Thatcham Town 2  Northwood 0

Saturday 28th October 2023


1 Roraigh Browne
2 Teddy Stacey
3 Carl Stewart
4 George Milner-Smith
5 Luke Tingey ©
6 Romario Jonas
7 Curtis Brown (63m)
8 Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway
9 Dan Williams (83m)
10 Reece Cameron
11 Kofi Anokye-Boadi (83m)
12 Harry McKenna (83m)
14 Prince Mbengui
15 Harry Gallagher
16 Zeid Hannachi (83m)
17 Godlove Oppong (63m)

Toby Fisher, Clive Gwavava, Kyle Daniel-Spray, Callum Willmouth, Josh Blackwood, Curtis Angell, Jordan Brown (Muhamadou Ceesay 73m), Nathan Jones, Christian Johnson (Sam Tanner 63m), David Nyarko (Jordan Alves 71m), Harry Hoath

Northwood were unable to end their winless run with this disappointing defeat at Thatcham who were just one place above them in the table prior to the game.

Manager Ben Bukowski was forced into several changes, most pointedly after the departure of goalkeeper Andrew McCorkell to Middlesex neighbours Uxbridge during the week but was able to field young Watford Academy prospect, South-African born Roraigh Browne who has joined on a work experience deal.

Deago Dunbar-Bonnie was unavailable and missed his first game of the season along with Sam Jenkins and Harry McCorkell. However, there was good news as Reece Cameron started for the first time since his arrival from Harrow Borough and there were places on the bench for Godlove Oppong (after long-term injury) and new signing Harry McKenna, who is on dual-registration with Aldershot Town. Zeid Hannachi and Prince Mbengui both returned on the bench, having missed the previous two games.

And the Woods made a promising start to the match as Curtis Brown was put through on goal in just the second minute. He outpaced the defence and shot across goalkeeper Toby Fisher but the ball rolled wide of the far post.

The Kingfishers also saw plenty of the ball early on too and Browne was forced into his first save of the game on 11 minutes when a corner was cleared out as far as skipper Nathan Jones and his strike was pushed away by the strong hands of the Woods new custodian.

Two minutes later, the ball was lost in midfield which allowed Harry Hoath to stride forward at pace. He skipped past a challenge from Luke Tingey and was into the box before shooting across goal and wide of the far post in similar fashion to the Woods early effort.

PHOTOS by James Brown

But Thatcham continued to enjoy the better of the attacking play. Tingey made a good block in the area from a powerful strike after 22 minutes and three minutes later the home side took the lead. A corner was flighted in from the right and Josh Blackwood outjumped the defence to plant a firm header inside the post.

Northwood’s response was subdued. Top scorer Dan Williams was far too isolated up front but still managed to get in a shot at goal when he cut in from the right. Fisher saved comfortably though and it was Thatcham who looked more likely to score again before the break.

After 42 minutes, Hoath broke free again and was denied by a tremendous block from Milner-Smith and just before half-time a cross was headed wide by the unmarked Christian Johnson.

Still only one goal behind when the second-half started, Teddy Stacey earned a free-kick in a promising area following a run down the centre and although Cameron appeared to strike it well enough, it failed to hit the target.

After 56 minutes, the Kingfishers went close to increasing their advantage as Kyle Daniel-Spray raced down the left-flank and knocked in a cross which flashed dangerously across the face of the goal and clipped the crossbar before being cleared.

Two minutes later, Williams managed to get a clean strike on a loose ball that was bobbing around just outside the box but unfortunately it struck Kofi Anokye-Boadi and deflected wide.

Oppong replaced Brown after 63 minutes for his first League appearance since joining the Woods in the summer and there was a shuffle around up front with Williams moving wide, Cameron switching to a central role and Oppong playing behind them.

It made no immediate impact and it was Thatcham substitute Sam Tanner who burst through to shoot, only to be denied by a good save from Browne, with Stacey clearing the danger as the ball ran loose. A minute later Tanner again threatened with a fierce strike that again clipped the bar.

On 71 minutes Tingey needed patching up after a clash of heads but after a few minutes he returned to the fray and the Woods went closest to levelling the scores after 76 minutes. Some clever footwork saw Cameron get past his marker in the box. He cut it back to Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway who poked a shot goalwards but Fisher was able to block for a corner.

There was still time to recover something when Hannachi and McKenna were introduced after 83 minutes, replacing Williams and Anokye-Boadi but it was not to be.

Just three minutes later, Daniel Spray strode forward once again, finding acres of space and he took full advantage, firing a shot that curled away from the diving Browne before nestling just inside the far post.

Browne pushed another shot from the dangerous Hoath wide a minute later to deny Thatcham a third and the announcement of eight minutes of stoppage-time was accompanied by Tingey having to leave the field, still suffering from his earlier issue. With the rain now teeming down, the Woods managed to see out the rest of the match but there was never a chance of getting back into the game.

REPORT by Alan Evans