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Saturday 29th January 1972


Even without the services of two of their aces, Willie Burt and Paddy Coburn, Northwood still managed to jump to a five point lead in the Premier Division of the Middlesex League on Saturday. Northwood’s closest rivals Yeading. had their match postponed on Saturday. They still have four matches in hand.

In the first few minutes a cricket score seemed likely. The home defence was split open by a series of long balls and Northwood could have scored on several occasions.
Barry Wanless broke through and hammered a shot against the foot of a post, then  Pat Byrne saw his shot whistle past the post.

A goal had to come, and when Wanless hit the post again, Ian Harvey was on hand to push the ball into the net. Within minutes a terrible defensive mix-up ended with Steve Senior slotting the ball home.

Two goals in front, the Northwood side should have punished the slack Hillingdon defence, but they slackened off.  While the home side needed to string a series of passes together to get near the Northwood goal, it only needed one telling pass to split the Hilling, don defence.

Every attack by the home side was stifled by John Myers and company while Northwood were dangerous in all their sorties on the Hillingdon goal. Harvey and Barry Gould, renewing their midfield partnership due to the absence of Burt and Steve Pearce, covered every blade of grass in a first-class performance.

It was the telling passes of these two that provided the chances for the front runners Wanless, Senior and Byrne. While the long ball method was not attractive,  it was most effective.

In the second half, with the wind at their backs, Northwood regained their superiority and Goodison in the Hillingdon goal prevented a goal rush. He saved good efforts from Wanless, Hickmott and Gould before he was beaten again by Wanless. Controlling. the ball on his left foot, he hit a low shot past Goodison.

Soon after this Harvey was unlucky when he fell over as he seemed certain to score. Hillingdon were in tatters at the back, but in midfield they were impressive. Nevertheless, the Northwood defence gave nothing away and John Myers and Don Dibbens were superb in the middle.

Near the end Northwood produced their best move of the game. After Harvey and Wanless had combined well Harvey scored with a fine low left-foot drive.

Gould had a header cleared from under the bar and Senior was thwarted by a fine save. While not as their best, the Northwood attack continues to shine and the return of Coburn and B.ort will bring them back to top form.

Northwood: R. Byrne, G. Harding, J. Myers, D. Dibbens, B. Taylor, I. Harvey, S. Pearce, B. Gould, S. Senior, P. Byrne, B. Wanless. Sub: Hickmott.