20/21 The Word in the Wood #4

Posted on 3rd October, 2020

As the heavens continued to open through Saturday night and Sunday morning, the latest round of fixtures in the boys' leagues were washed out, unfortunately including our U11 Boys' match. U12 Boys' fixture away to Alexandra Park West was going the same way before APW manager Fred pulled a rabbit out the hat and managed to book an astro at short notice, allowing this top of the table clash to go ahead. Well done that man and no doubt Fred was right and Right Said Fred.


Anyway, once the corny gags were safely out the way, the full terraces watched a frantic, action packed encounter with oohs and aahs ringing out like Centre Court at Wimbledon. The deadlock was broken with an excellent move that saw Hobbs work a precise ball down the line to Crucefix, who whipped in a deadly cross that Manning converted with style. Soon after, the excellent McGuinness also swung in a lovely cross, this time seeing top scorer Crucefix pounce for his 5th in two games. MoM McGuiness then buzzed the away keeper with an audacious lofted shot which was just parried away and had baby brother and his number one fan spitting out the dummy in frustration.

With Captain Hones and Reed excelling in defence, Marshall keeping focus really well between the sticks and Pop returning to his best form too, the squad continued to perform well, ultimately securing the three points and a very welcome clean sheet. Awesome job!


Meanwhile, our U10 Boys opposition also provided an astro and despite the vile conditions, the lads turned it on with big Dragos helping himself to a sparkling brace and continuing his fine run of scoring form. MoM went to Aiden for his brilliant defensive play and pinpoint passing, the latter setting up many of the team's attacks. A great effort from our young warriors and with such endeavour, expect big things from this team in the future.




After waiting since March for a competitive game, the HGFPL U18 Girls season finally kicked off today amidst a monsoon so wet, even the local dolphins and tuna were heading indoors. No surprise then that our opponents - Garston Ladies Lionesses - reported a waterlogged pitch but, after some intense negotiations that saw our groundstaff spring into action like the Middle Age Mutant Ninja Turtles, the game was switched and a warm Wood welcome extended to the Garston team, with a fine surface presented for both sets of players to enjoy.


With an age gap of three years in many cases and several of our opponents already playing adult first team football, the Wood knew it would be tough going but, matters were not helped by an early lack of focus that saw the concession of a goal within the opening seconds. Thereafter, the squad engaged really well and played some wonderful football, competing fiercely for everything. Swain, enjoying a solid game, grabbed our first after her corner was deflected in, while Young scored a memorable second, curling high into the stanchion and sending the massed ranks of fans, and their dogs, quite delirious. With excellent defensive displays from Turner, Kennedy-Millar & Hyman, the team ended the half very respectably at just 4-2 down. Second half proved hard and some positional lapses allied to good play from our more experienced opponents saw the concession of further goals despite a hard working cameo from Knight. However, the squad's attitude remained very positive and we all look forward eagerly to the next match.

Rodrigues captained the side, put in a superb performance and was deservedly named PoM. Very well done.


Though scheduled to play, the conditions were just too horrid to subject our U10 Girls to, so instead, they booked themselves into Dubai's Burj Khalifa and enjoyed some warm weather training ahead of next weekend's action.