21/22 The Word in the Wood #6

Posted on 16th October, 2021

After years without a County Cup fixture due to Covid, the Wood had two in one day as both our U12 & U13 Boys played in the Middlesex FA Trophy today.


U12 Boys were out first and faced a long trip over to Northolt against Larkspur Rovers. With an emphasis on passing, the lads took off like a rocket with good football resulting in an own goal within 30 seconds. Larkspur equalised before the Wood took the lead with a well worked goal from Staszewski, now running the midfield with Khan.


Larkspur equalised again just before half time so the boys got together at the break, firing each other up, determined to stay in this blue ribband competition. Captain Gardiner lead the troops back into battle with a Wood Army chant which had the boys buzzing for the second half! Within five minutes Staszewski added another with a solo run and finish, before good work from Rocha sent Adoma racing through who was then wiped out for a penalty. Staszewski calmly stepped up and dispatched the penalty for his hat trick, sending his old man a clear message of how many he had scored!


After a goal mouth scramble, Larkspur pulled one back to make it 4-3 but the Wood dug deep before Adoma turned it on, scoring a ten minute hatrick that put the game to bed. Staszewski added his 4th of the game to make a final score of 3-8.

Every player was brilliant today with great passing all over the pitch with Mill, Joyce and Gardiner starting of our attacks with some accurate passing from the back. Mom went to Staszewski who not only scored 4 but was everywhere. Happy days!



Meanwhile, U13 Boys travelled over to Barnet FC's Hive complex to face Belmont Bees White. The boys started off a little slowly, not passing very simply and not looking very effective as a result. It took Ifeacho to buccaneer up from the back and dispatch a cool shot past the away keeper to secure the Wood a 0-1 lead at half time.


Second half was a different affair, the boys' passing flowed and they looked a really good outfit. Nine goals followed with Hobbs & Manning grabbing a goal each, Savin and Malcolm grabbing two a piece and Crucefix grabbing a luuuverly hatrick and sealing a 0-10 victory.


The boys will face much more capable opposition going forward but, the policy of passing and moving remains the same and always yields results. MoM went to Pop who played the holding midfield role really well today and enjoyed an outstanding match.





In the HGFPL U18 Girls Division 1 there are no easy games and every point gained has to be earned over 90 minutes with hard graft and good technique; player’s must believe in themselves and their team-mates. No easy task.


For instance, today our girls faced Watford Ladies, who are strictly trialled, very motivated and always turn up with a strong side, many of whom have experience playing for their full adult side. After conceding cheaply very early, the Wood responded really well with a quick equaliser, Hodges producing a first class strike that whistled through the air like a V2, detonating in the top corner of the Watford goal! The girls piled on the pressure and could easily have scored again but, inaccurate passing saw pressure build and a further two goals conceded.


Second half saw a spirited charge with Warren hitting the post before combining beautifully with Hodges, who crossed for the onrushing Makamian to thrash home. Tails were up, the fight-back on, but, from an excellent position to attack, the Wood mis-passed again and one quick counter later found themselves 2-4 down. Heads dropped, effort levels dived, voices were silenced, injuries grew and the team struggled to compete. At this level, that means more goals conceded and that duly happened, the game finishing 2-6.


The weekly challenge of this League is demanding but, most is learnt in such circumstances and players improve most when they are challenged in this way. There is no doubt this will benefit those girls that continue in the game, even if the reality right now is tough. As an example of the commitment required, Kennedy-Millar gave every last iota of energy she had today for the entire time she was on the pitch and was rightly named PoM.



Now, our U11 Girls are going along very nicely indeed and hosted Goffs Oak today in a cracking match.

The Wood found the net in the first half when star No9 Hazel swung her hammer and smashed a shot past the keeper and into the net direct from a corner! Goffs Oak fought back well though and the match was finely balanced, so it was great to see PoM Annie - industrious and tenancious - willing the side on to greater things!

Wave after wave of Wood attacks were stopped by the opposition keeper who thwarted stunning efforts from Lois, Hazel & Elsie. While midfield dynamos Lucy & Lottie broke forward in style time after time, constantly looking for another home goal. After a while, that chance came, the result of an unlucky handball.

With minutes to go and the pressure on like never before, up stepped Hazel with her Hammer and again dispatched the ball so fast, no one even had time to blink! The players, went crazy, the crowd erupted and manager Hobbs lent on the corner flag, giddy with delirium!


Ella Z made her return from illness today and was her normal rampaging self while Romey who is learning the game at a rate of knots helped ably from the bench stretching the Oak defence and creating room for her team to attack. Well done all and looking forward to next week's adventures already!