South Park 2  Northwood 0

Saturday 23rd December 2023


1 Roraigh Browne
2 Harry McKenna
3 Lesley Duru
4 Luke Tingey ©
5 Romario Jonas
6 Keagan Cole (67m)
7 Carl Stewart
8 Teddy Stacey
9 Reece Cameron
10 Sam Jenkins (66m)
11 Kofi Anokye-Boadi
12 Deago Dunbar Bonnie (67m)
14 Harry McCorkell
15 Godlove Oppong
16 Tyler Robinson (66m)
17 Jacob Cook

South Park:
Danny Bracken , James McElligott, Sam Tutt, Ryan Healy, Ethan Kaiser, Daniel Pappoe, Jamarie Brissett, Tom Smith (Craig McGee 65m), Aiden Brown (Marco Haigh 84m), Sam King , Deondre Date (Ollie Twum 68m)

Whitehall Lane has not been a hugely successful venue for the Woods in recent visits and this ultimately proved no different as South Park secured a fourth consecutive home victory over Northwood who failed to find the net away from home for the sixth time in the last seven league matches.

Manager Ben Bukowski was without the trio of Harry Gallagher, Harry McCorkell and Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway for this pre-Christmas clash and so stretched was the current squad that two players arrived on dual-registration while coach Jacob Cook also registered in case of an emergency on a busy Friday.

Former Fulham Academy left-back Lesley Duru arrived from Chesham United and was given a start while Harrow Borough striker Tyler Robinson was on the bench. Assistant Manager Keagan Cole made his first start of the season in defence and Reece Cameron started in preference to Godlove Oppong who was still carrying a bit of a knock.

Neither side got to grips with the windy conditions that swirled around the stadium in the opening stages but it was the Sparks who got their noses in front with a goal from the first real chance on 17 minutes. It was some clever play around the edge of the box that saw Jamarie Brissett get past his marker and then slot over the diving Roraigh Browne and into the net.

The home side went close to a second three minutes later when left-back Sam Tutt found space on a run forward, trying his luck with a fierce strike that clipped the crossbar.

Finally, the Woods started to work their way back into the game as, after 26 minutes, Harry McKenna played a neat ball across and into the stride of Kofi Anokye-Boadi but his strike was wide of the near-post. Four minutes later, a long-throw gave Cameron a chance to swivel and shoot but his bearings were all wrong and the ball flew wide.

Next came a free-kick opportunity from just outside the box. Cole curled it nicely past the defensive wall but the Sparks goalkeeper Danny Bracken was equal to it, diving to his right to push the ball around the post.

PHOTOS by James Brown

As half-time approached, Aiden Brown went close for South Park with a shot that flew just over the bar but the Woods hit back and should have been level before the break as McKenna burst down the right flank and sent over a perfect cross. Cameron stretched but was inches short of stabbing it home and the ball was turned behind for a corner.

It was a similar start to the second-half with the home side happy to defend their narrow lead and rely on their quick strike force to break but the Woods were defending solidly enough too and they created their own great chance to level after 64 minutes as Carl Stewart latched onto Cameron’s pass only to see his powerful shot tipped onto a post by Bracken with the ball rebounding across goal before being cleared.

Northwood made a double substitution two minutes later with Deago Dunbar-Bonnie and Robinson replacing Cole and Sam Jenkins but it brought little real threat as the home side often broke up play in a series of effective time-wasting displays.

The last throw of the dice was a cameo for Oppong, who replace Duru in an attacking move and he did have one opportunity from a far post header but it lacked direction and, in the end, it was the Sparks who killed the game off with another solo effort from the speedy Brissett after 87 minutes that ultimately sealed all three points for the Reigate-based side.

Four minutes into the seven-minutes of stoppage-time added, saw Dunbar-Bonnie’s corner-kick punched out as far as Luke Tingey but his shot was always climbing high and wide.

REPORT by Alan Evans