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Saturday 28th February 1976

Northwood won a place in the semi-final of the Middlesex League Challenge Cup with an over-powering first-half display at North Greenford on Saturday. Their hosts couldn’t live with the Woods as they set about keeping the cup they won in style last season.

With their league title chances fading in the past month, Northwood look to this cup for some glory, and had the match continued at the pace of the first 15 minutes then the scoreline would have resembled a cricket score.

Both teams threw everything into attack, and it was the dangerous Woods who came out on top in the opening cut and thrust. Within a minute they were in front. A neat build-up caught the slow home defence on the hop, and McGowan was on hand to steer the ball home for his third goal in three games since joining the Woods.

The home side were level after three minutes. Their left-back was allowed time and space to advance on the Woods’ goal, and he floated in a shot from fully 30 yards. The Woods hesitated and Russell, unsighted, could only watch as the ball sailed into the net.

Play quickly switched back to the other end, and when Cooper crossed the ball in, McGowan scored his second with a neat header past the keeper. Woods continued to force the play, and they were benefitting from the speed of Coburn and Jones.

It was Coburn who sent Tidd away on the right which led to Northwood’s third goal. Tidd, playing against his old club, crossed the ball into the path of Cooper, who easily beat the keeper from close range.

Tidd on the right wing continued to cause problems for North Greenford, and he again set up Cooper, who rounded the keeper to score number four.

The second half saw the visitors take their foot off the gas, and although Tidd worked tirelessly in midfield, and Franklin showed tremendous determination until he tired, North Greenford had the lion’s share of the play. But one felt that should they have scored Northwood would have raised their game again.

Playing four strikers certainly gave the Woods extra power to their formidable forward line – McGowan seems to be in the right spot at the right time, and cooper’s 21 goals leaves him well out in front as the league’s leading scorer.

Northwood:  Russell, Hammond, Harman, Gould, Saunders, Tidd, Franklin, Coburn, Cooper, McGowan, Jones, sub. Pearce.