Raynes Park Vale 1  Northwood 0

Saturday 14th October 2023


1 Andrew McCorkell
2 Teddy Stacey
3 Deago Dunbar Bonnie
4 George Milner-Smith (90m)
5 Luke Tingey © 
6 Romario Jonas
7 Carl Stewart
8 Prince Mbengui (75m)
9 Dan Williams
10 Kofi Anokye-Boadi
11 Zeid Hannachi (59m)
12 Sam Jenkins
14 Harry McCorkell (90m)
15 Harry Gallagher
16 Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway (59m)
17 Curtis Brown (75m)

Billy Bishop, Archie Harland-Goddard (Jerry O'Sullivan 42m), Callum Hope, Jordan Stepney, Nathan Lewis, Timmy Obisanya (Charlie Penny 70m), Jordan Gallagher, Daniel Moody , Jordy Ndozid (James Dickson 62m), Callum McAllister, Brad Sweeney

Yet again Northwood failed to halt their dismal run as they succumbed to a single goal defeat at the hands of the league leaders on their first-ever visit to Grand Drive.

Woods switched to a back three as they welcomed back skipper Luke Tingey with Prince Mbengui and Zeid Hannachi returning to the starting line-up in Place of Osaretin Otote and Curtis Brown with the latter reverting to the bench.

The league leaders settled quickly and tested Northwood’s resolve with their direct play from the off - goalkeeper Andrew McCorkell quickly out to deny James Dickson before Jordan Gallagher twice went close with Tingey bravely blocking a shot and McCorkell gathering once again.

Northwood were struggling to get any sort of foothold on proceedings, and it was no surprise when they fell behind on 14 minutes as Callum McAllister’s near post shot squirmed under McCorkell.

Woods looked to respond and worked a good position through Hannachi, but the youngster chose to try and play the ball across when a shot on goal might have been the better option and the chance was gone. Meanwhile the Vale were a constant threat with Northwood inviting problems as they continued to surrender possession - McCorkell saving well from Gallagher and Nathan Lewis before another quick break saw Gallagher shoot over on the angle.

Following a pretty torrid first 30 minutes, Northwood began to settle and ask some questions of their own – strong appeals for a penalty being waved away as Jordan Stepney appeared to handle the ball on the ground under pressure from Deago Dunbar-Bonnie, Kofi Anoyke-Boadi seeing his shot blocked after a strong run into the box while goalkeeper Billly Bishop kept out a shot from Dan Williams.

However, Woods were fortunate not to fall further behind in first half stoppage time as the hosts twice hit the woodwork through Bradley Sweeney and Gallagher, but Northwood survived to give themselves hope for the second half.

PHOTOS by James Brown

Woods made a positive start to the second period, enjoying more of the ball as they looked to get back in the game without truly threatening the RPV goal. And Northwood made their first substitution on 52 minutes as Hannachi made way for Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway who took up an attacking position.

Northwood’s promising play continued as they won a free-kick in a dangerous position - Dunbar-Bonnie’s delivery being met by the head of George Milner-Smith who saw his effort parried away by Bishop while Anokye-Boadi claimed he was unfairly challenged as he looked to latch onto the loose ball.

After having to do some defending, the Vale were back into attacking mode as McCorkell produced more heroics to keep out Gallagher on a couple of occasions before the same player hooked wide when well placed.

Woods made another change on 75 minutes as they bolstered their attacking options with Brown replacing Mbengui. But the visitors had more defending to do as Gallagher’s cross-shot was clawed away McCorkell clawed away by McCorkell at the far post.

The hosts were reduced to ten men on 80 minutes after having used all their substitutes and Lewis having to leave the field after a clash of heads with Williams.

Northwood utilised their full quota of substitutions as Harry McCorkell replaced Milner-Smith with the visitors still hoping to salvage something in stoppage time. And Woods were presented with a glorious opportunity in the seventh extra minute as Brown robbed a defender and broke clear before squaring to Williams, the latter having to break his stride slightly before rolling the ball wide of the unguarded net off his weaker right foot – extinguishing any hopes Woods had of putting an end to their losing run.

REPORT by Robin Piper