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MATCH REPORTS 1974-75

 


Saturday 1st February 1975
MANAGER-SUB SENDS WOODS TO VICTORY
BARNES 2  NORTHWOOD 7 (after extra time)

With fifteen minutes to go in Saturday’s Middlesex League Cup game, Northwood faced the long trip home from Barnes as cup has-beens. Barnes were clearing their lines in the knowledge that two first half goals had put them in the clear.

It was more in desperation than hope that Northwood manager Paul Byrne put himself on for Clarke, but it proved a turning point.

Playing with four strikers, Northwood staged a fantastic rally to come back from the dead, and force extra time. Five goals in eighteen minutes then completed the transformation.

In the first half and for most of the second the home team had comfortably repelled the Northwood pressure, whilst looking dangerous on the break.

The 2-0 lead they held at the break was flattering but looked sufficient. Gould, still troubled by injury, was baulked as he headed clear, and Barnes were ahead in the 20th minute. An error by Kessell only three minutes later gave the home side a two goal advantage.

As the match moved into the closing stages Northwood substituted Paul Byrne for Peter Clarke. Within five minutes they had pulled one back, but as a reflection of their own form it was an own goal that set them off on what must be the most remarkable cup comeback in years.

Cooper’s weak header was guided in by the Barnes full-back as Heslop closed in. The equaliser came only three minutes later, and it was Heslop who was on hand to force the ball over the line after Tidd’s corner had not been cleared.

The match swung from end to end in the final minutes of normal time, but neither side could clinch the game. The extra period started with Cooper having a shot cleared off the line, and it was after this that Northwood hit the purple patch that was to bury Barnes.

Pearce crossed from the right and Byrne rose to head into the roof of the net from the edge of the box to give Northwood the lead. Only minutes later Byrne found Franklin with an overhead kick, and the tricky striker dummied his way into the box, and confidently stroked the ball home.

Barnes were shattered as Northwood tore them to pieces. Mills, always finding space on the left, crossed and Byrne powerfully headed home.

With a 5-2 lead, Northwood attacked at will, and another Pearce cross was dummied by Cooper and Byrne for Franklin to score with confidence.

Goal number seven came from Tidd as he latched onto Franklin’s cross which Byrne stepped over.

Northwood: Kessell, Mills, Harman, Gould, Heslop, Tidd, Franklin, Pearce, Clarke, Dibbens, Cooper, sub. Byrne.