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Saturday 5th March 1977

Northwood’s unbeaten run stretched beyond four months on Saturday when they took local rivals Ruislip Town to task in the Middlesex League local derby.

Earlier in the season Town beat Northwood, but now a season that promised so much for Ron McKinnon's men appears to have gone sour.

Town were a pale shadow of the side that their followers have come to expect, and they were outclassed and outplayed by the Woods. Northwood dominated the first half to such an extent that Town were happy to turn around with only a one goal deficit.

Northwood were magnificent, with Gary Cooper, Ian Harvey and Robin Tidd working themselves to a standstill. It was Ian Harvey who gave Northwood the lead when he gathered the ball on the left, beat three players and then drove the ball past the diving Fitchett.

Town's performance improved in the second half and they found that the Woods defence could be caught square Consequently, several long high balls created chances for Town. For a time it took all the strength of Merison, O’Donnell and Heslop to keep Town at bay, but within ten minutes of the restart Ruislip were level. A long ball was touched into the Woods' box and before Currell could rectify the situation, the ball was in the net through Jackson.

Northwood were stunned into action, and two later they were back in the lead through a brilliant goal by Gary Cooper. Currell started the move and the ball went to Harvey, who touched it to Cooper midway in the Ruislip half, and the Woods' striker controlled the ball before hammering it home from 30 yards.

Twenty minutes from time Town's problems got even worse when keeper Fitchett was carried off  injured and Tony Goodgame went in goal. However this seemed to inspire Town and with a little luck they might have equalised. Currell on one occasion denied them with a fine reaction save.

But Woods were still well in command and in the last five minutes they should have had two penalties. The first came when Livingstone was bowled over in the penalty area by Proctor, the second was when Goodgame charged into Ellis. The referee finally pointed to the spot when a glancing header from Cooper was handled and Barry Gould calmly slotted in the kick.

Northwood are now within range of league leaders Ham, but this was Town’s biggest defeat of the season, and it pushes them out of the title race.

Northwood: Currell, Heslop, Mills, Merison, O’Donnell, Tidd, Harvey, Gould, Livingstone, Ellis, Cooper. Sub. Coburn.