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Northwood claim spoils in ‘six pointer’
 
  Saturday 16th November 2019

BetVictor
Isthmian League
South Central

 

 

 

WORDS:
Robin Piper   
PICTURES:
James Brown

 
 

Ashford Town (Mx) 1
Northwood 3

WOODS LINE-UP  
 
1 Joe Ringer  
2 Enock Ekongo  
3 Mack Miskin (11m)  
4 Gabriel Piorkowski  
5 Liam McCrohan (17m)  
6 Ethan Flanagan  
7 Luke Holness (75m)  
8 Charlie Hayford ¬©  
9 Harry Lodovica  
10 Eric Lopes  
11 Tyrone Pink  
SUBSTITUTES  
12 Patrick Campbell (17m)  
14 Azeez Alibi (11m)  
15 Kiye Martin (75m)  
16 Festus Lori  
17 Kingsley Eshun  
     
ASHFORD: Sam Mason, Hafid Bounyafe (Rylan Myers 82m) , Aaron Petch , Joe Noakes (Harrison Okwu-Ndubuisi 64m), Darryl Harrison, Matthew Surmon, Tommy Brunton, Max Webb, Kelvin Adjei, Sam Humphreys, Scott Weight (Robert Mundow 75m)  
   

Northwood claimed the spoils in this crucial ‘six pointer’ with a well deserved win against fellow strugglers Ashford Town.

Bottom side Woods went into the game two points behind the Tangerines but on the back of an encouraging midweek Velocity Trophy win over Uxbridge. Manager Jamie Leacock was forced to make one change to his Woods team after Kweku Lucan decided to move on to pastures new, Harry Lodovica returning to lead the attack in an unfamiliar striker’s role.

And Northwood made the perfect start as they took the lead as early as the second minute, Tyrone Pink releasing the over-lapping Mack Miskin down the left, the full-back’s low cross finding Lodovica whose shot on the turn beat goalkeeper Sam Mason at his near post.

Spurred on by the goal, Northwood maintained the early momentum with Enock Ekongo firing a half-volley from outside the box into the arms of Mason following a Charlie Hayford free-kick. And Woods threatened again as Pink’s deep cross almost reached the unmarked Lodovica lurking at the far post.

But Northwood suffered a double injury blow as they lost Miskin to a back injury closely followed by Liam McCrohan, who tweaked a knee, Azeez Alabi the replacement left-back with fellow substitute Patrick Campbell coming into central defence.

Woods were ruffled by the changes and the hosts looked to take advantage as Samuel Humphrey was denied by the fingertips of Joe Ringer when the Ashford striker intercepted Flanagan’s attempted header back to his keeper. While Hafid Bounyafe wasn’t far away with a shot from distance before Aaron Petch’s free-kick from the edge of the box was comfortably gathered by Ringer.

And Northwood were still readjusting as a strong run by Thomas Brunton into their box was illegally halted by Gabriel Piorkowski with Kevin Adjei stepping up to make no mistake from the penalty spot to restore parity with 26 minutes gone. Ashford were buoyed by the equaliser and a swift counter-attack saw Adjei firing in a low shot which was collected by Ringer at the second attempt.

However, Woods gradually settled as they recovered their attacking momentum and they regained the lead on 39 minutes as Pink got the better of Bounyafe and fired in a low cross which was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Scott Weight.

The Tangerines went close to restoring parity before half-time but Ringer did well to deny Humphreys with the Woods defence looking for an offside flag.

Northwood had some defending to do early in the second period with Max Webb heading over from a free-kick before Adjei saw his shot deflected for a corner. Having stood up to the Tangerine threat, Woods had a great opportunity to increase their lead as a delightful Hayford through-ball played in Eric Lopes but Mason was quickly off his line to block the shot.

However, Northwood were not to be denied as Lodovica combined with Holness to create the opening for Lopes who rifled a fierce shot into the roof of the Ashford net to give the visitors a two-goal cushion on the hour mark.

Woods continued to push for further goals, Hayford not far away with a long range free-kick while Piorkowski wasn't far away with a curling shot from just inside the box. In between these two efforts, Humphreys almost found a way through the Northwood defence but his progress was halted by the impressive Flanagan.

Woods made a change on 75 minutes as Holness was replaced by Kiye Martin to freshen up the midfield. But while Northwood appeared to have a firm grip on proceedings, Ashford still posed a threat as Ringer dealt with a low shot from Webb while Adjei might have done better as he blazed his shot over from a good position.

Woods were continuing to look dangerous on the break as Ashford threw increasing numbers forward in an attempt to get back into the match, Lodovica falling foul of an offside flag as he latched onto Pink’s pass and rolled the ball home.

The hosts were growing increasingly frustrated and this was in evidence as Rylan Myers launched a rash challenge on Piorkowski, the Ashford substitute receiving a red card for his efforts but not before Webb went close with a header for the Tangerines.

But it wasn’t to be for Ashford as Northwood safely negotiated¬† the remaining minutes to secure the crucial win, only their second in the league this season, which takes them off the bottom of table to be replaced by the Tangerines and to cap a highly satisfactory few days for Leacock and his new look team.