21/22 The Word in the Wood #7

Posted on 23rd October, 2021

Well, what a Sunday's football it's been for the boys’ section and not necessarily down to results either.


First up were our young U11 Boys who flew out the blocks today against a handy Club SFC, with Audley & Claudio on the front foot and probing almost from the referee's first whistle. Christian was really lively down the wing too, ably supported by Matej who was bombing forward at will and the Wood came so close to a goal on so many occasions.


In midfield, Noah and Ethan showed outstanding technical ability as well as a very encouraging attitude to track back and mark. While the superb Bailey and Aiden patrolled the rear guard with tough tackling and intelligent, well executed passing, also constantly pushing the team high to ensure they didn’t leave big areas for the SFC attack to play in. Riley and William made dashing and committed cameos too.


All the while, keeper Luca was a calm, assured presence, moving forward with the team when it pushed up in order to quickly sweep up any long balls over the defence. This young man went on to keep a fine clean sheet which was the very least the team deserved and MoM went to Audley, who was a constant attacking threat, listened really well and enjoyed a game of the very highest quality. This team is going places and we so look forward to seeing their football journey unfold.



U13 Boys faced table topping AC Finchley East at Pursley with one third of the squad unavailable and just 10 boys able to play! A really daunting task particularly after taking a hammering in the same circumstances recently.


However, armed with that experience and the certain knowledge that panicking never pays off, it was a calm and collected Wood that took to the pitch to play a match of the rarest quality. In defence, McGuinness, Hobbs, Ifeacho & Hones had inspired matches, coping well with opposition attacks while the midfield of Manning, Makamian, Captain Pop and Song were industrious and slick on the ball. Lone striker Crucefix put a mighty shift in up front, while between the sticks, Reed not only covered in goal, but, used his outfield knowledge to stay high and sweep the defence superbly, richly earning MoM in the process.


Over 70 minutes the boys conceded just a single goal each half against a big Finchley squad, returning with several chances of their own that were very unlucky to miss. One such saw Hobbs cannon a fine header of the crossbar after a series of top quality corners from Crucefix while Ifeacho forced a flying save from the opposition keeper with a shot that flew like Halley’s Comet!


All this aside though, everyone in attendance knew there was more than just a football match going on in front of them today. Instead, they witnessed a group of young local boys moving forward into the early stages of manhood, trusting in their training, their talent and in each other and putting on a spectacle of great skill, courage and fortitude that no one could’ve predicted. That priceless experience is all locked safely away in their heads now and we so look forward to seeing the benefits of this in the future.



Finishing of the action were our U12 Boys, who started their League match against Ally Pally like a rat up a drain, Staszewski calmly finishing a beautifully worked team move soon after kick off. Five minutes later Adoma, Staszewski & Rocha combined sharply for the latter to blast a second into the away goal.


Ally Pally where clearly a good side but every chance they created was either dealt with by the defence or by the flying Delia in goal, enjoying a real blinder. Just before half time, Staszewski scored his second direct from a corner to send the Wood three up, with manager Parratt lavishing praise on the team but, urging focus as the job was not done. Rocha in particular, was a player who worked tirelessly all half to help out his defence whilst also springing into life to get forward.


The team went back out in high spirits second half but, fell straight into an Ally Pally tiger trap! Despite a sensational penalty save from MoM Delia, the Wood went on to concede six rather smelly goals, going from 0-3 up to 6-3 down quicker than you can say boo to a goose!


However, as always, so much experience was gained that will help the boys going forward and avoid turnarounds like this happening. Game management, staying focused and never underestimating an opponent are just some of these things but, we now move on to next week’s match with great anticipation and just a little wiser. Onwards and upwards!






U11 Girls travelled to Hemel Aces Jaguars for the first time today and enjoyed an excellent match starting the game very brightly indeed with an early goal from Hazel, the God of Thunder’s Hammer! This young lady is playing the best football of her young career and was at times unplayable today.

A physically advanced side, our girls battled really well to contain the considerable Hemel threat while making scintillating passing moves of their own, laced with talent and technique.

The second half saw the Wood scrapping for everything, with Hazel’s hammer again finding the net with an awesome shot! Wave after wave of quality attacks from Kara, Elsie, Lois, Lottie and Lucy were somehow turned back by the opposition keeper. One such highlight saw Theaya step out of defence classily before unleashing a rocket that was destined for the top corner only to see a stunning saving block from the Hemel centre half.

Our defence of Kiella, Annie, Ella and Theaya played out of their skins to keep Hemel at bay while Amie made her debut and had a storming match, causing havoc in attack with her probing runs and running power; look out for this fab new player going forward!

PoM went to another recent signing – Elsie – who enjoyed an incredible game and wowed the Wood faithful with her endeavour and excellent play throughout.


Back at Pursley, our U18 Girls gave it everything to record a first half clean sheet against a good Wormley side that played in the JPL last term. After shipping too many goals over recent weeks, the packed Wood terraces were delighted with the team’s stingy defence, with Turner, Kennedy-Millar, Steward and Murray marking tightly and fighting for everything. In this, they were screened superbly by Hooda in the holding role and supported by keeper Hyman, who enjoyed an excellent match.


Despite a lung-busting effort by Harry-Brown & Embleton to rally the side, negativity crept into the Wood ranks second half and inevitably our performance and belief dropped, with a familiar pattern of four away goals following. Makamian scored an excellent consolation goal in response, dribbling skilfully before chipping the Wormley keeper for her third of the season.


PoM could’ve easily gone to Umalin who thrilled throughout with her energy, skill and enthusiasm, but, on the day, was secured by Luckhurst, who produced flying cameos with bustle and desire and whose love for her team is just something to be really admired.