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Woods hit by 94th minute goal
 
  Saturday 31st August 2019

BetVictor
Isthmian League
South Central

 

 

 

 

WORDS:
Robin Piper   
PICTURES:
James Brown

 
 

Tooting & Mitcham United 2
Northwood 1

WOODS LINE-UP  
 
1 Rob Partington  
2 Karl Stevenson (87m)  
3 Matt Cooper  
4 Jaiden Irish  
5 Liam McCrohan  
6 Imran Uche  
7 Luke Holness (75m)  
8 Charlie Hayford  
9 Alex Witham  
10 Louis Bircham (68m)  
11 Kweku Lucan  
SUBSTITUTES  
12 Chris Gosling (68m)  
14 Kiye Martin  
15 Miguel Lopes De Matos  
16 Sacha M’Baye (87m)  
17 Kingsley Eshun (75m)  
     
TOOTING: James Shaw, George Ademiluyi (Omari Hibbert 69m), Dean Hamlin, Sol Patterson-Bohner, Nathan Daly, Dominic Morgan-Griffiths, David Castanho (Nebay Haile 76m), Danny Bassett, Daryl Coleman, Razzaq Coleman, Hady Ghandour (Shamal Edwards 84m)  
   


Northwood suffered stoppage time heartbreak as they relinquished a half-time lead for the second successive game in a pulsating affair at Imperial Fields. Woods were looking to build on the improvement they showed against Bracknell on Bank Holiday Monday and there was one change to the starting eleven with Jaiden Irish returning to the midfield in place of Chris Gosling who reverted to the bench.

Northwood started well against the in-form Terrors and they created the first chance of the afternoon as Alex Witham forged an opening for former Tooting man Luke Holness but his shot lacked the power to seriously trouble keeper James Shaw.

The hosts gradually found their feet and Woods had some defending to do as Hady Ghandour dragged a shot wide after the visitors struggled to clear their lines while David Castanho saw his shot charged down by Louis Bircham.

However, Northwood were denied the lead as Witham combined with the lively Holness once again with the latter poking the ball home past Shaw but the referee disallowed the strike for a raised foot on the keeper despite the absence of appeals from the hosts.

Having survived the scare, the Terrors proceeded to put Northwood under a sustained spell of pressure forcing a series of corners. Woods keeper Rob Partington produced smart saves to deny Ghandour and Razzaq Coleman-De-Graft before the Northwood stopper pulled off a stunning triple save to foil George Ademiluyi and Daryl Coleman. And Partington was called upon again as he turned Coleman’s free-kick round the upright.

Having withstood the Tooting pressure with the central defensive pairing of Liam McCrohan and Imran Uche working well again, Northwood looked to ask questions at the other end. Charlie Hayford wasn’t far away with a long-range effort before Woods opened the scoring on 29 minutes, Holness playing in Witham, whose angled shot evaded Shaw and crept inside the far post.

Woods were buoyed by the goal and they threatened again before  half-time with Witham just beaten to the ball by the on-rushing Shaw while Kweku Lucan had a close-range shot charged down after good work from Bircham.

Northwood could expect a Tooting response after the break but it was the visitors who were quickly on the front foot as a sweeping move saw Karl Stevenson combining with Holness who couldn’t get the necessary purchase on his shot.

But the Terrors were soon on the attack with Coleman-De-Graft’s free-kick on the edge of the box being charged down before Danny Bassett attempted a spectacular bicycle kick following a long throw into the Northwood box.

However, Woods’ resistance was finally broken as a they failed to deal with a long ball into the box which was laid off to Bassett who drove an unerring shot past Partington to draw Tooting level on 62 minutes.

Woods went close to posting an immediate response as Holness found Lucan in a useful position but the shot was deflected for a corner.

Northwood were forced into a change on 68 minutes as Gosling replaced Bircham but the momentum was now with the hosts as they went in search of the winning goal, Coleman-De-Graft twice going close before substitute Omar Hibbert had a close-range shot blocked by Uche.

Woods continued to soak up the Tooting pressure but also made a change in attack on 75 minutes with debutant Kingsley Eshun being introduced for Holness following the substitute’s midweek switch from Berkhamsted. And in a rare foray into the home half, Witham found Hayford whose long-range effort narrowly cleared the crossbar.

Normal business was soon resumed as Tooting asked further questions of the Northwood defence, Coleman heading wide from a corner while substitute Shamal Edwards saw his shot blocked.

The hosts had utilised all their substitutes including former Northwood man Nebay Haile while Sacha M’Baye replaced Stevenson for Northwood with three minutes of normal time left to play and Tooting’s five-pronged attack kept Woods on the backfoot as they survived another scare with a game of ping-pong in the box.

However, with a dramatic change in the weather as driving rain swept across the ground and with the clock counting down into the penultimate minute of five minutes of added time it was looking like Northwood were going to have something to show for their efforts.

But alas, it wasn’t to be as Coleman-De-Graft latched onto a speculative upfield punt to power past Uche before delivering an emphatic finish beyond Partington signalling wild celebrations among Tooting players and supporters and despair for Woods.

Northwood did have one last opportunity in the dying seconds with a free-kick on the edge of the box but the chance was squandered enabling Tooting to celebrate the win which takes them to the top of the table at this early stage of the season.