Woodford play out derby stalemate

Woodford and Rugby played out a goal-less draw at Butlin Road
Woodford and Rugby played out a goal-less draw at Butlin Road

WOODFORD United stay third and Rugby Town remain in sixth place in the Central Division table after a bad-tempered goalless stalemate at Butlin Road on Saturday.

The Reds were down to 10 men in the closing stages when former Long Buckby and Daventry Town defender Daniel Burke’s short fuse led to a red card.

Even then Rugby rarely looked like breaking the deadlock although the Valley will be relieved at picking up a seventh league draw in a season which has so far brought about only one defeat against Daventry Town.

Tyrone Fagan and Seb Hamilton were both denied early on by Woodford goalkeeper Matt Finlay, while later on it was Dave Clarke’s turn to deny Woodford sharpshooters Neil King and Nathan Liburd.

In the final analysis a draw was probably a fair result in a game which rarely rose above the mediocre on a day when the top two teams both recorded clear-cut victories.

Neither team was able to find a breakthrough in front of a crowd of 203, which was the second highest in the league on Saturday.

The result leaves Woodford on 33 points after 18 matches, 13 behind runaway league leaders Hitchin Town.

Rugby are still in the top six after recording 28 points in their 15 games, keeping them four points above Daventry Town.

Hitchin remain 10 points clear at the top of the table after a 7-0 victory at Northwood where John Frendo completed a hat-trick inside half an hour before going on to bag a fourth goal on the hour.

With 15 goals Frendo is now the Central Division’s top scorer, two ahead of Daventry’s Tom Berwick.

Berwick was grounded at the weekend because of a one-match ban for five yellow cards already this season, and so he was unable to try to add to his impressive goal tally.

Arlesey Town remain second in the table after completing a hat-trick of wins with a highly -polished 3-0 home win over Bedworth United, who were due to meet Daventry Town in a re-arranged Red Insure Cup tie this week.

Lee Allinson and Chris Marsh both converted penalties for Arlesey, whose other goal scorer on the day was Stuart Sinclair.

Elsewhere goals were in short supply with Aylesbury beating Marlow by the only goal and Barton Rovers achieving a similar scoreline at Soham.

Slough Town’s winning streak ended with a 1-1 home draw against Bedfont Town and there were away wins for both Leighton Town and AFC Hayes.