DIVISION ONE NORTH Northwood 3 Ilford 0
The Woods moved back up to seventh place in the table and within touching distance of the play-off places with this solid and workmanlike performance against lowly strugglers Ilford.
Caretaker manager Mark Barnham had to shrug off the loss of two of his more senior players in the lead up to this fixture, with leading goalscorer Sean Sonner joining Ryman Premier side Boreham Wood and skipper Danny Murphy announcing that he needed a new challenge and was going to look for another club.
But the side was also strengthened by the return of Brad Hewitt to the defence, with Otis Williams replacing Sonner.
The Woods started strongly with Michael Gordon making immediate inroads down the right and forcing an early corner. Ryan Tackley found Williams accurately but the young striker steered his header inches over the crossbar.
The pressure continued with Hewitt heading on a long throw from Danny Power, but again Williams was unable to get over the ball and it sailed over the top.
It was a good move after 23 minutes that saw the Woods take a deserved lead. A combination of challenges from Hugo Figueiredo and John Christian saw the visitors lose possession in a dangerous area, and Christian played a ball into the box for Anthony Page to knock across and Williams made no mistake, tucking the ball inside the post.
Just five minutes later, the unlucky Joe Cowen fell awkwardlywhen making a challenge and dislocated a shoulder, being replaced by Dwane Williams. It led to a loss of rhythm for a while but Ilford were unable to take advantage.
Early in the second half the visitors began to threaten and some good work by the impressive Victor Omogbehin set up Ian Cooper for a shot which flashed wide of the target, but it was only a brief flash of danger for the Woods who then took control again.
After 71 minutes a Tackley cross was only half cleared and Figueiredo laid it off to Christian for a 25-yard strike which flew only just over the bar. Just a minute later, the Woods won a free kick and, from the same distance, Figueiredo cleverly curled his effort just inside the goalkeeper's near post to score his first goal since promotion from the reserve side.
For the first time, Ilford began to look a little more interested in attacking football and Mitch Swain was suddenly in action to deny Chris Taylor who had latched on to a long ball after 76 minutes.
Hewitt headed over from close-range having met another accurate Tackley cross, while the visitors again brought the best out of Swain as he made another good save from Toby Ajala.
It was just into stoppage time that Northwood added a third goal to round things off and it came from debut substitute Laurie Walters who finished well from close range. Woods: Swain, Power, Tackley, Hewitt, Burgess, Christian, Gordon, Page (Brown), O Williams (Walters), Figueiredo, Cowen (D Williams).