Northwood 1  Southall 2

Tuesday 26th December 2023


1 Roraigh Browne
2 Sam Jenkins
3 Lesley Duru
4 Carl Stewart
5 Luke Tingey ©
6 Keagan Cole
7 Harry McKenna
8 Teddy Stacey
9 Reece Cameron (83m)
10 Kofi Anokye-Boadi
11 Deago Dunbar Bonnie (89m)
12 Jacob Cook
14 Godlove Oppong
15 Josh Helmore (83m)
16 Tyler Robinson (89m)
17 -

Michael Edegbe, Dimitris Savva, Azeez Alabi, Ryan Hope, Abdul Nurein, David Amate (Luke Heneghan 65m)(Kevin Diomande 88m), Jaden Thompson-Brissett, Joshua Green , Anthony O’Connor , Brendan Matthew, Tariq al-sadi (William Montague 66m)

For the second time in four weeks, striker Brendan Matthew was a thorn in the side of the Woods as he followed up scoring the only goal in a win for Ascot United by bagging both goals late in this game for his new club Southall to win three points that took them joint top on points.

Northwood went into the game looking for a third successive home win at the Skyline Roofing Stadium but were still without Harry Gallagher, Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway and Harry McCorkell while Romario Jonas failed a fitness test before the game, meaning Sam Jenkins had to fill in on the left side of the central defence. Jenks was making his 100th appearance for the Woods and was joined in reaching that milestone by Carl Stewart, the Woods midfielder being almost ever-present since joining just over two years ago. There was a return to the club though for fans’ favourite Josh Helmore, who took a place on the subs bench having rejoined from Arlesey Town.

There was a slow start to the game the twenty-minute mark arrived with only one effort on goal, a Teddy Stacey strike that flew over the bar. Then there was a chance for the visitors as Anthony O’Connor raced down the right and sent over a tempting cross. It was met by Matthew but his touch goalwards was brilliantly blocked by Roraigh Browne in the Woods goal.

Three minutes later some good work from Reece Cameron saw him get in a cross from the right but Jenkins header was wide of the target and soon after Cameron had his own header cleared by some desperate Southall defending.

PHOTOS by James Brown

The game continued to flow both ways without any clearcut efforts on goal. Jenkins headed over from another corner and then a couple of minutes before the break a great strike from the division’s top scorer Jaden Thompson-Brissett brought a terrific save once again from Browne. The ball bounced up and could have spun into the net but the Woods keeper was alert enough to claim the loose ball.

There was certainly still all to play for when the second half commenced and the Woods continued to probe, forcing a couple of dangerous corners and from one of these, they took the lead on the hour. Deago Dunbar-Bonnie curled one in to the near-post where Kofi Anokye-Boadi flicked on a header and neither goalkeeper Michael Edegbe or his defence to prevent the ball crossing the line.

It stirred Southall into action and after 68 minutes O’Connor flicked on a chip forward from substitute William Montague but Browne was out to thwart any danger. But five minutes later, Joshua Green made progress down the left and knocked in a cross which was met by a Matthew diving-header to level the scores.

It needed a solid defensive performance at the back by the Woods if they were to ensure they got at least a share of the points and they continued to resist the spirited surge from the ‘All with Jenkins clearing a Thompson-Brissett chip off the line after he finally beat Browne.

But they didn’t quite see the game out. After 85 minutes Southall had the ball in the net and an offside flag ruled that effort out but just two minutes later a more direct route proved more successful. Edegbe kicked long, the ball was headed on as Keagan Cole hesitated and Matthew was onto it in a flash to tuck the ball past Browne for his second.

The Woods were unable to rally in stoppage-time and it was Southall who finally broke a 40-year, 14 match hoodoo sequence without a win over Northwood with this narrow success.

REPORT by Alan Evans