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Middlesex League Cup Final 1975

Northwood 2  Yeading 1
(at Hillingdon Borough FC)

Saturday 3rd May 1975


Team line-up
1 Richard Kessell
2 Geoff Mills
3 John Harman
4 Barry Gould (Capt.)
5 Norman Heslop
6 Tommy Evans
7 Nigel Franklin
8 Robin Tidd
9 Paul Byrne
10 Harry Stone
11 Gary Cooper
12 Don Dibbens


Northwood particularly should be congratulated on reaching this final, having fought and beaten good sides on the way to Leas Stadium, in particular Bedfont who they dismissed 4-2 in the semi-final. But going back further than this season, we find that the club were formed in 1931 and have enjoyed immense success since that time, including the Middlesex Junior Cup and the Harrow, Wembley and District League Championship many times.

Also, it is recorded that they won nine cups between 1968 and 1970. They joined the Middlesex League in 1970, and surprisingly, this is the first cup final that they have been interested with us. So they are determined to leave their mark. As a club, they still maintain seven adult teams in various competitions, which is a proud record.

Half of their side tonight have come through their youth teams and they point to number 11 Gary Cooper to typify this situation. They have suffered several injury problems in recent weeks but it is said that Player/Manager/Secretary Paul Byrne gets in today on merit and not on injury problems. Bedfont can vouch for that.

Added to the guiding influence of assistant manager Harry Currie, and with Barry Gould, Norman Heslop and Nigel Franklin, who have represented the League, they believe they have the right blend to take the cup back to Northwood. We wish them well.

Goalkeeper who joined Northwood in September 1973, and has been a regular in the side this season, playing in every game in the cup run, and is approaching 50 appearances for the club.
Defender Geoff has become fairly regular in Northwood’s team this season, and another who played in all the League Cup ties. His brother Chris previously was a Northwood player.
Young defender who progressed through the club’s youth set-up, and has been a regular since just before Christmas.
Fine defender who started his Northwood career  in the Harrow & Wembley League days, and played his 200th league and cup game in 1973 as a 21-year-old. He has gained representative honours with the Harrow & Wembley League, Middlesex League and Middlesex County.
Former Harrow Borough player who was signed from Kingsbury Town in February 1974, and has been a fixture in the side this season, whether at full-back or in central defence.
Ken played for Lancing before moving to Pinner and signing for Northwood. He is effective at full-back or midfield.
After coming through the club’s youth side, Chub has been on the fringes on the Northwood team for the past two or three years.
Having come from the youth team, Don has played around 80 first team games either as centre-half or centre-forward.
Strong midfield player who joined Woods from Old Regeians in March this year.
Skilful forward Nigel has gained Middlesex League and Middlesex County honours. He joined at the start of this season, having played in the Southern League at Aylesbury United and Wealdstone.
Robin has been almost ever-present for Northwood having signed at the start of this season. Midfield player who joined from Harrow Borough.
Hard-working midfielder who made his Middlesex League debut for Northwood in the club’s first ever game, in September 1970.
Midfielder who came from through the club’s lower teams to make a first team debut aged 16 in 1971.
Signed from League rivals CAV in September 1972, Harry is in his third season with Northwood, and has a good scoring record.
Having come through the youth set-up Northwood, Gary was 16 when he made his first team debut. He had a spell at Harefield United earlier in the season, returning to Northwood in January.
PAUL BYRNE – Player/Manager
The club’s player/manager and secretary made his first team debut way back in 1961 in the Harrow Wembley & District League.


Yeading’s hopes of doing the grand slam this season by winning the Middlesex League, the Middlesex Intermediate Cup and the Middlesex League Cup disappeared at Hillingdon Borough F.C.'s Leas Stadium when Northwood's skipper Barry Gould picked up the Middlesex League Cup.

Northwood produced a display of guile and endeavour to prevent the Yeading machine from achieving what would have been a magnificent treble. Each Northwood player ran until he dropped and the last ten minutes of the game had more drama in it than the complete works of Shakespeare rolled into one!

The match opened with Yeading pushing the ball around with their usual calm assurance, but they were unable to create any clear-cut chance for their strikers to feed on. The Woods’ back line was in fine form and the midfield threesome of Tidd, Evans and Stone provided the springboard for a series of Northwood attacks.

Gary Cooper came the closest to scoring in the first half hour but when the referee blew the whistle after the first 45 minutes play the score stood at 0-0.

The Woods appeared to suffer a major blow at half time when their midfield general Robin Tidd limped off injured but he bravely came back in the second half and played a big part in the victory. Within minutes of the restart Northwood were in the lead when the previously quiet Nigel Franklin found himself loose on the right and evaded four men before crashing home an angled drive that was well out of Bennett's reach.

Yeading were clearly shaken by the goal and they never really managed to get their game together, so it was no real surprise when Northwood went further ahead with 20 minutes left. Again it was Franklin who created space, and he crossed for Tommy Evans to pop up and nod the ball past Bennett and a despairing Peploe.

Ironically the 2-0 lead stunned the Woods as much as Yeading as the prize that they had worked so hard for was now in reach. Had a superb volley from Cooper gone in instead of hitting the bar then the tension would have disappeared from the Woods’ game, but Yeading aren't champions for nothing and they raised their game for the last quarter of an hour.

They threw attack after attack at the Woods, and Kessel made an incredible save from Frape. Gould and Heslop were magnificent and Mills was doing a fine job on Norman Frape.

With ten minutes left Burt for once slipped his leash and hit a superb angled shot past Kessell. This set the stage for an unbelievable last ten minutes that had everybody on the edge of their seats. Yeading attacked in waves but Northwood pulled everyone back and Kessell made several fine saves.

When the final whistle blew the Northwood fans rushed on to the pitch and the celebrations began that lasted well into Sunday morning.