Groundhopping

A proper British ‘Six Pointer’…. Northwood FC v Ashford Town (Middlesex)

Hello!

Welcome back to another thrilling non league football blog…

We are now into March, which means there is just two and a bit months left of the season!

Anyway, for this weeks destination we weren’t exactly spoiled for choice, mainly because my car is out of use (but also because we are tight).

So a few suggestions were thrown into the pot, including Birmingham City, Peterborough and Worcester Park.

But eventually we decided on Northwood FC in the Isthmian League South Central Division.

They were up against Ashford Town in what could be described as a ‘relegation six pointer’ with the home side in 17th and the away side in 18th (out of 20).

We made our way from South East to North West London, we managed to get a seat on both the Jubilee and Metropolitan lines, quite rare for a Saturday, must be the coronavirus…

Anyway, we made it to Northwood and found the ground easily, it really doesn’t feel like London up there (in other words it’s a nice looking and quiet place).

Once we had made it into the ground it was pretty much time for kick off, and 0 handshakes later, we were underway.

Lovely surroundings for a Saturday afternoon

The away side started brighter but neither side really threatened with good chances, after about 40 minutes we were (rather pessimistically) dreading the thought that this may be our first 0-0 of the season.

I have seen 26 matches this season and that elusive 0-0 is yet to come, but it will….

Just before half time Ashford took the lead with a header from a corner, and finally we could relax knowing that 0-0 would have to wait for another week.

At Halftime I was once again very impressed that I could use card to get a drink in a neat little mobile cafe at the ground, so top marks to Northwood for this.

The second half started and you could tell it was crunch time for both sides now, and the longer the half went on, the more crucial the second goal was becoming…

Just after the hour mark Northwood found their much needed equaliser as they finally finished off one of their promising attacking moves.

It was double trouble for Ashford though as just nine minutes later the hosts stole the initiative with another slick attacking move that was neatly finished.

Northwood Park backs right on to Northwood cemetery and if there was anything that could bring someone back to life then it was the last 15 minutes of this game!

The away side knew that it was make or break now, and they put together some excellent attacking moves that really brought the best out of Northwood’s keeper who made some really excellent saves.

We almost saw an absolute wonder goal from the visitors, that really reminded me of Benjamin Pavard’s goal in the 2018 World Cup had it gone in, but he was denied by the post.

There really was something about the last quarter of this game as you still felt that either team could score.

There was one moment where we were practically praying for a goal though, when Ashford’s keeper made his way up from the back for a corner.

A goal from the goalkeeper would have been a ground hopping first for me, but it wasn’t to be.

Northwood’s keeper standing pondering whether to change his name to ‘Lev Yashin’

The game ended and Northwood had won an absolute thriller in Hillingdon and it was a pleasure to be there for it.

As the final whistle blew, a brawl broke out among a few players but I think this just shows the passion from both sides put into that last 15 minutes.

I also have just found out that one of Ashford’s players was taken to hospital after a clash of heads so I send him my best wishes.

Overall this was another brilliant game of football down in the lower tiers of English football, I would highly recommend a visit to Northwood Park (especially for the mobile cafe).

  • GROUND: Northwood Park
  • GAME: Northwood FC 2-1 Ashford Town (Middlesex)
  • COMPETITION: Isthmian League South Central Division
  • GROUND NUMBER: 76
  • WOULD I GO BACK: Yes
  • TICKET PRICE: £5 (Student price)

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