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Saturday 6 April 1974

Northwood hammered old rivals Viking Sports in a one-sided Middlesex League encounter, and the four-goal margin could have been even greater. Dave Metcalfe was the chief executioner with a well-taken hat-trick, but it was an inspired all-round performance that led to Northwood’s best league win of the season.

Woods brought back Barry Gould into the side for his first senior outing since returning to the club, and his confidence and finesse spread through his colleagues. Almost from the start the Woods took control, and it was hard to visualise that the visitors had been championship contenders a month ago – and Northwood re-election candidates.

In the tenth minute Northwood took the lead they deserved when a long flighted ball from Hester evaded the static defence and Metcalfe outpaced the defender to plant the ball wide of the oncoming Williams. Very little was seen of the visitors’ attack and Gillon in the Woods goal was seldom troubled.

Northwood went further ahead in the 25th minute and it was Metcalfe who was on the spot again. Pearce swung over a corner and Blanch had time to control the ball and push it across goal to Metcalfe, who made no mistake.

Within minutes Woods could have gone further ahead, when Clarke split the defence to give Stone a chance, but he was just off target. After a brief flurry from the visitors, it was one-way traffic to the Viking goal after the interval, and a lot more goals should have been scored.

The heat and hard surface made good football difficult, but Northwood with a 2-0 lead were encouraged to move the ball around, whereas Viking couldn’t raise their game. The Woods’ third goal was a gem, and emphasised the improvement shown by Hester in recent weeks. Pearce swung over a deep corner and Hester, sprinting into the box, met it horizontally and sent a header crashing into the back of the net.

Viking visibly sagged after this, and had it not been for stout work by Munro at the back they would have fallen even heavier. Time and again Northwood split the defence with a brand of football that has been missing for most of the season, and they threatened to over-run Viking.

More goals seemed inevitable, and they made it 4-0 with ten minutes left, through Metcalfe again. A neat move on the right was followed by a swift cross, and before the defence could recover Metcalfe had pounced for his hat-trick.

It was a tremendous boost to the Woods’ run-in to the end of the season, and one which made a mockery of their league position.

Northwood: M. Gillon, K. Harland, M. Blanch, B. Gould, J. Byrne, P. Clarke, K. Wilford, C. Hester, S, Pearce, H. Stone, D. Metcalfe. Sub. J. Roberts