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Saturday 9th April 1977

Instead of celebrating their 13th Middlesex League win on the trot Northwood had to be content with a point in the chase for the league title. The Woods were unable to decide at the finish whether it was a point won or a point lost as it could easily have gone either way.

It was generally a game governed by defences and the hosts made it obvious that a point would suffice when they immediately drew five into the back line. On the postage stamp pitch Northwood couldn't put enough together to destroy Vikings, even when the approach work heralded danger, the hosts had enough men back to thwart the final move.

It was end to end football from both sides, hardly surprising with the size of the pitch. A defensive clearance immediately became a dangerous through ball.

There were very few chances at either end, but Northwood should have taken the lead when, the home keeper could only weakly parry a ball out to the penalty spot. Ellis, the Woods’ leading scorer, was on hand and looked set to score, but for once he took his eye off the ball and completely missed his kick.

The Woods had the advantage of the slope in the first-half and they had the edge territorially. During the 15 minutes prior to half time Northwood had their best spell and they moved menacingly forward. However, the combination of the bumpy pitch and defence in numbers restricted the chances around the box.

In the second-half Vikings, inspired by a large crowd and the knowledge that they had taken most of what Northwood had to offer, started to push forward and for a time the Woods were called to defend. It was the visitors who were thankful for the tiny pitch now, and they contained the marauding Vikings side.

Gradually the Woods weathered the storm and started to push back forward. Inspired from midfield, they pushed Vikings deep into defence, and they pulled back more men to deal in quick counter-attacks and they very nearly succeeded in snatching victory. It was Les Currell in the Woods goal who twice came to the rescue, pulling off two memorable saves when the Viking side broke through.

At the final whistle both sides had given their best, but opposite defences had had the edge and the Woods can be thankful for a strong defensive performance that earned them a point when their forwards failed to score for the first time this season.

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