Under the guidance of former player and newly appointed manager Rob Ursell, Northwood’s rotten form continued after a 5-2 defeat against Bedfont Sports. After conceding three goals within 33 minutes, two strikes either side of the half from Eric Lopes looked to put the Woods back in contention. However, against the run of play, Bedfont scored two late goals to seal the tie.
The game was jampacked with everything including two ‘goal of the season’ contenders, one scored by Eric Lopes and the other by Nathan Wood. It was a very efficient performance from Bedfont who took their chances when they came and although the score line doesn’t suggest it, Ursell’s debut game in charge of the Woods displayed numerous signs of hope, promise and potential.
Chris Rackley (5): Although he conceded five there was only one he maybe could’ve done better on and that was the first goal when he came flying out but he could’ve stood his ground. Made a good save on a freekick from Sanders and overall wasn’t bad.
Charlie Kuehn (3.5): Bit of a passenger and didn’t do anything to really get noticed. Also got beat time and time again against Max Oldham and struggled to contain him. Could’ve done more in attacking phases and probably a game to forget.
Ryan Phillips (4.5): Pretty average game, nothing dazzling and was quite calm at the back. He made some decent tackles and won his aerials thanks to his height but could’ve passed more than lump up the pitch. His pace also let him down on a few occasions but he was the better of the two centre backs.
Bayley Brown (4): Big presence in the middle of the park who tried tirelessly to create and make things happen but to no avail. Was the reason they conceded two of the goals with a loose pass for the first and holding onto the ball for way too long at the end getting dispossessed. His work rate and effort can’t be faulted though and he gets through so much of the silent work but it wasn’t his day.
Craig Carby (5): One of the better players for Northwood and he looked calm and composed on the ball. He offered an outlet for the centre backs, made a few crucial challenges and was comfortable playing down his side trying to create something with crosses into the box. Sometimes caught static though allowing Bedfont to break through easily.
Dominic Rhone (4): Looked slow and sluggish at the back to start off with and for the first goal conceded he could’ve dealt with it but the bobble took it away from him allowing Ezekiel Bademosi to get on the ball and score. Was caught napping a bit as well, allowing players to get beyond him but he did progressively get better throughout the game but the damage was already done.
Marcelo Graca (5): Had an alright game and certainly wasn’t the worst player, he worked hard and was good at tracking back and helping the defence. However, he should improve his decision-making as he was quite wasteful in the final third but did try to make things happen.
Charlie Hayford (4): Not an ideal performance from the captain as he often looked fatigued, uninspired and lacked ideas. Was also at fault for the first goal because he took too many touches in the wrong area and eventually got muscled off the ball leading to the opener.
Romario Hart (4.5): Didn’t have much to work with and did what he could. He ran relentlessly and his hard work paid off by winning a penalty for his team which was scored by Eric Lopes.
Lucas Toti (4.5): Was kept very quiet and he found it hard to find a rhythm to his game. He pressured the back line and helped out in tracking back but wasn’t very effective in his role as an attacker.
Eric Lopes (7.5): He was the shining star in the loss for the Woods. He was direct and ran at players (although sometimes he could’ve passed and got dispossessed) and he brought hope of bringing home a result. He scored two goals: one was a penalty and the other was an unbelievable solo goal which crashed into the top left corner. Superb game attacking wise for Eric but could’ve helped out more in defence and maybe sometimes be less greedy.
Festus Lori (5): Came on for Hayford to add to the attack but didn’t quite adapt to the flow of the game. He worked hard and added to the dominance but when the fourth goal went in he became ineffective and fizzled out quickly.
Dimitrios Kyriatzis (5): Didn’t have an awful lot to do but he gave away a shocking penalty which could’ve been a red card in some referees eyes and was lucky to stay on and the other goal he conceded was virtually impossible to save. Other than that, he distributed fine and commanded well without much else troubling him.
Ed Cook (6): Looked solid defensively and was very positionally aware. Made some fine challenges and was strong in aerial duels. Didn’t offer a whole lot going forward but didn’t really need to and he gave away a silly yellow but was probably down to frustration.
Mekhail McLaughlin (5): Average performance and nothing extraordinary but he commanded well from the back and did the basics right. He won his man to man battles and overall did his job correctly.
Michael Kinsella (5): Was comfortable going forward and assisting Max Oldham giving him freedom to attack but he should’ve done better on the goal conceded as he got beat too easy letting Lopes come inside to get a shot off.
Joe Jackson (6.5): Did the fundamentals well and worked hard in the centre of the park. He won second balls and intercepted well to turn defence into attack. He also started the attack for the second goal and all round had a good performance.
Ezekiel Bademosi (6): Threat all day up top with his pace and pressure on the backline. He made no mistake with his finish as he tucked home a composed shot in the third minute and helped out with his defensive responsibilities when needed to throughout.
Ricky Wellard (5.5): Put in a shift going up and down being a thorn in the oppositions side. He did most of the silent but effective work and contributed in any way he could.
Veron Kokurinkov (5): Wasn’t really noticeable and didn’t do anything spectacular but he pulled players wide and created space for his teammates to work into which became effective.
Andy Ali (5.5): Pain for the opposition up top as he threw his weight about and tried to be a nuisance in any way he could. He frustrated the opponent and got involved in a few nice pieces of linkup play but let himself down for getting drawn into a pushing contest with Ryan Phillips eventually picking up a yellow for his involvement.
Darryl Sanders (7): Played great behind the striker and got into all kinds of pockets of space, driving at players and making key passes. He had some good efforts and managed to bag a goal in the 33rd minute through a late run into the box where no one picked him up and he fired home from six yards out.
Maxwell Oldham (8) MOTM: Absolutely everywhere and caused all sorts of problems for Northwood. He got a goal and an assist but took on players so well and was involved in the bulk of Bedfont’s attacks. He also helped out defensively a lot and was always an option but he ended up letting himself down by picking up a second yellow and getting sent off (probably would’ve got a 9 otherwise).
Brandon Kalu (5.5): Came on for Mekhail McLaughlin to sure things up at the back which is what he did and they didn’t look like conceding during the minutes he was on.
Nathan Wood (7): Came on for Andy Ali to seal the deal and that’s exactly what happened. Against the run of play he also scored a contender for ‘goal of the season’ as he drove in from the left and smashed it from 25 yards out into the top corner.
Brian Testolin (6.5): Came on for Veron Kokurinkov and scored against his former club to put the final nail in the coffin for Northwood.
Highlights of the game can be found here.