The Word in the Wood #23

Posted on 7th December, 2019

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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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