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Woods crash out at FA Cup first hurdle
 
  Saturday 24th August 2019

Emirates FA Cup
Preliminary Round

 

 

 

 

 

WORDS:
Robin Piper   
PICTURES:
James Brown

 
 

Longlevens 1
Northwood 0

WOODS LINE-UP  
 
1 Rob Partington  
2 Liam McCrohan (60m)  
3 Miguel Lopes De Matos  
4 Jaiden Irish  
5 Sacha M’Baye  
6 Ethan Flanagan  
7 Kyran Worrell (37m)  
8 Chris Gosling  
9 Louis Bircham  
10 Alex Witham  
11 Kweku Lucan  
SUBSTITUTES  
12 Luke Holness (37m)  
14 Andrew Tirivanha  
15 Matt Cooper  
16 Karl Stevenson (60m)  
17 Luke Nugent  
18 Kiye Martin  
     

LONGLEVENS: Ash Wintle (Kane Winman), Will Emery (Rhys Lewis), Logan Roach, James Barnett, Ed Smyllie, Ollie Long, Tommy Callinan, Shaun O'Connor (Josh Westcarr), Tom Powell-Davies,  Brad Martin, Harry Emmett

   

Northwood exited the F.A. Cup at the preliminary round stage for the third time in four seasons as Hellenic League outfit Longlevens avenged last season's defeat with a single goal victory on a warm afternoon in Gloucester.

Manager Scott Dash made a number of changes, with the Woods  reverting to a 4-3-3 formation. Alex Witham and Kyran Worrell made their first starts of the season in attack while Jaiden Irish returned to the midfield with Harry Lodovica failing to shrug off the knock he picked up in midweek. There was a new look to the Northwood defence with full-backs Karl Stevenson and Matt Cooper being replaced by Liam McCrohan and Miguel Matos.

The tie got off to a scrappy start with neither side able to find any real cohesion, Northwood keeper Rob Partington dealing comfortably with Harry Emmett's long-range effort while Kweku Lucan was unable to capitalise on a  reverse pass into the Longlevens box from Louis Bircham.

The hosts gradually began to work some useful openings, Will Emery scooping a shot over the bar before Emmett went close with a curling effort. Northwood were struggling to impose themselves against their lower level opposition and skipper Sacha M'Baye betrayed Woods' frustrations  as he entered the referee's notebook for a rash challenge.

However, Northwood began to offer a threat without really testing home keeper Ash Wintle, Witham heading wide before the former saw his shot blocked in a goalmouth scramble with Ethan Flanagan having a header punched clear from the ensuing corner.

Luke Holness replaced Kyran Worrell on 37 minutes as the latter succumbed to an ankle injury and the substitute was straight into the action as he got a knee on the end of Lucan's cross but directed his effort wide of the target.

But it was the hosts who finished the half the stronger as Emery dragged a shot wide from a good position, before Partington was quickly off his line to deny Emmett as the lively attacker looked to take the ball round the Northwood stopper.

Woods needed to up their game in the second half but they had a scare as Emery spurned a glorious chance to give Longlevens the lead as he fired wide on his weaker foot following a long throw into the box.

Having survived, Woods began to exert some control and enjoyed their best spell of the game with Bircham increasingly prominent. Lucan combined well with Bircham but there was no-one to apply the finish to the low cross before Lucan saw another effort fly wide of the upright.

Woods were forced into a change on the hour as Karl Stevenson replaced McCrohan at right-back.

And Woods kept up the pressure. Holness did well down the left and his cross found Bircham who was denied by the outstretched hand of Wintle, who collided with his own defender in the melee and left the field with a bloody face to be replaced by substitute keeper Kane Winman.

However, Northwood were unable to make their pressure count and they were undone as they lost possession deep in the opposition half, the hosts breaking quickly with substitute Josh Westcarr squaring the ball to Brad Martin, who made no mistake to put Longlevens in front on 75 minutes.

Woods needed a quick response and Lucan might have done better as his shot failed to seriously replacement keeper Winman after Witham had created the opening.

But the hosts had a great chance to put the tie to bed as Woods left themselves exposed at the back, Emmett breaking clear but denied by Partington.

Northwood were growing increasingly desperate, Holness having a shot saved, Stevenson firing over from a tight angle and Flanagan heading over from a corner.

But Longlevens stood firm as Woods' frustrations grew with Bircham picking up a yellow card as he clashed with Tom Powell-Davies. And there was to be no way back for Northwood as Longlevens comfortably negotiated stoppage time to put themselves in the hat for the next round with Woods left  to reflect on another under-par performance in what has been an extremely disappointing start to the season.