The Word In The Wood

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The Word in the Wood #33

Posted on 14th March, 2020

Sadly all WFL boys' games are off tomorrow but, just when you thought it was all doom and gloom, our little U9 Girls come trundling out at Pursley to brighten the day for everyone!

 

Although HGFPL matches are still on, our older girls were fixture-less, so it was left to the U9s to take up the baton for the club, and what a super job they did, playing against a handy Stevenage Starlets side.

 

After a slightly slow start the girls picked up momentum like a snowball rolling down the mountain, creating lots of chances that were well saved by the opposition keeper. Getting stronger as the match progressed, the team scored two wonderful goals; twinkle toed Lottie dancing around the opposition defence to score a sublime first goal for the club, while the multi talented Theaya launched a bazooka into the roof of net, deservedly securing herself PoM. Ella put in another amazing shift as she has done so often this season, while birthday girl and midfield dynamo Kara capped an exceptional display by proudly captaining the team.

 

Club photographer Russ managed to snap a few pictures of our heroines in action and I think you'll all agree, they look terrific!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Word in the Wood #32

Posted on 7th March, 2020

Our U9 Boys' pitch was just too wet to play on today and additional drainage for this area at Pursley is high on the club's priorities to address, particularly given the wetter winters we seem to be experiencing these days.

 

U11 Boys were able to play and put on a much improved display against Borehamwood Youth Knights in a first local derby for the team. After a gentle start, the boys found a higher level of energy and raised their game, scoring shortly after with top scorer Riley getting into double figures for the season after expertly dispatching following a trebuchet throw from debutant Kai M. The latter went on to secure MoM after an excellent opening match for the club, also supplying a slide rule pass for Kai J, who beat the offside trap and strode through to squeeze in a sweet strike for his second of the season.

The entire squad put in strong individual performances and with good protection in midfield from Charlie & Luke, a dominating, vocal match from keeper Max and excellent cover from Ben and Callum in defence, the boys also recorded their first clean sheet of the year. A really enjoyable game then, played in a good spirit between two well disciplined teams; without doubt, both were a credit to their clubs and the town.

 

In White division action, our U16 Boys took on a hot Harvesters South side pressing for promotion. After going a couple down after a lethargic start, the boys quickly improved and pulled one back after an excellent low finish from MoM Leiva; the first Wood player to christen the club's new full size goals. Though the result went away from the boys later on, the team kept at it throughout and were a credit to the club, as they have been all season.

 

 

        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Wood's girls returned to match action today and there was of great football played.

 

U9 Girls were home at Pursley against a new opponent - Evergreen - and put on an excellent display. Lois added to her unbelievable season's tally with two wonderfully taken goals, while Emily drove through the opposition defence to drill home for her first ever goal. Thereafter, she pirouetted skilfully and fell into a crushing bear-hug from proud Dad and manager, Dave! Lottie and Gabby worked their socks off and enjoyed smashing games while Hazel kept things tight with an excellent cameo in goal.

 

Our U15 Girls played out a barmy match against Bedwell Rangers, scoring four times away from home, but, just unable to secure the win. In a vintage season, Swain added two more excellent goals to her mind-boggling overall total while Embleton, running ceaselessly throughout, skilfully found the net twice also. Rodrigues picked up PoM after selflessly filling in between the sticks.

 

U16 Girls had a really tough day with only nine players available and two of these succumbing to injury during the game. Despite that, the girls had a go and you can't ask for any more than that. Webb secured PoM with a resilient and gutsy display.

 

Both our older girls teams have struggled badly for numbers these last few seasons but, we have a core of talented young ladies that want to play football. The club will always support that so next season, we plan to merge the two teams into a super squad playing at U18; then it will be all systems go!

The Word in the Wood #31

Posted on 22nd February, 2020

Our U15 Girls match was postponed away to Chorleywood today, and while the squad headed off for a toe manicure at Champneys, our other two teams put on a richly rewarding display of top class footy.

 

First up were our mighty minis, the U9 Girls steaming on to the field against a much improved Chipperfield side. First amongst the goals was Theaya drilling a rising, angled drive into the top corner and simply choosing a heart-warming, beaming smile for her celebration that hands-down beat the cartwheels and knee-slides seen weekly in the Premier League! Next up was the gifted Kara, showing great compusure to record a fine finish, while deadly net-finder Lois banged in her 23rd and 24th goals of an incredible personal season; if she carries on like this, we'll run out of numbers! Last but, certainly not least, the club welcomed our latest new recruit - Cadence - who marked her match debut with a stupendous, thunderbolt of a goal! While the nets were bulging the Wood rear-guard were as miserly as Scrooge and PoM went to the superb Emily, who put in an immense shift at the back, stopping numerous Chipperfield attacks before breaking down the wings to set up our counters.

Immense credit goes to both the girls for taking to the game so quickly and to our management team - Dave and Sarah - who have taken what was no more than an thought last year and turned it into a thriving team of motivated and talented young players. First class and a lesson for anyone in what can be achieved when you are motivated and willing to volunteer your time for others.

 

It seems only yesterday that the girls in our senior side were knee high to a grasshopper themselves, having so much fun and doting on their manager's words! Years down the line and now leading the club's girls' section, our U16s seemed to have lost their love of the game earlier in the season, allbeit after some hard to fathom decisions by the League when placing them in Division 1. How fantastic then to witness the turn-around in their spirits since the turn of the year, re-engaged with their interest fully re-kindled. Today they faced the mighty Watford Ladies, with many observers predicting a rout, yet the Wood produced a season's best performance, managing to go in level at half time courtesy of a super corner delivery from the technically oustanding Branigan, that was met by Wood legend Young, swooping through the air like a human bald-eagle, to head the ball firmly into the stanchion!

Stand out performances were seen all over the park but, Luckhurst's ceaseless determination to keep going was a particular highlight as was a PoM performance from McLaughlin, who like a vintage wine, is getting better and better with age.

The match slipped away from us second half but, everyone in attendance was so proud of the girls and most importantly of all, they were proud of their own efforts and spirits were sky high at the end. Huge credit to them all, as well as to Adam, Susie and Jon for keeping everyone together and helping the team to turn the corner against all the odds.

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Our U9 Boys' game was postponed due to the continued bad weather but, both our U16s and U11s managed to play. Our U16s faced St Albans City East and put in a solid display but, were unable to secure a result on a wet and windy morning.

 

Meanwhile, the U11s lacked energy in their match with Pro Football London. Highlights were not in abundance but, Daniel broke from midfield to score a fine goal after a quick thinking throw from Henry, while Alfie secured MoM with a very hard working cameo on the wing.

 

I hope we can all expect a summer free of hose-pipe bans but, let's hope things dry up soon as I think we've all had enough of this rain!

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.

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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!

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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.