The Word In The Wood

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23/24 - The Word in the Wood #24

Posted on 3rd March, 2024

Our U9 Girls, U14 Boys and U15 Boys all fell to the rain this weekend; when will it stop!

 

However, our U13 girls did play and had a tough away trip to what has been the best team in the County for many a season in St Albans City Yellows. Our previous meeting was a very close affair ending in a 3-2 loss but with our girls coming away feeling that they fully deserved to be playing D1 football. Today was no different and we expected a very tough test against a good football team and we were not disappointed.

 

With a few  changes positionally we tried to firm up our defence and midfield, and believe we did this and all the girls performed fantastically well. The first goal came from a St Albans corner that was allowed to travel unchallenged to our back post; a cute header back across goal put the home side 1 up.

 

The defence and midfield where coping well with St Albans tricky attacker and we where keeping them at arm’s length. Emily in goal was outstanding and made some excellent saves whenever she was called upon with Amy, PoM Abi, Pola & Ava in front of her all competing well and showing their skill and tenacity. This St Albans team is made up of real quality with girls training at Arsenal, Tottenham and Watford so they can hurt you very quickly if you switch off for just 1 second. Without really putting a foot wrong we found ourselves 2-0 down and scratching our heads.

 

Gabby, Elsinho and Gabz were creating chances up front, while Abs was making her barnstorming runs from a new position of RB, causing havoc in the Yellows lines and one of her rocket shots with her seldom used left peg shook the Yellow's bar! Hazel was on hand but a split second too late to get the tap in; the good thing for her and the team was that she was there to compete for it though.

 

Our midfield duo of Annie and skipper Amie had a tough day at the office today, they played against some top-quality performers but they held their own and kept coming and kept fighting and had many opportunities to show their own class and skill on the ball. The yellows 10 - Nell - deserves a mention as she was masterful today in midfield, she squirmed and shimmied and found half a yard on the edge of our box and sent an exquisite low drive into the bottom corner just beating Emily’s dive for 3-0 Yellows.

 

The score paints its own picture but was not a true or reflective one of the game unfolding in front of our eyes. The scoreline was very harsh on our team and to be three down wasn’t fair, but this is D1 football and half chances are taken. We hadn’t really put a foot wrong in defence or our keeper either; the girls knew this and took strength from the fact and kept fighting.

 

The Wood changed formation second half as we needed to play more in the Yellow's half, so we went to a 3-3-2 from a 3-4-1 formation and it really worked and helped us control large swathes of the second half. A controversial disallowed goal from the ref - when Gabby clearly beat the keeper and got the ball over the line - was a cruel way to start the half. The girls kept coming though with shots from Pola, Abi & Amie testing the home keeper.

Our high press also put pressure on the home team and made them play long for our strong defenders to win the ball back and start another attack.

 

Our 1st goal would come from great work on the left from Gabz who had an outstanding 2nd half in midfield; she worked the space with great support from Pola and dinked a sublimely weighted cross to the middle of the goal where Gabby was waiting to tap in what looks a simple finish but was made with great skill.

 

Our second goal came from a long range drive from Annie who was getting stronger and stronger in midfield the longer the match went on. A cross from her hard running twin - Elsinho - & Annie unleashed the Kraken and was rewarded with a screamer for her efforts that left the excellent home keeper rooted to the spot and reaching for air.

 

3-2, game on and the girls knew they could get something from this game and rightly pushed hard for an equaliser. Kara was working tirelessly to get crosses into the box with Hazel hunting defenders down, Ava backing Kara up in their pressing down the right flank looking for the half yard needed to get a shot or cross off. Luck wasn’t on our side today though and the Yellows got their fourth and there was nothing Riss could do to stop a good finish from the dangerous opposition striker. A 4-2 loss but a fantastic game of football played in front of a large crowd.

 

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23/24 - The Word in the Wood #23

Posted on 24th February, 2024

Our U13 Boys played New Salamis away in the Spring Plate, with a brimming full squad ready for action.

 

Following a fine start, the Wood took the lead on 20 minutes when a splendid mazy run from Gopinath ended with MoM O’ Rourke firing home with consumate ease!

 

The boys were well on top now, driven on in midfield by Adom and Joyce, and took a  0-2 lead following more good play between Gopinath and O’ Rourke; the latter swivelling his marker and slotting home as the away support went ballistic!

 

Second half didn’t start quite so well as the home team scored two quick goals but, the boys never let their heads drop and quality saves from Florin kept things level, despite an awful challenge on Ward who had been having a very good game.

 

All in all, it was a very sound away performance from the players and staff, and with the same opponents next week again, anticipation is high.

 

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What a delightful afternoon of football it was as our U9's hosted Hemel Aces Snow Leopards in a thrilling encounter! The sun was shining bright, matching the radiant spirits of both teams and their enthusiastic supporters.

 

Coach Katie, on her farewell match before setting sail with the Navy, galvanised the team onto the pitch amidst cheers and applause. And what a send-off it was! From the get-go, Borehamwood showcased their prowess, dominating possession and pushing forward with relentless determination.

 

Captain Ruby led by example, orchestrating the midfield with finesse. Tippi kicked off the scoring frenzy, capitalizing on a rebound to give Borehamwood an early lead. Ruby herself came agonizingly close with a well-struck effort, while Elsie showcased her skills only to be thwarted by the Hemel goalie's heroics.

 

As the game progressed into the second quarter, Sienna stole the show with two impeccable goals, displaying pinpoint accuracy with her shots. Juniper joined the party with a dazzling solo run, adding to Borehamwood's tally. Not to be outdone, Elsie found the back of the net with a remarkable finish, leaving the crowd in awe.

 

Amber stood firm in defence, marking the opposition with precision and making crucial clearances when needed. Despite facing six Snow Leopards in the third quarter, Borehamwood maintained their composure, with Emily showcasing her goalkeeping prowess with a string of remarkable saves.

 

Polly took charge up front, narrowly missing the target with her strikes, while Sienna tried her luck with a long-range effort. In the final quarter, Juniper adapted brilliantly to a new position on the left, while Maisie's play making versatility saved the day on numerous occasions with her stellar defending and pinpoint accurate passing.

 

It was now Polly’s turn to add to the Borehamwood scoresheet, and what a cracker it was too, picking up the ball in the middle of the pitch and releasing a powerful right footed shot. Hemel were pushing forwards and had it not been for Gracie putting on goalkeeping masterclass, diving fearlessly to deny the opposition time and time again this could have been a very different result. The game was drawing to an end, however Elsie had other ideas and hungry for a second goal netting a remarkable goal just before full time.

 

As the final whistle blew, the cheers from the crowd echoed around the Pursley ground celebrating a well-deserved victory for Borehamwood. Ruby was rightfully awarded the player of the match for her tireless efforts covering every blade of grass and every muddy puddle, while Elsie received recognition as the opposition's player of the match for her outstanding performance.

 

It was a match filled with joy, camaraderie, and outstanding footballing talent—a fitting tribute to Coach Katie's tenure and a memory that will be cherished by all involved for years to come.

 

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Our U13 girls played far away against Berkhamsted Raiders Reds today, after the match was reversed due to Pursley being under water again.

 

The game started really well with the Wood pushing for the lead and it was to come via a masterful finish from Gabz. A free kick was given against Berko for a foul some 25yds out, and as we had been practicing our long shooting recently, we knew Gabz was the right player to step up and take the shot which she skilfully put in the top corner of the net.

 

Wood were controlling the game and it felt like it wouldn’t be too long before we scored our second goal. That wasn’t to be though and after some panic and pinball football in our defence, the Reds managed to equalise past Emily who was having a magnificent game and couldn’t be blamed for this.

 

The Wood girls as we know are made from strong stuff so we expected a rapid and robust response but unfortunately today the team was just not at the races. Our passing, which we pride ourselves on, was off and we lost too many 50/50’s and from a corner we failed to clear our lines and went 2-1 down.

 

This was a visible shock to some of our girls and it hit them hard for the next 20/25 mins where we felt a little sorry for ourselves. Berko sensed this and pushed harder and managed to get their 3rd after a mix up between Emily and our rock Abi; both girls where desperate to clear the ball and both went for it, in the moment they both knew the other was coming so pulled out and neither cleared the ball, a genuine mistake by two very good footballers who had given their all and didn’t deserve to be 3-1 down.

 

At this point, players, coaches and supporters alike were all knocked and left scratching their heads as we just couldn’t believe what we were seeing. Changes were made with Kara, Ava & Amy coming into the fray. A long throw from Ava released Gabby who brought the score back to 3-2 with a clever early finish before the keeper could get set.

 

This was our chance to reestablish a foothold in the game but it wasn’t to be as the Reds managed to score their 4th to make it 4-2 Berko. This could have been the proverbial straw but our girls went again with Kara controlling and beating her opponent; with a drop of the shoulder she got her shot off and caught the keeper unawares to make it 4-3 and game on!

 

The girls pushing for an equaliser maybe switched off defensively and allowed Berko a 5th goal and another conceded on the day from a corner: 5-3 game over.

 

A special mention for our POM today - Elsie - who was a shining light in a very poor  team performance. After the game, Manager Dave said ‘Elsie is a dancing winger with some of the best feet in the league, she is working really hard with the coaches, developing the other side of her game at the minute and is becoming a real thorn in the side of opponents with her ability on the ball and her tenacity and fight off of the ball. I’ve seen Elsie score 5 goals and leave players in a twisted heap on the floor previously, but for me as her coach, today was extra special, seeing her work rate and desire to win the ball high, quickly and to make things happen with the ball. We take our knocks as a team and we move on and these amazing girls will be back in the fight next weekend.’

23/24 - The Word in the Wood #22

Posted on 17th February, 2024

After another over-night deluge, many of Sunday's fixtures sadly fell to water-logging, including our U14 Boys.

 

Our U13 Boys game was switched and they travelled to Enfield to face Hinton Revolution in the Spring Plate. The boys started brilliantly when after just 5 mins, O' Rourke converted a fine Adom through pass! Hinton then gained ground to take a 5-half time lead.

 

Second half saw a succession of Hinton attacks until a fine Hartslief pass sent Powell speeding away to finish in the bottom corner, sparking mass celebrations! Unfortunately, the lack of subs took its toll on the boys and despite some fine saves from MoM Lehouimel, the match ended 9-2. A really great effort from the lads that were in attendance.

 

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Our U15 Boys were away in the quarter final of the League Cup and facing Red division title favourites - New Salamis - far away from home in Broxbourne.

 

The boys made a flying start, taking an early lead through Fan, as he beat the home keeper to the ball before firing home. Thereafter, the Wood controlled the game before our left side went to sleep; a ball over the top turned inside for the simplest goal, one of the few attacks New Salamis enjoyed in the first half.

 

The half ended 1-1 but, the boys knew they were a match for the opposition and took to the field second half full of confidence. However, another unforced error killed momentum and allowed the home side to streak away and bury home a second that keeper Marshall simply could do nothing about. One positive from the countless defensive mistakes seen this season is that the team has learnt to brush them off and get back down to business. The response today was absolutely tremendous with wave after wave of Wood attacks raining down on the New Salamis goal.

 

Fan produced a sublime left foot cross that just escpaped Montgomery's full length dive, before curling home a shot that was smarly tipped over by the home keeper. Green then produced an excellent free kick that was tipped away to safety as it seemed sure to nestle in the top bag. Silva and McGuinness were terrorising the New Salamis defence with their pace and trickery while Hobbs was enjoying another very good display down the right.

 

In the end, New Salamis held out by the narrowest of margins, the game ending 2-1. MoM went to Pop who, despite being outgunned physically, proved that old adage true, that it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but, the size of the fight in the dog, and he really did play an excellent match. However, all the boys can be very proud of their efforts and left absolutely nothing out on the pitch, giving it everything they had. They showed fight and character and a huge desire to keep going and these vital attributes are growing in them all every season. 

 

The boys have a rest weekend and then return in the Challenge Cup quarter final and though the day didn't end how they wanted, they are now further armed with invaluable experience and with an even greater hunger for success, which will drive them on to big achievements in the future.

 

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In a match filled with youthful exuberance and boundless energy, our U9 Girls dazzled on the field as they took on Hitchin Belles Youth at Priory School. Despite the grey skies looming overhead, the spirits of both teams were lifted as they stepped onto the pitch for their eagerly anticipated match.

 

With Gracie and Olivia showcasing their skills in goalkeeping, and Juniper leading the team as Captain, the girls were ready to give it their all. Emilia's quick footwork in centre forward set the tempo early on, while Amber displayed versatility, confidently manoeuvring between defence and midfield.

 

The excitement reached its peak when Masie embarked on a blistering run, netting Borehamwood's first goal with precision and finesse. The cheers from the sidelines were deafening as Daisy, with sheer determination, unleashed a magnificent strike from just inside the halfway line, securing the team's second goal.

 

But the excitement didn't stop there. Elsie, showing her prowess in both defense and attack, found herself in the top left-hand corner and fired off a decisive shot, adding another goal to Borehamwood's tally. Her outstanding passing throughout the game earned her the well-deserved title of Player of the Match.

 

Not to be outdone, Gracie, displaying lightning-fast reflexes, saved a crucial goal, while Olivia showcased her prowess by expertly catching a rapid shot from the opposition. Meanwhile, Juniper and Elsie both demonstrated their attacking prowess, narrowly missing several shots and hitting the post multiple times, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.

 

As the final whistle blew, signaling the end of the match, both teams gathered to exchange handshakes and congratulations, showcasing the true spirit of sportsmanship and the joy of playing the game and the bonds formed on the field that truly mattered.

 

With smiles on their faces and memories to cherish, the girls of Borehamwood 2000 left the pitch with their heads held high, ready to take on whatever challenges awaited them in future matches. Today was a day to celebrate teamwork, camaraderie, and the sheer joy of playing football. 

 
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Our U13 girls took a rest week in the league today, as this depleted squad is struggling for numbers at the tail end of a busy season. With Ella and Lucy moving on and taking a break respectively, we then had Skipper Amie, CB Abi and both our No9’s in Gabby & Hazel all on their hols; add Imani who is still injured to that list and we were almost missing a whole other team today!

 

We chose to organise a friendly against our new friends @Bury Rangers who are fighting for promotion from D3 to D2. Some might ask how did we manage to field a side with so many players away? Well it was all down to the magnificent 10 this morning! They came to the Woods rescue when needed most against a very, very good Bury Rangers side. We had our two GK’s Emily & Riss available but no outfield subs on a very wet, sticky and energy draining Pursley this morning. So the on-field girls had to play the whole game and did so very well through all the aches, pain and knocks!

 

We played with an almost brand new back 3 with Ava at RB, Amy at CB and Pola at LB; the girls were up against it today against the quick and strong Bury attack, who where released very quickly by the GK as soon as she could. The girls did sterling work though in defence before trying to start our own attacks. Amy in only her second game for us looked like a seasoned pro at times today, Pola on the left was often raiding in the Bury half and she got off a couple of shots on goal.

 

In midfield, we had Annie as skipper for the day alongside Theaya, working as our twin turbo engine room, with Gabz and Elsinho offering us width, pace and trickery on the flanks. The girls had a real battle in midfield on the muddy pitch and against a very committed opponent who were always snapping into tackles and running the hard yards.

Bury kept our girls honest with their endeavour and sheer willl to get through the hard work.

 

The midfield stuck to their guns though and Gabz grabbed the first of her excellent brace with a stunning solo effort that was drilled past the Bury keeper. Her second was assisted by Riss, who’s long ball found Gabz, who beat 2 Bury defenders for pace and strength and then showed excellent balance to keep her feet and beat the keeper. Another excellent performance from this fine young lady and Gabz delivers weekly and without fail, being a joy to watch on the pitch and to be around for her teammates and coaches alike.

 

Our two other scorers where starting No9 Karadonna who chipped the keeper from the edge of the box after a smart lay off from Gabz; a goal prime Denis Bergkamp would have been proud of! The decider was claimed by an unsung hero in Ava who pushed forward looking for the winner. The Bury defence cleared a ball from their area and it fell to Ava’s feet thinking fast, she swung her trusty right foot and guided a delightful effort over the excellent Bury keeper's head and into the net. Cue wild celebrations from the Bwood Ultras on the Curva Nord! A game winning goal is something we all dream of and for it to be Ava’s first ever goal made it all the more special for this amazing young woman.

 

POM today was skipper Annie who put in an excellent performance in a new position of CM and looked at home from the off. A 4-3 home win for the girls and it was a tough day as Bury played like a D1 side and tested us at every level.

23/24 - The Word in the Wood #21

Posted on 11th February, 2024

With the rain lashing down all week, it was just our U15 Boys that managed to get out this weekend, playing the first game in a sequence of crucial matches which includes two quarter finals. First up was Berkhamsted Raiders in the League at home, a crucial relegation six pointer with the winner pulling away from the vanquished in the quest to retain Red division status next term. After a disappointing January, the boys trained well mid-week and there was a steely determination present pre-match that reflected a growing belief that they can achieve great things together when they really focus individually and support each other collectively.

 

The start that followed was outstanding with Berko under the cosh from the off. Silva & Makamian were out the blocks like whippets, crashing into the opposition and using the ball superbly thereafter. Green ran hard to panic the away defence with Fan supporting excellently and both players had the early share of goal-scoring attempts. Montgomery was sweeping up nicely while Boshjaku returned to centre back winning a series of massive tackles and his assured presence there seemed to fill Hobbs and Hones with confidence as they complimented him with their own tough tackling and a refreshing focus that was shared by keeper Marshall, enjoying a positive, assured outing. All that was missing from that first half was a goal but, with one of the most potent attacks in the League at present, complimented by the recent signing of Da Silva, a free-scoring attacker looking to challenge himself at higher levels, the boys looked confident as they set out second half.

 

With Crucefix slipping superbly into the holding role with a bite to his challenges that delighted the home support and Pop enjoying an excellent outing in midfield, the boys streamed forward producing an outstanding move that saw Pop and Manning combine skillfully to present Da Silva with an opening he calmly struck home! Da Silva added another moments later only to be denied by the offside flag, but, undaunted, he slipped in Wood legend Ifeacho shortly after as he ran through to bag his 14th goal of the season with aplomb, placing him tied joint top-scorer at the highest level this season so far. The Wood's famous press then saw Manning win the ball and produce the cross of the game from an acute angle; Green attacked it well and his effort fell to Da Silva who shimmied effectively before striking a lovely effort home again to secure the team’s 50th goal this term and the MoM award on what can only be described as an outstanding debut match.

 

The boys worked really hard today and were very motivated to perform well, secure a vital win and their first top division clean sheet. They achieved all three things and, crucially, this motivation came from within, from their own preparation and desire, and a realisation that if they want something badly enough, they are now good enough to go and grab it. They head into next week’s quarter final with a positive, hardening mindset that may propel their bodies to new heights, seemingly impossible at the start of the season but, now tantalisingly close to reality.

23/24 - The Word in the Wood #20

Posted on 3rd February, 2024

Our U13 Boys put in another much improved display as they narrowly lost 3-2 against HMH Real. HMH won the previous encounter 1-11 and sit 3rd in the table so the boys did superbly well to make this a very tight affair!

 

The boys kicked off into the wind and were doing well before a corner was unluckily carried into the goal by a freak gust of wind. Real scored again to make it 2-0 at half time. Thereafter, a stirring Wood revival with the wind behind them, saw the boys pepper the Real goal and Adom hit the bar with a fine effort before MoM Gopinath made it 2-1 with a stunning finish from a classy pass from Joyce. A lapse in concentration enabled Real to take a 3-1 lead before the Wood pulled one back after Gopinath earned and dispatched a penalty.

 

The last two weeks have seen far improved performances and results from the boys and confidence is beginning to surge. The timing is perfect as the team kicks off the Spring Plate next week and have all to play for as they seek cup final glory in May!

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Our U14 Boys faced a hard match against Red division London Colney in the quarter final of the Challenge Cup. An excellent start saw the Wood duelling equally with their higher division opponents and there was nothing in the match at this time.

 

Colney began to exert greater influence as the half wore on and took the lead after what might have been a cross or shot eluded the excellent Singleton in goal. A Colney winger then ran through unchallenged to score a second, but, there was all to play for second half.

 

However, Colney started fast and were quickly in an unassailable lead after the Wood were too passive to intervene. Adom fought his heart out all match at centre back, with Abisa and Evans weighing in second half also; Rocha struck a sweet shot just over the bar in attack.

 

The match ended 0-7 but, so much was learned by the boys and they will soak that up and take it forward. Perhaps of paramount importance is the need to stay in the game when not in possession as too many times today players switched off, reacting too late when the ball swung their way.

 

The team marches on armed with good experience from the day and ready to put this into action against London FITS next week in the League.

 

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In a scintillating clash under the sunny skies, our U9 Girls locked horns with Bury Rangers in a gripping encounter that had fans on the edge of their seats. A thrilling match reflected the sheer determination and skill on display from both teams.

 

Daisy, the indomitable captain of Borehamwood, led her squad with unwavering resolve against a physically imposing Bury Rangers side. The opening spectacle of the match unfolded with Ruby's right-footed strike, showcasing her finesse and precision in front of goal as it whistled into the net!

 

Emily, the fearless guardian between the posts, exhibited cat-like reflexes and impeccable anticipation, thwarting Bury Rangers' attempts with commendable saves. Elsie embarked on a mesmerizing solo run, narrowly missing the target as her effort ricocheted off the post, adding an extra layer of intensity to the game.

 

Sienna, a defensive stalwart, demonstrated remarkable agility, swiftly turning to dispossess Bury Rangers and launch crucial counter-attacks. Juniper's defensive prowess was on full display as she executed numerous vital clearances, denying Bury Rangers' advances with poise.

 

Amber and Ruby formed a dynamic partnership, displaying exceptional coordination in both striking and defensive roles. Their synergy was evident as they navigated the pitch, keeping the opposition on their toes. Meanwhile, Daisy's resilience against the physicality of the opponents stood out, as she fearlessly battled for possession and refused to be intimidated.

 

A surprising twist occurred when a pitch invasion by a dog added an unexpected and light-hearted moment to the game, with chants of “sign him up” from the supporters!

Leah made a triumphant return in midfield, contributing significantly to the team's efforts, while Masie, with her quick-footed manoeuvres and strategic runs in midfield, added an extra dimension to Borehamwood's gameplay.

 

In the midst of the thrilling encounter, Ruby emerged as the standout performer, earning the well-deserved title of Player of the Match. The ecstatic crowd, caught in the whirlwind of excitement, erupted with cheers as the players navigated the tense last five minutes with remarkable composure.

 

Towards the end of the match the Wood saw a second goal materialize in the form of an own goal. The positive energy and sportsmanship exhibited by both teams left spectators with a sense of admiration for the budding talent on display. In the end, it was a celebration of skill, resilience, and camaraderie that defined this enthralling encounter under the sunny skies.

 

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Our U13 girls hosted their close friends and probably one of the best teams in the county in Harvester’s girls today. On a tough run of games after facing the excellent Hertford Town last week, the Wood has faced two of the local giants of grassroots football in successive weeks.

 

Our squad has been depleted with a long term injury to Imani who is still unavailable, while Ella W has left for pastures new and now Lucy standing down also. A lung busting midfield enforcer, she will be sadly missed but just isn’t in love with her football at the minute; we hope she finds her way back to us in the future though!

 

That being said we had to find players to bolster and compliment our squad for the rest of the season and in prep for the next. We have been incredibly blessed to have a quality ready made footballer like Amy sign for the team this week and she made a fantastic debut today in the battle of Pursley!

 

The game kicked off with intensity and passion as our girls were asked to pick up where they left off last week. We were immediately trying to push Harvesters back by using the pace, strength and guile of starting 9 - Gabby. Harvesters where soon on the attack themselves moving the ball around quickly and putting pressure on the wood defence of Annie, Abi and Ava ; these magnificent footballers though are not going to be beaten easily and they repelled all attacks.

 

The midfield was a battlefield and wasn’t for the faint-hearted; skipper Amie and partner Theaya played the holding role performing their roles with aplomb. Our wide players of Gabz and Elsinho both covered so much ground today they probably need new boots! These girls were up and down doubling up in defence against Harvesters’ excellent wingers, or they were breaking at pace starting or joining attacks.

 

A through ball from Gabz found Gabby with 2 players to beat and she did this and then had the skill to lob the onrushing GK. This excellent finish was met with rapturous applause from the huge crowd gathered to watch this clash of the titans! This lifted the hearts of the Wood side and we pushed forward looking for the second goal. However, it also galvanised Harvesters who equalised about 5 mins later; the next goal would be important and a small lapse in concentration from the Wood let Harvesters take the lead 1-2. The girls kept at it though and when playing out from defence we got cornered and unluckily conceded a third goal to be 1-3 down within about 10 mins of leading 1-0. This is the difference between D1 and D2 where we played last year but, the girls are learning rapidly and are not making mistakes twice!

 

Changes were made to try and freshen the line up with Kara, Hazel and Amy coming into the fray. Amy into centre mid with Hazel going to No9 and Kara as a winger. The new girls quickly got stuck in and their drive and determination helped reinvigorate the side who were still a little shell shocked at the score.

 

Amy formed a good partnership with skipper Amie in midfield and Hazel had what was to be her best game in 2 years for the Wood; her energy and closing down of Harvesters players was infectious and she and Kara hounded the Harvesters’ right midfielder and right back with Kara winning the ball high and instantly releasing Hazel with a through ball. Hazel took one touch to compose herself then despatched the ball into the top corner with flames coming from the back of it: Hazels hammer is back! 2-3 game on and that’s how the 1st half finished

 

The second half followed the pattern of the first with some excellent football and thunderous tackles from both sides. Riss & Emily shared the GK duties today and both made excellent saves to keep their team in the contest. The girls are both adding to their games looking to start attacks quickly and recognise weak spots to exploit in their opponents.

 

Both teams huffed and puffed for the second half and probed for the next goal. A long clearance from Emily found Hazel and she was brought down in the area for a blatant pen that the ref didn’t give; on another day we might have got that and secured the draw we deserved today. Again, the girls finished the strongest and looked the most likely team to score; this is such a credit to these girls and we are so, so proud of them and privileged to be a part of their journey.

23/24 - The Word in the Wood #19

Posted on 27th January, 2024

Our U13 Boys put in a much improved performance against HMH Eagles at home, narrowly losing a pulsating game 1-3. Powell was in top form and fired the Wood in front with a cracking shot after Gopinath had crashed a shot off the crossbar.

Lehouimel was in top form between the sticks, flinging himself around to make a succession of top saves, before the Eagles turned the game. However, the Wood's boys kept at it to ensure the result was in doubt until the final whistle, much to the appreciation of the home support.

MoM went to the outstanding Joyce, who played with huge purpose and desire all match and enjoyed a tremendous outing as a result.

 

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U15 Boys endured a torrid day against Kings Langley. With only one sub, the boys were down to the bare 11 after Makamian limped off after going in hard and receiving a nasty injury.

 

Pre-match, the Wood focused much on stopping crosses and attacking those that did get through but, the boys just couldn't get it done, conceding two early goals from this very route. MoM Green was magnificent in attack, all endeavour and energy as he single-handedly pulled the Wood back into the game. He robbed Kings Langley of the ball and then fired in a sumptuous effort from way out to make the score 2-1. The Wood spurned this opportunity, however, with further calamitous defending seeing the opposition coast to a 1-4 half time lead.

 

The second half saw a more even match as the Wood tried to salvage some pride, but, the concession of another highly preventable goal made it 1-5. However, Green, displaying all the positive attributes one would hope to see in a young footballer, improvised very well to score another from a tight angle, taking him to 8 goals for the season and making the day a personal success for himself. Thereafter, Boshjaku and Crucefix weighed in with some huge challenges while Montgomery was spirited to the end and produced some quality play on the ball, the match finally ending 2-5.

 

The Wood has scored an incredible 47 goals this season already, many of which have been against the best players and teams around at this age; as an attacking force the boys are performing very highly and have exceeded all expectations. As a defensive unit, however, the very basic tasks of heading, tackling, marking, attacking a ball and clearing with distance, are escaping the lads at present. These aren’t hard things to master; all players in the squad can do them standing on their heads. However, it takes focus, determination, hunger and desire to do these things well on matchday and there is no doubt that many of the boys are lacking these qualities at this moment. This won’t last forever though and with reinforcements to the squad imminent, there are big opportunities coming to those that raise their games, show leadership and take on responsibility.

 

_

 

After yet another unexpected frost over-night, it seemed the weather would put paid to another of our U13 Girls’ games, however, it warmed up quickly and it was game on! Good job too as Pursley witnessed a cracking match against title challenger’s Hertford Town.

 

The game started at a frenetic pace with the more experienced Hertford team pinning our girls back into their own half. The defence completed an amazing job though, stopping any clear cut chances and efforts on the Wood goal. Annie, Abi, Pola & Ava working hard to protect Riss and deny space.

 

It was a battle in midfield with Theaya & Amie giving it all to wrest control and gain the advantage in the midfield battle against tough opponents. Lucy came into the fray for the second half after a break and showed glimpses of her dominant self. The midfield was trying to release our dangerous front line with wingers Gabz & Elsinho, who in turn were the supply line to No9 Gabby. The front three scared the life out of Hertford with their pace, power and trickery; their ability to create something out of nothing mesmerising their opponents.

 

Hertford managed to go into the break 1-0 up from a fluke goal but Wood heads never dropped. The second half began and the girls came out slowly; Hertford pounced from the kick off to make it 0-2 from some sloppy defending. However, this just galvanised the spirit of these young women who rolled their sleeves up and set to work overpowering an excellent Hertford team. Gabby chased a super through ball from Gabz and she beat her marker hands down, sliding the ball calmly past the onrushing keeper for 1-2!

 

The defensive unit was making strong challenges everywhere and putting their bodies on the line. Our midfield started to get a hold with skipper Amie spending more time on the ball with Theaya prompting her to drive forwards. This pushed Hertford back and the last 10-15 mins was one way traffic; the girls deserved a draw minimum from this fantastic advert for girls’ football but we go away with our heads held high knowing we just pushed an excellent Hertford side to the wire!

 

+

 

Having missed playing last week due to the arctic weather, our U9 Girls were raring to go against the Hemel Aces! Both teams started with determination and Juniper was soon flying down the wings and outpacing the opposition, whilst Daisy was firing shots at the goal as she outsmarted the defence only to be stopped by the woodwork.

 

The game was end to end with shots from both teams and Amber defended brilliantly, mostly stopping the opposition from getting past the half way line and even taking a shot herself at the other end after a blistering run up the field. The game saw fantastic defending and some amazing saves from Grace, which stunned the opposition managers, before the introduction of Emilia saw the first Wood goal after some fantastic tackling and dribbling, the Wood away support going ballistic as it screamed into the net!

 

The team was firing on all cylinders now and Juniper drilled home cooly for our second shortly after. Daisy returned to the field and was now on a mission, claiming four cracking goals including a world class strike from the half way line! Polly was instrumental in assisting many of these as she robbed the opposition of the ball, storming down the wing before making decisive passes to the strikers, whilst Juniper provided a steadfast defence and fantastic balls forward to start the attacks.

 

All the girls were amazing and it was really hard to choose just one as POM as they all deserved it, but the accolade went to Tippi who just edged it with her amazing work rate, running up the pitch to attack and shoot, working hard in midfield to intercept the ball, and running the length of the pitch to put in some amazing defensive tackles; her best performance of the season so far. The teamwork, attitude and skilful football all over the pitch was something to be truly proud of.

23/24 - The Word in the Wood #18

Posted on 21st January, 2024

The crazy weather leading into Saturday wiped out the girls' fixtures yet again this week but, the boys were luckier as temperatures climbed on Sunday.

 

Our U15 Boys were first out playing HMH Hawks in the Challenge Cup and aiming to secure a second quarter final berth this season. The start could not have been better, Ifeacho curling a delicious cross into the path of Crucefix who arrived perfectly to slam the ball home after just 30 seconds. However, this boon was spurned after Wood carelessness in possession allowed the Hawks to grow in confidence, their players also out fighting the Wood’s boys too often. Marshall was enjoying a focused game between the sticks and introduced new, excellent long throws that moved the Wood up the pitch quickly and accurately. However, the Hawks deservedly equalised from a corner, the opposition striker left alone in front of the goal and firing home with glee.

 

The Wood side taking to the pitch second half got the mix right and took the game to the Hawks. Ifeacho curled in a stunner that 10 keepers couldn’t have stopped, while Fan, positively ramping up his output today curled home equally impressively with his left foot shortly after. Ifeacho then bagged a second beauty as he lifted the ball over the advancing keeper and the match seemed won.

 

However, a lack of focus so common from the Wood when defending this season allowed the Hawks to score again, and it was only an incredible goal-line clearance from McGuinness that stopped a third goal going in. The match ended 4-2 and the Wood progressed but, for large parts of this game, many players failed to turn up again, letting a lower division side out-fight and out-play them far too often. One player who did do himself proud was MoM Manning, displaying so much bravery and excellent technique to play calmly out the back and show everyone that keeping your head on the pitch always leads to good things.

 

The boys face Kings Langley next week in the league and an improved performance will be required against this quality of side.

 

+

 

Our U14 Boys faced Panthera from the White division in a Spring Cup match at Pursley. The boys lost key players in the run up to this match so their 2-2 draw was especially pleasing as everyone in the squad got involved to great effect!

 

The Wood's goals were scored by Smith after a super assist from Keeper Singleton, while goal machine Chen bagged another to take his season's tally to a zany 17! Joyce had a superb outing covering every blade of grass twice while Gardiner secured MoM after a defensive masterclass at the back.

 

The boys have a rest week next Sunday before facing London Colney in a massive Challenge Cup quarter final at Pursley!

 

 +

 

Our U13 Boys meanwhile faced a tough test away at Hinton. The boys gave it everything but, were unable to score on this occasion, suffering a 7-0 reverse. Adom secured MoM as he put in a ton of effort for his team to try and change their fortunes. To their credit, Joyce also weighed in heavily as did Ward & Patel.

 

More experience was gained and the boys continue to sharpen up ready for the Spring Plate in a couple of weeks.

23/24 - The Word in the Wood #17

Posted on 13th January, 2024

Our U14 Boys kicked off their Spring Cup campaign against Hinton from the top Red division. The boys responded really well to keep the match in the balance until the final whistle, the final score ending 3-0.

 

Adom captained the side and enjoyed an excellent game, leading by example and securing MoM, while Sheppard showed a great attitude throughout, working hard and giving everything.

 

The boys face Panthera FC in the same competion next week and having already bested this higher division side in the Challenge Cup, will be looking to do so again! 

 

*

 

Our U13 Boys faced a handy APB Wingate away in the league and pulled off a spirited performance after a slow start saw the concession of some early goals. Sterling performances from MoM Adom, Joyce and Ward lifted the side with Florin like a cat between the sticks.

 

Midway through the second half, Adom calmly received the ball in midfield before splitting the defence for the electric Gopinath to race through and score his 14th goal of what is fast becoming a vintage season for him.

 

The boys march on to face Hinton & Finchley in the league next week with their Spring Plate mini group on the horizon and firmly in their minds.

 

*

Our U15 Boys started off the footballing year with a tough away fixture at Colney Heath. Since losing to the Wood earlier in the season, Colney have pretty much remained unbeaten and were looking to settle the score.

 

They started fast and Hobbs was required to make an excellent last-ditch challenge to stop a certain goal in the very first moments. Marshall was also called to make several excellent saves before the Wood stabilised with Hones commanding aerially and Makamian and Montgomery enjoying tenacious and technically sound performances in centre midfield, working hard to win the ball then using it simply and effectively thereafter. Meanwhile, Green was working tirelessly up front, showing great ability and constantly menacing the Colney backline, also exchanging well with Cruecfix playing at right wing. After a free kick won by Green, Silva sent a first class effort at goal only to see the flying Colney keeper leap to deny him.

 

The game was keenly fought thereafter until the left side of the Wood’s midfield fell asleep, no one reacting after the excellent Manning had defended well and turned the ball back up the field. The ball was recycled by Colney into the middle of the park and a tame, floated effort dropped into the Wood goal. Soon after, the Wood conceded again, the Colney attacker allowed to turn inside and curl home.

 

The second half saw the Wood quickly and deservedly pull one back after Crucefix produced a sublime cross-field ball that was swallowed up by Ifeacho, producing a high quality curled finish to the delight of his team-mates. The Wood were piling on in search of a second when Colney again profited from lax play at the back; the Wood failing to stop and then deal with a weak cross allowing the striker to plop the ball into the net.

 

As they do, the Wood picked themselves up and carried on undeterred, scoring a majestic goal. Boshjaku, adapting very well to the holding midfield role, won a massive tackle and sent the ball wide left. Silva exchanged a stunning one two with Green before burying the ball home to produce roars from the terraces! All the momentum was with the Wood but, once again, players switching off at the back saw Colney profit from yet another failed clearance, their striker somehow squeezing the ball home from an improbable angle.

 

The Wood might have scored a third with further efforts from Green, Ifeacho, Silva and Crucefix but, the Colney keeper held firm and the match finished 4-2, Hobbs securing MoM after a tremendous performance from start to finish.

 

All in all, the boys gave a really good account of themselves and continue to score very freely. They are an attacking threat against anyone and with 41 goals in all competitions, they are joint top scorers this season which is an incredible achievement. However, when defending, the Wood have conceded 32 already which is some way more than any other side. That’s not a huge surprise as we continue to adjust from lower division football and now play against the sharpest, fastest and most powerful attacks but, we can be better, can tackle harder, can attack headers more convincingly, can claim crosses and shots more assuredly and most of all, can really focus more for the entire game time; that applies to everyone in the squad, as tight defending is completed as a collective.

 

With out any shadow of a doubt, we will get there and have seasons to improve and fine tune our game. Next up is HMH Hawks at home in the 3rd round of the Challenge cup and after a hot training session this Thursday, the lads will be flying out the blocks!

 

*

 

Our U13 girls stepped into the unknown today playing our first ever 11aside game vs Ickenham Raptors in the Middlesex County Cup! The team came home with an emphatic 11-0 win away in deepest Uxbridge and can be very proud of their performance. We as coaches have been chomping at the bit to get more of the girls on the pitch at the same time as we feel we are very suited to the 11 aside format.

 

Gabby U opened the scoring today with a sublime finish from a cute through ball; she beat the defence for pace and then had the nous and talent to lift the ball over the on-rushing Raptors keeper. This was the first goal in her first ever hat-trick today in only her 4th game proper for the Wood! Watching this young ladies trajectory is a joy and a privilege and with hard work the sky is the limit.

 

Another star of the day and POM for the day was Gabby G! She terrorised the Raptors back 5 all day with her pace, power and killer instinct. Gabz was the lioness that the Raptors couldn’t tame and she also bagged a hat-trick and much applause for her joyous performance in front of her proud family members!

Hazel came in and has been looking really, really lively in training and seems to have grown in conference of late; she managed to get a brace and could easily have had more today but for good goalkeeping!

 

Skipper Amie scored what is becoming her trademark scorcher from outside the box in another fine display as the team’s skipper. Elsinho found herself as provider today and set up a couple of goals but also managed to grab one for herself to boot!

The last but not least of our scorers today was Karadonna who had a great game today in her natural position as No10; she fought hard and probed for weaknesses all day and helped her team immensely. Kara got her reward late on with a fine back post finish, following up and taking a chance that might otherwise not have happened when all others switched off!

 

Ava, Ella and Annie were sterling in their jobs of holding the line as our defensive 3; they did this so well that neither of our keepers Emily & Riss had any saves of note to make. Ava gave her second assured performance at the heart of the defence in 2 weeks. Ella was her ever dependable self at LB and gave no ground or quarter. Annie moved seamlessly into midfield in the second half; this talented young footballer can do it all.

 

The midfield was beefed up today as we played 5 in there and Theaya & Pola were unsung heroes doing the hard yards and the dirty work that a team needs to work at optimum performance; they both ran their socks of and had excellent games which is their norm now.

Today was a perfect opportunity to let our recovering superstar defender Abi have a rest and put her feet up. She still made the journey and wanted to play, but we have to protect her for the battles down the road in the league; she had 2 x 10 min cameos each half and showed her class in both.

 

Raptors gave a fantastic account of themselves today and never let their heads drop or threw in the towel, they kept fighting and trying against a team 4 division’s above them so their performance today should be praise.

 

*

 

On a sunny day away at Bedwell Rangers, our U9 Girls delivered an awe-inspiring performance, playing some of their best football to date! The match was nothing short of a celebration of skill, teamwork, and pure enthusiasm for the beautiful game.

 

The action kicked off with an explosive start as Daisy, showing her scoring prowess, netted the first goal of the match. The momentum continued with a brilliant display of teamwork, as Daisy turned provider, assisting Elsie in finding the back of the net. Elsie's hunger for goals didn't stop there as she secured another beauty shortly after!

 

Juniper showcased exceptional footwork, skilfully manoeuvring around Bedwell's defence to secure the fourth goal. The team's synergy was on full display when Sienna delivered a precise corner, resulting in Daisy adding another goal. Elsie continued her goal-scoring spree with another 2 goals and the packed Wood support were going crazy!

 

Amelia, leading the team as captain, provided stability and direction on the field. Meanwhile, Daisy's relentless assault on the goal continued, peppering Bedwell's defence with numerous shots. Just before the halftime whistle, Daisy managed to find the back of the net again, while at the other end, Gracie in goal kept focused, waiting to pounce on any shot that came her way.

 

The second half saw some strategic changes, with Olivia taking charge in goal and Amber and Ruby teaming up like seasoned professionals demonstrating fearlessness in keeping Bedwell's strikers at bay. Juniper, once again, showcased her skills with another goal, followed by a fantastic goal from Maisie. Juniper struck again with a ferocious shot hitting the back of the net, and Amber's tenacity on the field resulted in a corner, presenting a close opportunity on goal.

 

The defensive prowess of Olivia and Sienna ensured Bedwell Rangers struggled to breach the Wood goal. As the game progressed Sienna, Ruby, Olivia and Amber displayed moments of sheer brilliance as their confidence grew when given the freedom to push forwards. All four had to make game changing clearances whilst displaying versatility in attacking when needed. Elsie displaying remarkable stamina, sprinting the full length of the pitch to score yet another goal.

 

As the match drew to a close, Daisy capped off the extraordinary performance with another goal! The outstanding teamwork, individual brilliance, and unwavering spirit of the entire team made this sunny day at Bedwell Rangers a memorable and celebratory occasion for players, supporters, and the entire Wood community. Special recognition goes to Daisy and Elsie, both named Players of the Match, for their exceptional contributions and stellar performances throughout the game.

23/24 - The Word in the Wood #16

Posted on 6th January, 2024

Our U15 Boys' match against Colney Heath was postponed due to a water-logged pitch and will be played next week instead.

 

Meanwhile, our U14 Boys faced a tough challenge in the League Cup, home against a good Northwood side, currently sitting atop the division above.

 

The boys matched their opponents blow for blow, closing down really well and engaging hard in the tackle, the match tied at half time after Rocha had crashed home to level the scores at 1-1. Second half saw more Wood pressure but, Northwood snatched a late winner to squeeze home.

 

Adom stayed strong and resolute at the back all game and secured MoM for an excellent performance. As importantly, the squad showed it can compete against higher division teams and the expereince gained today will only accelerate their forward progression.

 

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Following on at Pursley, our U13s made a great start against Maccabi Green with Lehouimel classily setting up Adom to power home, the Wood holding a great 1-0 lead at half time. Despite Joyce and Patel putting in big shifts, the boys backed off second half and conceded several times to record a reverse. Florin in goal was in really outstanding form and secured MoM for the mutiple top quality saves he made.

 

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Our U13 Girls faced a top quality Harvesters side away in the Cup and despite having a good go, bowed out after the home side found form. The girls were a little wary of their opponents and ceded too much time and space. Nevertheless, their were many positives including good individual performances from Emily in goal, Abi and Ava in defence and Gabby up front.

 

Testing yourself against good opponents isn't easy but, you learn much and the girls will take this experience forward with them to great effect in the forthcoming matches.

 

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Under the soft, winter sun, Borehamwood 2000 FC U9 Girls welcomed Royston Town Youth for a spirited match on their home turf. The chilly weather did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the young players, who showcased their skills on a slippery pitch, setting the scene for a captivating clash.

 

In the goalkeeping domain stood the resilient Gracie, a beacon of focus and determination. Her quick reflexes and unwavering commitment to the team's defense were evident throughout the match, earning her the admiration of fans and teammates alike.

 

Leading the squad onto the pitch was the indomitable Masie, returning from injury and proudly wearing the captain's armband. Masie's leadership was not confined to her role as captain; she exhibited an inspiring blend of grit and skill, motivating her teammates with every move.

 

The defensive stronghold was fortified by the steady presence of Sienna. With a keen sense of anticipation and a knack for intercepting the opposition's advances, Sienna played a pivotal role in thwarting Royston Town's attempts to breach Borehamwood's defense.

 

Upfront, the dynamic duo of Juniper and Elsie showcased their attacking prowess. Juniper, with her lightning-quick footwork, danced around defenders, creating opportunities with every stride. Meanwhile, Elsie's strategic positioning and clinical finishing proved instrumental in putting Borehamwood on the scoreboard in the first quarter.

 

Off the bench and onto the field came our reinforcements, each leaving their mark on the game. Daisy, with an infectious enthusiasm, notched a crucial goal in Q2, displaying both skill and determination. Tippi showed moments of absolute wizardry, Polly with pace only Usian Bolt could dream of, Ruby mastering the art of both tracking back and surging forwards, and Amber putting her footballing brain into action making vital clearances with ease. It's fair to say each of them seamlessly integrated into the action, injecting fresh energy and contributing to the team's dynamic play.

 

Polly's memorable moment came when her powerful strike ricocheted off the post, an unfortunate miss that showcased the fine margins in football. However, Daisy was quick to pounce on the rebound, securing the second goal for Borehamwood.

 

The attacking force of Juniper, Maisie, Elsie, Tippi and Daisy showcased their goal-scoring hunger with some narrowly missed shots, their efforts painting the pitch with a tapestry of near misses and close calls.

 

Our spirited girls were really tremendous today pouring heart and sole onto the pitch. Elsie's stellar performance earned her the well-deserved title of Player of the Match, a testament to her clinical finishing and positive impact on the game.

 

As the young Wood stars continue their footballing journey, this heartwarming winter encounter will serve as a foundation for future triumphs and moments of pure sporting joy. The pitch may have been a little slippery, but the warmth of camaraderie and sportsmanship radiated, leaving a lasting impression on all who witnessed this exciting match. The adventure has just begun for these budding footballers, and the future holds countless opportunities for growth, learning, and, undoubtedly, more thrilling moments on the pitch.

23/24 - The Word in the Wood #15

Posted on 16th December, 2023

U15 Boys played their last game of 2023 facing an Enfield Town side that had collectively beaten them 11-1 over the 3 previous encounters. Far away from home on a wind exposed, difficult surface, the boys could only get something from the game by pulling together and mucking in; anything less would result in another thrashing.

 

To the delight of the staff and Wood die-hards in the stands, the boys were fantastic to a man, rolling up their sleeves and going to work with energy and total commitment; no one pulling out of that or leaving a team-mate to do his running. After the Wood were denied strong penalty shouts in the opening exchanges, Enfield took the lead from a cross that was poked home by an unmarked striker. Both cross and shot were preventable but, this was a day for fighting hard and the Wood came straight back, the impressive Fan throwing himself fearlessly at the home keeper before he could gather cleanly and slamming the ball home thereafter.

 

With parity restored the Wood surged forward, confidence coursing through their veins! Keeper Marshall was solid and claiming everything with assurance, at the back, Reed, MoM Hones, Boshjaku & Manning were combative, winning headers and making vital interventions. In holding midfield, Pop and Cruecfix were closing down quickly and effectively, while in attacking midfield, Fan, Song, Montgomery, Hobbs, Makamian & Silva were in outstanding form, offering for the ball and passing nicely but, getting down and dirty when required also. Up front, Ifeacho and Green probed continually and looked a threat throughout.

 

As they ramped up the pressure, Enfield creaked and Fan struck again, dispatching a fine Silva corner with that same determination that led to his first. Enfield managed an equaliser as the game went from end to end, a lofted cross somehow evading everyone to nestle in the net. However, the Wood went on to secure a very good away point, their first against this opponent but, certainly not their last as the gradually come to terms with the top level football they now operate at.

 

The boys worked so hard to end the year on a high and are now unbeaten in 3 matches. Under the watchful eye of their manager and Wood behemoth coaches Paul & Marcus, they've taken on a massive challenge this season, playing in a division where each team contains huge physical specimens, whippet like speedsters and players of elite technical ability. At the start, they didn't know how it would play out but, they've worked so tremendously hard and faithfully followed their coaching staff's exhortations to improve their games. As a result, they've featured from the off, have secured multiple league wins and draws, remain in both cups and are eagerly looking forward to 2024 kicking off as it could be their year to compete in a final? Big props to them all and the club are thrilled with their progression and, as our senior side, proud of their growing maturity and leadership.

 

*

 

Our U14 Boys faced a tough task away against a very good FITS side in the league; a genuine top of the table clash with the teams never facing each other previously.

 

The boys have been in fantastic form but, knew the challenge today would be great and likely require a step up in intensity. That proved the case with FITS running out convincing winners as the Wood struggled to raise their game on this occasion. However, much was learnt and the boys will be ready for the rubber match next year. Staszewski did find the energy and quality required, scoring a goal, securing MoM, and no doubt leading the side forward in 2024 as he has done throughout his outstanding tenure at the club.

 

Under the expert management of Craig and coach Sam, the boys have had a tremendous season thus far and sit very handily in the league, winning game after game. They remain in both League and Challenge cups and have made excellent additions to a squad that was already thriving and maturing well. As such, the second half of the season will follow with much anticpation and the guys can be very proud of what they've achieved already; without any doubt at all, the club shares that pride and is delighted with their efforts.

 

*

 

Our U13 Boys played away at HMH Eagles today missing several players. This allowed those in attendance to have a good run out and the boys had a go though were ultimately unable to score. MoM went to Ward who continues his excellent run of form and competed really well all match.

 

It's been a tough season at times for the boys but, with a first class manager in Frank, supported by excellent coaches in Greg and Grant, the squad is improving and more than capable of holding their own in the league. So much has been learnt this first half of the season and with time to absorb this properly over the Xmas break, the guys will be back in 2024 with all guns blazing. Their desire to keep going and their refusal to give up is admirable and says so much for the character within this unit. Everyone at the club is very proud of them indeed and could they spring a few surprises next year; you bet they can!

 

 

Our U13 Girls had another rain ruined day but, end 2023 very much on a high. The squad took on a very tough assignment by entering the top division this season but, they've risen superbly to the challenge and performed fantastically well, being a match for anyone on any occasion. Manager Dave, coaches Richard and Joe, and Sarah, the girls' special mentor, give everything and leave no stone unturned in their training and preparation of what is a very talented group of young women who have the ability and drive to reach the very top. The club continues to take great pride in all their achievements and eagerly awaits the next chapter in their story to unfold!   

 

*

 

The Wood's U9 Girls flew back into action as they made the trip to the ‘Metropolitan Police Sports Venue’ to play a very experienced Garston Ladies; despite it being the season to be jolly, the girls had their game faces on and were ready for action!

 

Captain Gracie led the team out and like all good Captains made sure her fellow team-mates were motivated and knew what was needed from them. The first 5 minutes got off to a blistering start and Garston showed their experience with darting runs and smooth passes. However, Borehamwood displayed grit and determination and batted these away.

 

Sienna took up her usual position of central defence and could be seen making game changing clearances and ferocious tackles, all the time with the support of our super star midfielders Amber and Tippi. Amber once again used her footballing brain to read the game superbly, often tracking back to help with defence, while Tippi on the other hand played more of an attacking midfield position and pushed forwards to help the strikers; on numerous occasions coming within a whisker of scoring.

 

The game was in full flow now with end to end action and the crowd were going wild; despite being the away support, the Wood was by far the loudest! This spurred Emilia on to show off her trade mark wizardry, dribbling the ball past player after player and making pin-point accurate passes.

 

We were now entering the second half of the game, but the girls looked as fresh as ever. Elsie took up the role of striker along with Daisy and their partnership was a match made in heaven. Elsie showed tremendous skill and strength and a frustrated Garston team could not get anywhere near her. Daisy could be seen powering her way through the opposition and like previous matches was hungry for a goal…..surely one was coming soon? It was now time for a shift in gear; the girls were motoring forward. Gracie played the ball out wide to Amber, Amber took a couple of touches and passed to Elsie, Elsie shielded the ball well and managed to turn a player, she looked up and saw Daisy was unmarked. It was now time to put their partnership into action and Elsie did not fail; she passed to Daisy, who did not have to wait for an invitation to pounce and despite being only a few yards in the opposition's half, pulled her right foot back and released an almighty shot that flew through the air and in to the back of the net! It was a goal that the likes of Ronaldo and Becks could only dream of.

 

With only 10 minutes left, Borehamwood needed a couple of players to hold things together and keep the team spirits high and who better to do that than Polly and Olivia. Polly showed her experience and bravery, never flinching from a challenge and making brilliant runs down the wing. Olivia played an integral part in defence, and despite it only being her second game, she performed like a seasoned pro making superb passes and effortless tackles.

 

It was all Borehamwood, the strikers were pushing forwards all the time making shot after shot. You could tell Garston were wishing the ref would blow for full time and luckily for them it did! Like in past matches the Wood left the pitch with their heads held high, big smiles on their faces and the energy and enthusiasm shown in the first minute of the game. Once again, the girls out worked the opposition and never gave up, much to the admiration of the travelling fans and coaches.

 

As 2023 draws to a close, we can reflect on the huge success of this team, which started with just one or two players back in March. Since then, interest has sky-rocketed, with upwards of 20 local girls involved in training and playing matches; they have loved every minute of it too! It's been an unrivalled success story and so much credit for this goes to our manager Gareth, managing his first juniors' team but, showing a tremendous natural aptitude for the role, both from a football perspective but, equally in his calm and considered demeanour that encourages little people to relax and have fun. In completing this role, he has enjoyed the unstinting support of three Wood legends - Susie, Katie and Lia - who have provided guidance and assistance at training and games, as well as that vital feminine touch and mentoring that all our girls look up to. With a first-class parent base that has shown itself to be incredibly supportive and totally committed, the foundations of this squad are rock solid and as night follows day, they will go forward to great things together. The club just couldn't be more proud of them all.