Northwood 4  Thatcham Town 1

Saturday 17th February 2024


1 Andrew McCorkell
2 Sam Jenkins (88m)
3 Deago Dunbar Bonnie
4 Carl Stewart (89m)
5 Luke Tingey ©
6 Harry Gallagher 
7 Adam Laaref (83m)
8 Teddy Stacey
9 Lucas Sinclair
10 Dan Williams
11 Kofi Anokye-Boadi
12 Harry McKenna (83m)
14 Harry McCorkell (88m)
15 Stephan Langley
16 Archie James (89m)
17 Martin Flannery

Callum Smart, Basim Mirtahmasebi (Andrew Matthews 78m), Kyle Daniel-Spray, Callum Willmouth, Clive Gwavava, Josh Blackwood , Sam Tanner (Owen Clark 53m), Muhamadou Ceesay , Jordi Ebanda, Cameron Squires, Harvey Harry

Northwood picked up three valuable three points with a dominant display against an in-form Thatcham Town side that had won three on the spin before their visit to the Skyline Roofing Stadium.

There were two changes to the Woods starting line-up from their last game eleven days earlier with Carl Stewart and Dan Williams returning in preference to Harry McKenna and Harry McCorkell with a change of role for Kofi Anokye-Boadi.

Morning rain had left the already soft surface a bit heavy in places but the Woods started in lively fashion and were quickly on the front foot with a Luke Tingey throw being headed goalwards by Harry Gallagher but it drifted wide of the target.

The Kingfishers looked dangerous on the break and when the Woods lost possession in midfield, it provided a chance for Jordi Ebanda. The striker had scored five times in the last three games but on this occasion his strike was pushed wide by Andrew McCorkell.

After 16 minutes, some good work and a clever chip from Adam Laaref picked out Anokye-Boadi but his header was straight at goalkeeper Callum Smart who gathered comfortably. Six minutes later Anokye-Boadi made good ground down the right and got the ball in but Smart was in the right place to gather it at the near-post. But just four minutes later, the pressure paid off as a corner from Deago Dunbar-Bonnie was headed goalwards by Gallagher. Smart failed to collect under pressure from Williams and it was Anokye-Boadi who reacted quickest to knock home the loose ball.

After 29 minutes another throw-in from Tingey caused problems and Sam Jenkins touched it into the net but unfortunately it was clearly with his hand and his was booked for his misdemeanour. Two minutes later, Anokye-Boadi again proved a thorn in the visitors’ side as a chance opened up for him but his strike flashed across the goal and wide.

PHOTOS by James Brown

It had been an excellent first-half performance from the Woods, stretching the Thatcham defence throughout but they only led by the odd goal at the break so the Kingfishers would be looking to tur things around in the second half.

Inside the opening ten minutes the Woods continued to threaten. Williams had a shot well wide, then a jinking run from Laaref finished with a shot that flashed inches wide of the far post before a great move started by Jenkins saw Anokye-Boadi deliver an inviting cross which was met by Lucas Sinclair but somehow Smart kept it out.

Immediately Thatcham levelled the scores as Jenkins hesitated to clear a long ball and Harvey Harry nipped through to slot home with a cool finish. However, the Woods never allowed that setback to affect their play. Laaref forced Smart into another save on 58 minutes and three minutes later they were back in front. Another Tingey throw was headed on by Gallagher and it fell to Sinclair, whose goalbound effort was blocked before Anokye-Boadi pounced again to score from close-range.

Northwood turned the screw and after 67 minutes, Williams got the ball in from the right and, in turn, Laaref set up Gallagher who curled a delightful shot from the edge of the box beyond Smart and inside the far post. The Woods defender thought he might have had a second after 73 minutes when he touched in but that was ruled offside and the Laaref again forced a save from Smart before he was replaced by McKenna for the final ten minutes.

The Woods dominant performance of the heavy pitch deserved a fourth goal and it duly came after 87 minutes. McKenna was hacked down right of the penalty-area by Josh Blackwood who was yellow carded and from a perfectly flighted free-kick from Dunbar-Bonnie, Sinclair rose higher than the 6ft 9in defender Andrew Matthews to head home.

A couple of late substitutions took the Woods into five additional minutes but there was only one further attempt at goal as Williams tried his luck from distance but it flew wide of the post.

REPORT by Alan Evans