conditions. That is until the 34th minute when youngster Luca Allison did well on the right flank and a couple of touches led to Muir being in the right place on the edge of the six-yard box to slot across Roraigh Brown and inside the far post.

It spurred the Greens on and they went close twice in the final ten minutes of the half. On both occasions, the Woods young keeper Browne denied them, firstly pushing a great strike from skipper Joe White wide of the target and then making an instinctive stop to keep out another Muir effort following a speedy run down the right from Samuel Olarerin.

After the break, Northwood returned with renewed vigour and when Deago Dunbar-Bonnie got down the left and sent over a good cross, Williams had a half-chance but saw his flicked shot deflected wide for a corner.

Unfortunately, one-time Hendon defender Luke Tingey was then forced off with an injury, replaced by Sam Jenkins on 54 minutes and a minute later, Browne picked up a yellow card when straying just outside the penalty-area when collecting a ball that swirled in the wind. From the resulting free-kick, the Woods keeper made another fine save to keep out Lucien’s well-struck free-kick.

The tide of play was with Hendon at this stage and it was Muir who then put the Greens in front on 59 minutes as he curled a shot across goal and into the top corner to give Browne no chance.

Substitute Hamza Semakula showed impressive speed to get down the right and set up White for an ideal opportunity on 65 minutes but he skied his powerfully struck shot.

Anokye-Boadi was unable to get a shot on target after being picked out by Harry McKenna’s ball into the box as the Woods tried to get back on level terms and then defender Martin Flannery, another new signing, replaced a tiring James for his debut.

Unfortunately, a minute later, a chance opened up for Muir to gratefully complete his hat-trick and it looked as if that had wrapped things up. But, within a minute, the Woods were back in it again as Williams turned provider with a cross from the right and Anokye-Boadi buried it with a fierce strike into the roof of the net.

The final three substitutions were made inside the final ten minutes of the game with Reade, Crowder and Tierney all getting minutes and there was one half-chance for the Woods which went begging but in the end the home side defended their narrow lead well, with Semakula missing a late opportunity to wrap it up.

REPORT by Alan Evans