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Saturday 30th October 1976

Northwood’s run of Middlesex League success came to an abrupt halt at Ham on Saturday. The Woods' tale of woe started before the game when they travelled without Franklin, Jones, Evans and Curran, but their run of consecutive wins still left them confident.

However, they were never able to settle and Ham established an early superiority in midfield. Several good inter-passing movements from the fluent Ham side stretched the Woods at the back and Les Currell was kept fairly busy, but he was always in command.

At the other end only Ellis looked likely to create any real menace, but with Jones and Livingstone having quiet days, he lacked real support. It wasn't until Ham took the lead – through McCarthy – that they showed any real urgency.

A fine move created by Tidd resulted in a Ham defender desperately clearing against the foot of his own post. Minutes after this, Jones crashed the ball against the crossbar with a tremendous volley, and Northwood were a little unfortunate not to turn round on level terms.

After a hard team-talk by Paddy Coburn at half-time the Woods came to life. Several goalscoring chances came and went as the Woods failed to capitalise on their brief spell of superiority. In fact, with Northwood having pushed so many forwards, they suddenly found themselves two goals behind when McCarthy grabbed his second.

In the past Northwood may have folded at this stage, but they bounced back into the match. Ten minutes from time the irrepressible Ellis grabbed his customary goal when Merison sent over a free kick.

This signalled the start of a final Woods onslaught, and for the first time in the match the Ham defence looked suspect. With so many men forward, looking for the equaliser, Northwood looked suspect to the quick break, and on one occasion the visitors' crossbar was struck and then McCarthy completed his hat-trick right on the final whistle.

Northwood; L. Currell, N. Heslop, J. Harman, B. Gould, A. Merison, R. Tidd, J. Roberts, D. King, M. Ellis, R. Livingstone G. Jones. Sub.: P. Coburn.