Both Semi Finals of the Middlesex Senior Challenge Cup were played on Tuesday last, 9th March. Our roving team of Chris Benn (photographer) and Jim Taylor (reporter) covered the tie at the Fenton Civil Engineering Stadium between Northwood and Barnet.
Northwood had reached the semi-final stage by winning home matches against Uxbridge (by a penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 draw), Wembley (2-0) and Bedfont Sports (2-1). Barnet drew a bye in Round 1 and then won away games at Hayes & Yeading United (2-1) and Ashford Town (Middlesex) (2-1).
Barnet fielded virtually a full -strength side for this match, which had been postponed twice due to the weather. The first half was evenly contested, without very many scoring opportunities being created. Barnet went up a gear immediately after half time and scored twice to establish a lead, which they were able to hold onto. However, Northwood deserve a lot of credit for running a side three steps above them in the Non-League Pyramid so close.
The Woods matched Barnet territorially in the first half but the majority of the limited scoring chances went to their visitors. The first goalmouth action, in the 4th minute, was initiated by a free kick, taken by Ryan De Havilland on the left of the penalty area. The ball bounced around and eventually went to Ben Richards-Everton, who mishit his shot.
Northwood hit back and skipper, Keagan Cole crossed to James Gurteen to head over the visitors’ cross bar.
Defence in depth by Barnet
As the half progressed Reece Grego-Cox had a couple of attempts on goal. The first flew wide and the second was blocked by Keagan Cole.
Northwood’s speedy striker, Sydney Ibie posed the main threat to Barnet and had two efforts deflected for corners.
Ryan DeHavilland lets fly at goal
Woods’ keeper, Dan Hosier made comfortable saves from a Ryan De Havilland free kick and a high shot from Adam Marriott. However, he was fortunate when he was stranded wide out of position, having unsuccessfully attempted to reach a pass intended for Ephron Mason-Clarke. The latter beat him to the ball but his low cross was cleared by a defender.
Northwood defend a Barnet corner
Half time score: Northwood 0 Barnet 0
Barnet immediately went onto the attack and Ross Marshall headed a free kick from out wide over the cross bar.
Sydney Ibie was tripped on the left, just outside the Barnet penalty area but Keagan Cole’s free kick was scrambled away.
Barnet took the lead 9 minutes after the break, when Adam Marriott netted from close range, after a shot from Reece Greco-Cox had been deflected to him by Dan Hosier’s save.
Adam Marriott puts Barnet ahead
Rob Hall fired across goal, without his shot attracting the touch which would have steered it into the net. However, Barnet doubled their lead in the 59th minute. Rob Hall’s freekick from just outside the box hit the bar and rebounded off of the keeper to Adam Marriott, who tapped in his second goal.
Barnet score their second goal
Although Barnet didn’t add to their goal tally, they kept Dan Hosier well occupied during the final half hour of the match. He turned a low drive from Adam Marriott for a corner and parried an effort by Ross Marshall, who had raced through the middle of the defence. He then similarly denied Louis Walsh in a one-on-one situation.
Sydney Ibie takes on two Barnet defenders
Northwood made all of their permitted 3 substitutions simultaneously in the 79th minute but were unable to affect the scoreline.
Northwood supremo Steve Ringrose instructs his replacements before making a triple substitution in the 79th minute
The Northwood custodian was particularly busy in the closing stages, saving well from both Serhat Tasdemir and Ephron Mason-Clarke.
Steven Rea controlled the match impeccably, well supported by his colleagues.
Final Score: Northwood 0 Barnet 2
Northwood: Dan Hosier, Ryan Young (Matt Surmon 79 mins), Andy Lomas, Keagan Cole (capt), Luke Tingey, James Gurteen, Kyal Williams (Alex More 79), Teddy Stacey, Josh Helmore (Kristian Belousas 79), Sydney Ibie and Carl Stewart.
Unused substitutes: Tommy Boxer and Lewis Batten.
Director of Football: Steve Ringrose.
Barnet: Aymen Azaze, Harry Taylor (capt) (Jamie Turley 39), Adam Marriott (Serhat Tasdemir 78), Sam Woods, Ephron Mason-Clarke, Reece Greco-Cox (Louis Walsh 68), Ross Marshall, Ryan De Havilland, Sam Beard, Ben Richards-Everton and Rob Hall.
Unused substitutes: Wes Fonguck and Aston Oxborough (goalkeeper).
Director of Football: Dean Brennan.
Referee: Steven Rea Assistant Referees: Gareth Burton and Steve Conway.
The other semi-final, between Hampton & Richmond Borough and the Brentford B team, played at Bedfont Sports FC, was settled by a single Brentford goal.
The final is scheduled for Wednesday, 13th April at Hampton & Richmond Borough FC.
As ever we thank Chris and Jim for their commitment and time in covering this game, they have identified their favourite shots from the match, these can be seen throughout the report. Chris has also very kindly provided us with a full album of imagery.
Chris & Jim’s Picks
Full Album Courtesy of Chris Benn