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Saturday 21st May 1977

Northwood clinched the Middlesex League Challenge Cup with a Roger Livingstone goal in extra-time on Saturday night. In doing so they pushed their local rivals Hillingdon British Legion into the runners-up spot for the second successive year.

It was Wood's second win in three years and crowned a fine season for the local outfit, who also won runners-up spot in the Premier Division. But they were made to fight every inch of the way by Hillingdon. There would have been no need for extra time if Northwood had made their early superiority tell in the form of goals.

In the opening 15 minutes they overran the opposition. It was only Carter in the Legion goal that stood between Northwood and an early lead. He saved well early on from Ellis, Livingstone and Cooper.

The large crowd were expecting the Woods to take the lead at any moment and Legion were run ragged. But Legion held on grimly, contesting every ball. Some strong, sometimes overzealous, tackling seemed to pay off and Northwood's early superiority waned. Robin Tidd was magnificent for Woods, who were unlucky not to turn round at half-time with a convincing lead.

As the second half started Legion grew in confidence and their strikers were now seeing more of the ball. The Northwood defence, almost redundant in the first half, was now being brought into action more and more. But with O'Donnell in fine form, ably supported by Merison, Hillingdon found chances hard to come by.

After 18 minutes of the second half Hillingdon took the lead when Burton squeezed a shot past Currell. This knocked Northwood further out of their stride. Hillingdon were not slow to take the initiative. They could easily have increased their lead.

With 15 minutes remaining Northwood snatched the equaliser. Tidd's swinging corner was chested down by Barry Gould, who then crashed a shot beyond Carter.

Northwood were back in the driving seat again, and extra time was almost unnecessary when Cooper latched onto a through ball – only to see Carter save yet again.

Extra-time provided end to end football but it was still Woods that looked likelier to score. Gould was unlucky to see his header cleared off the line.

Northwood finally sealed the victory when Ellis, despite the fact that he was limping badly, chased an impossible-looking ball into the box. Amazingly, he beat Carter to the ball, took it round him and swept it into the goalmouth, where Livingstone rose to head into the unguarded net.

Earlier Heslop was unlucky to see a fine effort cannon back off the crossbar.

Northwood: Les Currell, Norman Heslop, Geoff Mills, Barry Gould, Martin O'Donnell, Alan Merison, Robin Tidd, Ian Harvey, Roger Livingstone, Martin Ellis, Gary Cooper, sub. Dave Manley.