Northwood 1  Leatherhead 2

Saturday 13th January 2024


1 Roraigh Browne
2 Harry McKenna
3 Deago Dunbar Bonnie
4 Luke Tingey ©
5 Romario Jonas (71m)
6 Harry Gallagher
7 Carl Stewart (86m)
8 Teddy Stacey
9 Josh Helmore (87m)
10 Lucas Sinclair
11 Kofi Anokye-Boadi
12 Mikey Tierney (87m)
14 Ben Crowder (71m)
15 Sam Jenkins (86m)
16 -
17 -

Mikey Allen, Alpha Diallo, Michael Elechi, Jamie Splatt, Ollie Cook , Fikayo Atewologun, Daniel Hector (Omarr Lawson 83m), Ghas Sow, Trevan Robinson (Tommy Stagg 75m), Fabio Saraiva (Kenny Beaney 85m), Tyler Cox

Looking to build on a midweek victory over the Metropolitan Police, the Woods fell just short of getting something from this contest against high-flying Leatherhead, who stay firmly on the heels of the leaders Chertsey Town and Southall.

Once again, manager Ben Bukowski had to shuffle his side with Harry McCorkell, Godlove Oppong and Keagan Cole all ruled out with injury while Reece Cameron was recalled by parent club Harrow Borough for a game at Step 3. It meant a first start since his return to the club for Josh Helmore, while Lucas Sinclair arrived on dual registration to make his Woods debut.

The Tanners, who could boast the division’s best defensive record, were able to welcome back regular central defender Ollie Cook to strengthen their starting line-up having notched an impressive 4-1 win over Raynes Park Vale in midweek.

There was a slow start to the game with neither side finding a way through the final third until a dangerous cross from the visitors left was cut out by a headed clearance from Harry Gallagher. From the resulting corner, Cook timed his leap well to win a header but it looped over the crossbar.

Just three minutes later, the Tanners were in front. Gus Sow picked up a loose ball in midfield and found Dan Hector and as Romario Jonas closed him down, a simple pass sent Trevan Robinson through on goal and he lifted it over the diving Roraigh Brown to open the scoring.

Leatherhead’s pacey attack saw them continue to dominate but the Woods defence stayed solid for the most part. Another corner saw Jamie Splatt head wide of the target and then Fabio Saraiva found space to try a long-range strike which wasn’t far wide of the upright.

PHOTOS by James Brown

But the Woods were still only one goal behind at the break despite not creating much in front of goal and hopes were high that they could still turn things around.

The visitors started the half quickly though with Robinson’s snap shot seeing Browne dive to his left to push the ball around the post for a corner on 48 minutes and it was from this that the Tanners doubled their lead. Browne got a good punch to the inswinging corner but Alpha Diallo was just able to reach the loose ball ahead of Kofi Anokye-Boadi and a teammate before powering a shot into the top right-hand corner to give Browne no chance.

It was after 57 minutes that the Woods felt they should have had a penalty as Helmore slipped a ball into Sinclair who was clearly clipped by a retreating Cook as he turned into the box but the Referee waved away those appeals.

On the hour mark, Northwood continued to rally a little. A Luke Tingey throw was headed goalwards by Gallagher but the ball dropped kindly for goalkeeper Mikey Allen to take comfortably and at the other end, Browne was back in action to deny another fine strike from Diallo.

The Woods picked up a couple of yellow cards – Harry McKenna and Gallagher – as they struggled to keep tabs on the willing running of the Leatherhead strike force while they also made substitutions, with Ben Crowder getting his first run-out since being injured at Cray Valley some four months ago.

With just six minutes of normal time left, Mikey Tierney and Sam Jenkins both entered the fray, replacing Carl Stewart and Helmore but time was running out for Northwood. Anokye-Boadi forced Allen into a good save three minutes later with a shot on the turn and the Woods kept pressing.

In the 89th minute, a free-kick was chipped into the box by Gallagher with Tingey and Jenkins both heading on before it was half-cleared. Teddy Stacey had an effort blocked but then Gallagher fired goalwards from thirty yards, Allen could only push the ball away, Anokye-Boadi chipped it back into the centre and Sinclair calmly headed into the net to give the Woods late hope.

There were four additional minutes of stoppage-time but it proved not long enough for Northwood with the closest they came being an Anokye-Boadi header from a Tierney centre but it lacked the power to test the Leatherhead keeper and the visitors held on to all three points.

REPORT by Alan Evans