20/21 The Word in the Wood #10

Posted on 12th December, 2020

Our U11 Boys are the Wood's hottest side just now, on a terrific streak made all the more amazing by the fact the team was only formed in the summer! They faced a good Alexandra Park side today in their last home game of 2020; an action packed match in testing conditions followed.


The lads started a little slowly and were put under pressure from the first whistle with the Park scoring a fine opener. The Wood regained composure at the back with skipper Hayden leading by example and the brilliant Caed making a unbelievable save to stop what looked a certain goal. Minutes later a corner whipped in by Julian broke to the feet of Joel who smashed the ball into the top corner! 


In the 2nd half the Wood started to dominate possession and more goals were sensed to arrive soon. The first came when the amazing Zain went on a slalom like run down the wing before finishing from a tight angle. This spurred the Wood on and the football started to flow. After some quick thinking from keeper Caed, Mackenzie was released down the left, where he skipped past one and slipped in Zain, who again finished with composure.

The last goal was something to behold! Super work from Julian down the right saw him produce a phenomenal cross that fell to the feet of Mackenzie. He found Ethan who rolled it back for Zain to smash the ball home for an incredible hat trick.


The entire squad played really well today and several players pushed for MoM, but, after his goal scoring exploits and a lung busting effort that saw him cover every blade of grass, the irrepressible Zain secured the honour. Awesome!


After a flat showing last weekend, our U12 Boys trained very well in midweek and carried that into a lively game against Oakland Tigers today. The watchwords were hard graft and possession and the entire squad executed these to perfection, with the second half performance, in particular, easily the best seen from the boys thus far.


Marshall was excellent between the sticks and back to his best distributing the ball from the back, while Hones fitted into the left back position with consummate ease, keeping things tight at the back while bombing forward to great effect. McGuinness worked hard in centre midfield allowing his considerable technical skills to shine while George was in terrifying form on the right wing, slinging in a succession of quality crosses and shots.


MoM went to the electric Song who showed breathtaking speed and control to grab himself a very high quality hat trick, while Crucefix swivelled late on to find the stanchion unerringly. The squad displayed the full beauty and power of possession football today and the sodden Wood ultras in the stands chanted delightedly (but quite off tune) in appreciation before heading to the hut for a bacon roll bonanza!


Last but, certainly not least, our intrepid U10s tried their hearts out against a top Whetsone side today. The boys have the very best attitude to their football and performed with distinction in the nastiest weather, passing well and creating many fine chances. Luis bagged himself a terrific goal with a stunning shot and was also named MoM; well done young man. 




Our U10 Girls were at their very best today against a talented London Girls Development Academy side. The first half was played at a speedy pace with neither side able to find the net, but, the Wood faithful were thrilled with the quality of our possession football.


Second half saw Kara converting at the back post after fine dribbling and a cross from star winger Lois. The Wood's second came with an unstoppable rocket from the edge of the area after some Barcelonaesque interplay started in defence by Ella, played through Kara in the 10 position and popped off to Chloe, who struck like a cobra and also secured herself PoM. Wood pushed for a 3rd but were thwarted by stout defence from the opposition side despite many first class attempts.


Mya again showed off her full range of skill, pace and power today, breaking out of defence countless times and surging forward like a hot knife through butter. Ella was outstanding too, as was the adaptable Theaya, who replaced Emily in goal after she bravely gave it her best, despite not feeling 100%.


Manager Hobbs took time out of his busy schedule to speak briefly with Al Jazeera News immediately after the game. "The girls worked as a team allowing them to pressure effectively and make many opportunities. I'm delighted with their communication, attitude and progress and they make everyone at the club very proud." Here, here.


U18 Girls had high hopes going into their game against Garston Leopards but, a listless start saw the concession of three early goals that might have been kept out with a little more focus and energy. Despite this, the team were a constant threat going forward with Makamian in particularly good form, while Swain and Young had several excellent opportunities to score.


Second half saw Young stride through and show real composure before slotting simply into the net - a reference for the team going forward - while Kennedy-Millar showed determination and class to drive the ball into the top corner for our second.


Driven forward by the inexhaustible Embleton, the team came close to grabbing an equaliser whilst also trying to contain the opposition from adding a fourth; stand-in keeper Branigan making several outstanding saves throughout the half.


Despite a strong effort, the game finished 2-3, which was hard on the girls as they deserved more. However, there is great potential within this squad which will be unlocked fully once the finer details of positional play are absorbed. PoM went to Fernandez for her determined defending and the huge amount of energy she put in.