The Word In The Wood

Read through our latest blog posts and enjoy!


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The Word in the Wood #30

Posted on 8th February, 2020

The very high winds blew away any chance of our U9 & U11 Boys' playing today. However, our U16s wore lead boots and braved the elements to record a fab 0-1 victory away against Hendon United Netanya. The lads brought a hurricane force press to the game that proved just too much for the opposition who succumbed to a great all round performance and clean sheet, capped off in fine style by the in-form Valladares, who blasted in his first goal for the club. Super stuff and the team's points total continues to grow.


With our U16 Girls without a fixture, this Saturday saw both our U9 and U15 Girls in action.


The U15s faced a local derby against Potters Bar Crusaders in a top of the table clash, with the team welcoming back Murray after a number of weeks out injured. In a pulsating match the lead went our way with Swain and Coque scoring yet more quality goals but, opposition pressure was relentless and the Bar edged the game 2-3. The girls and staff can be proud of their efforts and a strong finish to the season will keep the team in the title mix; anything is possible! PoM went to the impressive Rodrigues for a faultless defensive display.


With the news of yet another new signing in the offing, U9 Girls were in fine form against Southgate Adelaide. In a closely fought match, we sustained three nasty injuries one after the other but, Kara, Emily & Lois showed great bravery to carry on, with Lois going on to to score her 22nd goal of the season, dispatching the ball into the net with a flourish. The girls played some of the best football yet, passing from defence to attack and creating several 1 on 1s with the opposing keeper. POM went to the talented Lottie who is improving rapidly after only taking up the game recently while young Theaya received a special mention for an outstanding 'keeping performance in the second half!

The Word in the Wood #29

Posted on 1st February, 2020
It was literally crash, bang, wallop today, as our boys took to the field in a very eventful set of fixtures.

Our U16s were just four minutes into their match against Harvesters South when Tillcock and Amarteifio both challenging honestly for an aerial ball, suffered a serious clash of heads. Unfortunately, an ambulance was called and the match had to be abandoned, but, we're very glad to report both boys are bearing up well now, albeit with some bumps & cuts to nurse for a while. No doubt, they are both very tough cookies indeed. Great credit and thanks goes to our greatly experienced manager - Gene - who handled this difficult situation superbly as well as to the Harvesters South staff, who were hugely supportive and helpful throughout. Not a good moment then, but, so good to see so many decent people responding to adversity together.

As our U9 manager Bruce rushed to take Tillcock the Younger to A&E, the remainder of his U9 staff and parents' mobilised to ensure our young stars were able to fulfil their fixture away against the serpent like Harvesters Cobras. A stonking game ensued with 12 fantastic goals in total, the Wood's Bailey, Leo & Luis grabbing one each and the venomous Dragos slithering home four more in what is fast becoming an unbelievable season for him personally. MoM went to young Charlie, who played his heart out for big bruv and Dad, and the club places on record its thanks to Kelly, Jamie and Martin for pulling out all the stops to get the game on and the boys there, given today's difficult circumstances; a super effort all round.

Completing the day's events, our U11s faced local opposition in a humongous derby against Belstone. The boys received a harsh lesson at home earlier in the season against this talented side but, have improved rapidly since and flew out the blocks today, a bit like like the hare on a greyhound track! Keeper Max mixed it up by launching a meteor from his hands that top scorer Riley latched on to, showing great pace and technique to calmly slot home for his first. Two minutes later he met an excellent corner from Callum and executed a pirouette volley straight into the onion bag. Charlie and Ben continued to work extremely hard and good stints from Kai, Alfie and Khalid were also seen before Daniel produced a sublime pass from midfield for Sammy, who, despite having lots to do, produced a textbook finish that found the bottom corner, sent the Wood's away support completely crazy and secured him MoM too!


It was very good to see all three of our girls' teams in action today.


After some weeks unable to field a side, the club was delighted to see our U16s take to the field again for Div 1 League action. Faced with a very tough assignment away against County Cup semi finalists Wodson Park, the girls played with a confidence and spirit that stunned their opponents, who were unable to score the glut of goals they perhaps expected. In the end, some exceptional finishing saw goals conceded but, our girls fought for everything, gifting their opponents nothing easy whatsoever.
Stand out performances were seen all over the park with keeper Harris making multiple outstanding saves, Turner playing with steel in defence & Branigan marshalling the midfield with a virtuoso technical performance. On the left side, Fernandez and Makamian worked tirelessly and effectively as a unit from start to finish and shared PoM honours.


Our U15s returned to League action against Herts Girls and with just 9 players recorded a resounding 3-0 victory, quite incredible given the lack of numbers and testament to their unquenchable spirit. The team's defence was rock solid with Manning, Rodrigues & De Maeijer dominating to help record a clean sheet, while in midfield Hopwood was very busy, covering the grass like a high speed robot lawnmower! Further up the field, our attacking trident of Coque, Embleton and Swain combined superbly to each find the net and secure a famous win that moves the team firmly back into League contention. PoM deservedly went to Weston after a no-nonense display including several crunch-o-matic tackles!


Last but, mostly definitely not least, our little heroines in the U9s went at it with gusto away to Garston. Lottie went close with a rasping drive before Lola - inspired by her big sis in the U15s - sighted the goal, drew back her foot and pinged the ball like a rocket into the top bag; her first goal ever! Kara enjoyed a super time between the sticks, springing about like Zebedee while Lois had the honour of securing PoM from both her own side and the opposition, a super compliment for a super player!

The Word in the Wood #28

Posted on 26th January, 2020

Yet more rain on an already wet surface meant we were unable to host any games at Pursley this weekend. Away from home, however, both our U9 Girls and U11 Boys turned it on.


First up were the girls, Lois scoring two crackers to take her season's total to an incredible 18, while Emily whipped in a wonderful corner that almost went straight into the net! All the team worked incredibly hard and PoM went to Lola, who ran ceaselessly and just never gave up. Well done you girls!


U11 Boys faced another away game and came out the blocks fast, the impressive Henry slinging across a super ball that was met with panache by the on running Luke, grabbing his third goal in two games and starting off 2020 with a real bang! Captain Ben enjoyed an awesome performance, running so hard he melted the studs on his boots, while MoM for the second week running went to Daniel, continuing to put in performances of great effort and technique.

The Word in the Wood #27

Posted on 20th January, 2020

The endless rain put paid to most the Wood's fixtures this weekend, but, our U9 Boys managed to play away against London Colney Youth Pumas, putting on a fine display to banish the clouds.


In a very tightly fought match between two determined teams, the Wood kept pouring it on and snatched a wonderful goal right at the the end of the match; the ever dangerous Luis striking like an angry cobra to dispatch the ball home and send the Wood hordes into ecstasy. As pleasing as the goal was, a very solid performance from the defence to keep a clean sheet rightly saw MoM shared between all the squad on what was another terrific day for the team and club.

The Word in the Wood #26

Posted on 12th January, 2020
The build up to this weekend's football at the Wood was particularly exciting as two of our teams were competing in the latter stages of the County Cup, Herts FA's premium competition.


First up were our U15 Girls, facing Chorleywood Common away in the quarter finals. The girls piled it on from start to finish but, were ultimately unable to secure the result, succumbing to a very credible 2-0 reverse. The team has suffered with an acute lack of players this season and again played this match without any subs. Despite that, they always have a go and this fantastic attitude was perfectly encapsulated by both Hopwood and Embleton, who shared PoM honours. Very well done to all the players and staff for a really spirited effort.


In the boys' section and after a fine run, our U16s were representing the club in the 5th round of their County Cup, away against a top level Berkhamsted outfit. The County Cup throws together teams from all the Herts' Leagues and we knew the opposition were going to be a very tough nut to crack. That proved to be the case, with the boys falling to an 8-2 defeat, our goals from Tillcock and Zekarias; the latter securing MoM after a particularly impressive match. However, the team did themselves and the club proud in getting this far and in scoring two goals at the home of this talented opposition, something rarely bettered by any side this season. Huge credit, therefore, goes to the players and staff and it was a great pleasure to receive fulsome praise from the senior match officials for the boys' exemplary attitude and behaviour throughout.


In a round-up of our other games, playing Saturday were our terrific terriers in the U9 Girls, facing tough opposition away at St. Albans Central. The girls worked really hard and though unable to breach the opposition defence this time, they can be very proud of their efforts and desire to keep going. Lois enjoyed a fine day while PoM went to Gabby who performed with boundless energy and enthusiasm.


With injuries and GCSE mocks, our U16 Girls were unable to get a team together for their League fixture this weekend but, hope to be back in action next Saturday away to Berkhamsted Raiders.


Playing Sunday, our U9 Boys recorded yet another excellent display, this time against Croxley Green Emeralds. The boys sparkled from the off with priceless goals from Dragos, Charlie & Luis! The team is on an awesome sequence of form and manager Bruce awarded MoM to the entire squad, a fitting tribute to a team of young players that is playing great football and heading firmly upwards.


Not to be left out, our U11 Boys travelled away against Alexandra Park West and put on an emphatic performance, scoring 3 tasty little goals of their own. In defence, Ben and Callum were solid while the lively Henry produced a fine run down the wing before crossing for Luke to score his first goal of the season. Enjoying the sensation so much, he banged in another five minutes later, before Daniel picked up the loose ball from a corner and lashed into the net. This was his second goal in two matches and was secured whilst suffering with a very gammy leg. Such a gallant effort secured this hardy young man the MoM award.

The Word in the Wood #25

Posted on 5th January, 2020

Happy New Year y'all, from everyone at the B2000 family. While other teams feasted greedily over the festive period, our teams climbed high mountains to live the monastic life, meditating and not consuming even one crumb of minced pie! No surprise then to see our U9 & U11 Boys' teams start 2020 in such elevated form.


First up, our U9s came from behind to score seven stunning goals in their match against London Colney Colts. The phenomenal Luis somehow scored a quadruple, with the dangerous Leo showing a lion-heart to grab himself a brace. The goalscoring was completed by Dragos who also secured MoM with a display of the very highest quality. What a start to the year!


Meanwhile, our U11s broke their passing and tackling records in an excellent display against London Colney Panthers. This was a tight and keenly contested match and the Wood were very unfortunate for a clear offside goal to be over-ruled by the match official. However, the boys showed great spirit to keep at it and several top level displays were produced by the tough tackling Ben and the busy Riley and Charlie in midfield. Good hold up play from Henry forced the Colney keeper to parry late in the second half only to see Daniel pounce on the rebound to lash high into the net, sending the Wood support quite delirious! MoM was shared between Sammy, who was superb all game both in defence and with his passing out the back, and to the flying Callum, who stood in for our resident keeper and performed to a very high standard in an unfamiliar position.


If this is the sign of things to come, this blog is going to make very good reading in 2020!

The Word in the Wood #24

Posted on 14th December, 2019

U16 & U11 boys' away games were postponed due to the biblical rains but, as nearly always, Pursley came up trumps again, with the U9s finishing the year as they started it; having lots of fun and playing some smashing football. Luis was in vintage form dispatching two bullet like strikes for a brace, while both Audley and Bailey banged in another goal each. Dragos went on to secure MoM to cap off a great year's football for this young man, while at the back, our keeper and defence kept another clean sheet and showed just why we have such high hopes for this terrific group of players.


In conditions resembling the Somme, our U16 girls rolled up their sleeves and put in a very morale boosting display against Watton Ladies in the Herts FA County Cup quarter final. Though unable to secure a semi-final spot, the girls fought tirelessly from start to finish against an unbeaten opponent, and, as a result, every single one went on to enjoy a positive performance.

Keeper Harris was sharp of her line and enjoyed a strong game, while ahead of her, the defence was disciplined with Joseph & Hyman very steady in the centre, supported admirably either side by Turner and Fordham. In midfield, the impressive triangle of McLaughlin, débutante Knight (playing so well in her first ever Wood fixture) and the imperious Branigan performed superbly with the versatile Fernandez also contributing hugely second half, after starting in defence. On the wings, Makamian and Young turned it on with the latter scoring a lovely goal, driving through the heart of the opposition before finishing with composure. Up front, Luckhurst put in a mighty shift and was unlucky not to score with a fierce drive second half.

Before heading off to the betting shop for the afternoon, Manager Adam spoke briefly with Piers Morgan and was quoted as saying "The girls gave us everything today and we couldn't be prouder, we'll be ready to hit the floor running in 2020 so bring it on!"

We at the club just couldn't agree more and salute our staff - Adam, Susie and Jon - for their dedication and positivity.


U9 Girls donned their wet & cold weather gear and bravely took on an accomplished Bury Rangers side. Playing in all weathers is vital to mounting a league campaign in competitive seasons to come, so it was thrilling to see our girls performing so well in such difficult conditions. Theaya again impressed in goal and defence, as did Mya, defending stoutly before bringing the ball up-field. Wood legend Lois bagged another super goal to take her season's tally to an incredible 16, but, PoM was secured by Emily, covered in mud but, grinning ear to ear after a consummate defensive display which included many excellent forays forward. Very well done indeed.


Having had no fixtures for a couple of weeks, our U15s returned to League action away against St. Albans City North. The conditions were foul and the girls understandably found it hard to get going, particularly after the enforced lay off. A defeat ensued but, Rodrigues popped up from the back to grab a lovely goal, top scorer Swain this time providing the assist. PoM went to Kennedy-Millar, who, returning from a long injury, produced a display of the very highest calibre and reminded everyone how good it is to have her back.

The Word in the Wood #23

Posted on 7th December, 2019

It was standing room only at a packed Pursley today as our U16s faced St. Albans City South in the 3rd round of the County Cup. We can reveal the lads turned it on brilliantly to record a 1-0 win and secure a place in the 4th round of Herts FA's premier competition.

The game was tight as two coats of paint, but, began to turn when MoM Langham moved from defence to forward. He combined superbly with Tillcock, who sped through the away defence to hammer home. Keeper Rahmati and defenders Hague, Zekarias, Barber & Leiva then locked it up at the back, securing a clean sheet and a famous and hard fought victory. Massive congratulations to the entire squad and staff and without doubt, this is the club's victory of the season thus far. Next up in this cup is a tricky away fixture against Berkhamsted Raiders scheduled for the 12/1/20. Though the boys will have to go easy with their Christmas & New Years festivities, in this form, there is nothing they can't achieve!


Inspired by their older peers, our U11s put on a masterful performance against Hinton Stars, and this with the squad decimated by illness. The boys passed it better than ever and with tackles and clearances aplenty, a truly vintage display followed.

In goal, the excellent Max stretched like Mr. Fantastic to somehow keep out a penalty, whilst in front of him, Callum marshalled the defence with authority and clean ball striking, almost scoring a 30 yard free kick that screamed past the left hand stanchion. Luke and Charlie bossed the midfield, with good hold up play from Sammy up front and incisive work from Khalid on the left wing. MoM, however, went to the versatile and superb Riley, who, after a stint up front, scored two superb goals from right and then left midfield, the second of which, in the dying seconds of the match, sent the home support delirious and saw the more seasoned fans remembering Le Tissier's looped volley against Newcastle all those years back. To be compared with such exalted company is testament to the quality of this exquisite contribution.


To round off a perfect day for the Wood's boys, our U9s recorded yet another wonderful display, this time away against the spookily named Woodys & Ebogs Phantoms! Our boys showed no fear however, with the in form strike partnership of Luis (2) and Dragos (1) dispatching the ball through the goalpost cobwebs and firmly into the back of the net. MoM was secured by Aidan, who was livelier than the Duracell Bunny and enjoyed a fantastic game.


Pursley witnessed the most wonderful game of football today, with our U9s hosting St. Albans Central in a pulsating match. Parents, players and staff on both sides were of the very highest order, all contributing to a wonderful spectacle.

The Wood's girls changed positions numerous times and adapted to this challenge superbly well, applying the same busy work ethic and quality technical skills wherever they played. So good to see in such young players.

The entire squad played beautifully, with moments of real quality seen from Mya in defence, whose range of passing was quite incredible, from Lottie rampaging forward on mazy dribbles and from Kara who threw herself about bravely when in goal.

Our PoM went to birthday girl Lola, who is improving rapidly and put in a fantastic shift for her team, while the opposition awarded their own PoM to us and chose Theaya. She enjoyed an exceptional game, making a string of first class saves in goal before squeezing the ball home from a seemingly impossible angle to score her first goal for the club.

After the game, as the girls scoffed birthday goodies and swapped stories of their performances, the smiles on their faces warmed the hearts of the home support and reminded everyone what it's all about.


Our U15s had no fixture today and relaxed ahead of their big game at St. Albans North next Saturday. The girls have enjoyed a really good season thus far and we hope they close the year of with another strong display.


Both our older girls teams have suffered with a lack of numbers over recent years despite the best efforts of the club to attract players. With GCSEs and other interests, that is becoming even more acute. With that in mind, this week, our U16s again asked the League if they could move down to Div2, but, again, this was rejected. The club respect the decision but, feel the move would've been appropriate based on our numbers and results, through both the pre-season matches and League games thus far.

Though disappointed, the girls and staff intend to keep going as there remains a core of hardy and talented players who want to train and play, and when we can get a full team out, we will fulfill our Div 1 fixtures. However, due to absence, we were unable to do so against Berkhamsted today and ceded them the points.

It's certainly not all doom and gloom and a particularly excellent training session was witnessed by your Blog author on Monday, where the girls were enthusiastic and bubbly. With this attitude, things can turn around quickly and all the while, we'll continue the hunt for new players.

The Word in the Wood #22

Posted on 30th November, 2019

U9 Boys put on another thumping performance this matchday against Maccabi Black, scoring six of the finest goals you could imagine. Dragos - who loves scoring goals like the rest of us love scoffing cream cakes - helped himself to another four and claimed MoM, with Luis and Bailey both hitting the net apiece with fierce drives smashed into the stanchions. A special mention to young Charlie too, who morphed into a leaping salmon to complete a stunning penalty save!

Our U11s excellent streak ended after a sluggish, indifferent start to their game against Whetstone Wanderers Leopards. After a hard week down the mines, the boys were stiff, tired and unable to get going though they finished very strongly and matched the opposition in the last twenty minutes of the match, giving us something good to build on next week.


On a very frosty Pursley pitch, our U16 Girls hosted a gifted Denham side today in the League Cup and started really strongly, Makamian showing good technique to fire the team into an early lead. From this strong position, we then contrived to concede 11 goals turning a promising situation into a tough and demoralising morning for all the players, staff and parents. What's for sure is that everyone has very much more to give than they showed for the majority of the game today but, there has to be a desire to want to do that and this can only come from within. The challenge for the girls is to react positively and for our senior players to step up and lead the team forward, rather than shrugging their shoulders with indifference. We know you can do it and we'll support you to the hilt, but, you've got to lead the way!


At the other end of the spectrum, our U9s were fairly bursting with pride and passion as they flew on to the pitch away against Southgate Adelaide. The girls put on a wonderful team performance, running their hearts out and fighting for every blade of grass. Goal factory Lois grabbed her 16th of the season before turning provider with a searing cross that was dispatched expertly by Hazel for her 6th of the season, this coming from a well rehearsed team move the girls have been working on in training!

Kara & Mya had stints in goal and were in outstanding form, pulling off top drawer saves and showing no hesitation as they dived at opposition feet to gobble up the ball. In defence, Ella was a rock again, making multiple shuddering tackles that shook the ground like the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk, while Emily was calm and assured as she stepped in and swept up beautifully. Lola worked her socks off closing down in attack and tracking back for her team, while PoM went to Lottie for an outstanding performance in defence, breaking up attacks, using her pace to cover team-mates and starting attacks with her dribbling abilities. What a day, what a performance; come on the Wood!!


In a top of the table clash, our U15s game against Potters Bar was postponed due to the frost. The girls are in such hot form they would surely have melted that away but, a little rest to recharge won't do them any harm at all.

The Word in the Wood #21

Posted on 23rd November, 2019
U11 Boys' were denied extending their excellent streak due to the bog like conditions at Alexandra Park seeing their game postponed. However, U9 boys, themselves in very good form, took up the mantle and played a season's best performance in a massive derby against a Borehamwood Youth Templars side that has just secured promotion. The gate receipts for this local extravaganza broke all the records as our boys went at it right from the start, with a phenomenal work ethic and desire to succeed. Top scorer Dragos notched yet another in a stand-out season and manager Bruce, quoted by the Daily Telegraph in the bar afterwards, said "without doubt, this was the most complete performance from the boys yet; they made us all very proud indeed and every one was a MoM today." As the faithful trudged back home to clean the mud of their new shoes and wipe down their car seats, many could be heard echoing these wise words.


U16 Boys came very close to earning a fourth straight win before falling to a couple of late goals against Enfield Rangers. The boys were on the end of a heavy defeat against this opposition earlier in the season and the closely fought match this time round shows the clear improvement the boys have made. Mokonnen was on hand to grab his second of the season with a calm and composed finish, while keeper Rahmati secured MoM with an acomplished display between the sticks. The club salute the management and players for showing great resolve and determination in turning their fortunes around.


On a wet and wild day, the Wood's girls' section played some really tremendous stuff!
U9s faced tough opposition in Meninas Curitiba, but, flew out the blocks, with Lois scoring a mind-boggling six goals! This talented young lady is bursting with confidence and was just too hot to handle, finishing in style throughout and earning herself PoM. Serving up these opportunities in particular was Emily, enjoying a fine match, as was keeper Mya, who marshalled her area like a pro. All the girls worked their socks off, particularly after giving the opposition a power play, and were rewarded with yet another excellent performance.


Our U15s continued where they left off last week, recording a fine 1-7 victory against a plucky Watford Ladies Harts side. Goal machine Swain continued her remarkable run, bagging another four goals to propel her side to victory. Not to be outdone, Embleton scored a high class hatrick, her first for the club, and both our goalscoring heroes were grateful for the constant supply of chances provided by their team-mates, who ran and tackled hard throughout. One of these - Rodrigues - provided a masterful defensive display and deservedly secured herself the PoM award. Top of the table, the girls face a derby match against Potters Bar next.


U16s were assigned a tough match against league favourites Wodson Park and fought well throughout before succumbing to this talented side. McLaughlin was in fine form, tackling and running hard, with Branigan doing the same and also providing a touch of class. PoM went to Joseph for a very resolute defensive performance and a desire to keep going. A valiant effort from the girls and if they can just retain the ball that bit longer, they'll be even more competitive in these challenging fixtures going forward.