An unusual match up of Middlesex FA parented clubs occurred at The Ranch on Tuesday evening last, 23rd November, when Hanworth Villa entertained Northwood in Round 2 of the Middlesex Senior Charity Cup. These two sides had only ever met once before at first team level and that was as long ago as January 2010, also in the Middlesex Senior Charity Cup. The two teams are currently one step apart in the pyramid with Northwood at Step 4 (Isthmian League South Central) and Hanworth Villa at Step 5 (Combined Counties League Premier North).
The roving team of Chris Benn (County photographer) and Jim Taylor (reporter) covered this game which, despite a rally by Villa in the second half, provided a comfortable victory for the visitors.
Hanworth Villa, who are currently involved in the promotion race at the top of their league table, rested some of their key players for this match. This was, to some extent, balanced by the need of the recently appointed Northwood management team to try out some new recruits, with the object of ending a poor run of results.
There was an ominous patch of fog in one corner of the pitch when the match kicked off. Obviously, the last thing anybody wanted, given the demands of the fixture list, was a postponement.
The fog descends as Micah Jackson shoots....
Northwood went onto the offensive from the start and Villa keeper, Alex Brown held a cross shot from Matteo Esposito. Then Teddy Stacey shot just wide. However, they took the lead after 11 minutes through Micah Jackson’s well struck shot, after good approach work by Matteo Esposito.
...his goal puts Northwood 1-0 ahead...
...and he is off back into the fog to celebrate.
Northwood doubled their lead in the 15th minute through Teddy Stacey from close range, after Joakim Ehui had mishit his shot.
The fog was now spreading across the pitch and becoming much denser. It was becoming difficult to follow play from the sidelines as Micah Jackson hit his second and Woods’ third goal with a low shot in the 36th minute. Teddy Stacey then hit the Villa crossbar.
The Villains pulled a goal back in a bizarre manner after 40 minutes. Jordan Ellis, advancing on goal, aimed a kick at the ball and completely missed it.. However, a defender on the goal line was apparently deceived by his action and allowed the ball to roll into the net.
Jordan Ellis (left of picture) scores Hanworth Villa's first goal
Ryan Young fired just wide and Joakim Ehui skimmed the bar for Northwood as the interval approached.
Half time score: Hanworth Villa 1 Northwood 3
It was a relief, when emerging for the second half, to see that the fog was lifting.
Micah Jackson burst through the home defence in the 52nd minute, rounded the goalkeeper and then fired too high from an acute angle.
Ben Merson heads Hanworth Villa's second goal
Villa introduced Sam Merson and Rory Da Costa in the 63rd minute and came more into the game. Ben Merson further reduced the deficit with a header after 66 minutes. However, they were unable to make any further impression on the Woods’ defence.
Tommy Boxer scores Northwood's fourth
Alex Brown made a fine low save from Micah Jackson, before centre back Tommy Boxer restored Northwood’s two goal advantage, in the 81st minute, when he advanced upfield for a corner and converted James Gurteen’s pass.
Things became even more difficult for the Villains in the 84th minute, when Elliot Simpson was sin binned, thereby missing the remainder of the game.
Alex Brown made another very good save, this time from Aaron Petch. Then, at the other end, a fierce strike by Sam Merson was saved low down by Woods’ keeper, Daniel Purdue.
Yiannis Constantinou scores Northwood's fifth
Northwood completed a convincing victory with a goal in added time, by substitute Yiannis Constantinou, who converted Ryan Young’s pass.
Referee Andrew Tooley and his team controlled the proceedings very efficiently.
Final score: Hanworth Villa 2 Northwood 5
Hanworth Villa: Alex Brown, Bruno Tingle (Rory Da Costa 63 mins), Jordan Williams, Leon Solomon, Corey Watson, Dapo Abitogun (Sam Merson 63), Jordan Ellis, Elliot Simpson, Ben Merson (capt), Shadrac Malembe and Oscar Kally (Kai Thomas-Francis 40).
Unused substitute: Marc Floyd.
Northwood: Daniel Purdue, Matt Surmon, Andy Lomas (capt), Carl Stewart, Tommy Boxer, James Gurteen, Ryan Young, Teddy Stacey (Yiannis Constantinou 59), Micah Jackson, Matteo Esposito (Tecane Shrowder 77) and Joakim Ehui (Aaron Petch 67).
Unused substitutes: Lewis Batten and Keagan Cole.
Referee: Andrew Tooley Assistant Referees: Jack Ohene and Ian Skull
As ever we thank Chris and Jim for braving the difficult conditions and giving up their evening to support our Cup Programme with their superb and photography and reporting respectively. They have selected their 10 picks, displayed throughout the report and also provided a full album of imagery from the match.
Chris & Jim's picks
Full album courtesy of Chris Benn