The Word in the Wood #29

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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