21/22 The Word in the Wood #13

Posted on 4th December, 2021

U12 Boys set off to Enfield to play in the last 16 of the prestigious Middlesex County Cup against a tough opponent and the boys in attendance really did themselves and the club proud today.


The home team - Limitless FC - attacked from the off and took an early lead from a corner, with the wind blowing and the rain falling the Wood knew they had to roll there sleeves up and get stuck into the game and that is exactly what they did. Following some great football down the left the ball rolled across to Khan who struck a fantastic strike in off the bat from the edge of the box for 1-1.


The Wood were slowly starting to get into the game with Murphy playing fantastically well as a make shift right back. Following some pressure from Limitless, Delia was forced to make great saves to deny them the lead but Limitless did manage to take the lead just before half time. In the break, there was a sense the Wood team would come again and looked to really fancy the challenge in front of them. With the wind behind them now and their Captain Gardiner talking the boys through the game, they started the half with the bit between their teeth. Staszewski got control of the game in the middle and was a constant threat working well with the hard working Adoma up top.


After a corner was cleared the ball fell to the “Tank” Adom who from 20 yards wrong footed the keeper with a stunning strike to level the match. The Wood now had Limitless pinned in their own half and some good chances for Adaoma and Fowler were denied by the oppo keeper. A counter attack against the run of play saw Delia spring into life and deny a certain goal only for the ball to fall to the Limitless forward to tap home for them to take a 3-2 shock lead against the run of play. The Wood weren’t done yet though and with true grit, determination and good football, a well worked move saw Staszewski get the equaliser with an absolute rocket that had the keeper all ends up. The togetherness of the team was shown in the celebration of this fine goal.


Into the last minute and from a corner the Wood were awarded a penalty to seal the game, the oppo linesman had other ideas and convinced the ref it was not a penalty. With this sour taste hanging in their mouths the Wood conceded a late corner and with the actual last kick of the game the Limitless forward scored a header at the back post to win the game 4-3. Any player on the pitch could have been awarded man of the match for the Wood but Captain Gardiner not only led by example but talked his troops through the game and lifted them when they needed it.


Although the County Cup run is over for this season, the manager's have never been prouder of the team and believe they really showed something today that can’t be taught. Well done all involved, everyone at the club is very proud of you.



U11 Boys enjoyed an excellent match against a strong London Colney Pumas today.


Missing brave Luca with his fractured hand, Ethan stepped up in goal and played a blinder, stopping pretty much everything like a human feline! Matei, taking up his role in central defence, made sure his fellow back line of Cristian, Noah and Yue stayed solid and in shape throughout the game; a great mini team within a team!


Bailey and Aiden in midfield were passing the ball precisely forward at every opportunity and making every run possible and it wasn't long before the Wood scored; hotshot Audley smashing one in so hard, the sonic boom was heard in Ipswich!


With Shreyank, Klawdjo and Jayden all doing their job up front the inter-play was spot on. Calm as a cucumber, Bailey put away a penalty with style while Ethan secured MoM with his fine performance between the sticks. All in all, a brilliant performance and a pleasure to watch. Well done lads!



After resting last week, U13 Boys faced AC Finchley East in what proved to be a tight League match.


First half the lads were really at it, kept things tight at the back and looked threatening in attack. A good flighted pass from Makamian released Pop who missed by inches as his cross shot narrowly flew past the post. A succession of corners followed but, poor delivery meant the Wood were unable to capitalise.


Second half was harder and the boys were on the back foot from the start, struggling to play out from the back, sitting deeper and deeper and inviting the opposition on to them. Despite this, the desire and hunger from the boys to compete was fantastic with the midfield diamond of Makamian, McGuinness and Manning contesting everything very keenly, the latter saving a certain goal with a clever clearance.


Despite a good performance from him, the game hung on two decisions by the young ref; ignoring an offside flag in the build up to Finchley's first goal then deciding against a Wood penalty when Manning was pushed over in the box. Finchley countered, took advantage of poor defensive positioning, scored again and secured the points.


We learn all the time and today the key decisions went against our side, but, it's nothing. What's important is that the boys continue to develop their technique and positioning, putting Herculean effort in everytime they step out on to the pitch. In a small squad with several boys poorly of late, they certainly did that today and can be proud of themselves, no one more so than MoM Hones who enjoyed a dominant performance at the back and was a reference in focus and commitment throughout.




U11 Girls looked to continue their super form with a match against first class outfit - Hemel Aces Jaguars - who provided very tough opposition in the away firxture back in October. The game was earmarked by the Wood's coaches as a test of steel and desire (as well as a heap of fun) and they were not disappointed.


Our girls stormed forward from the off and secured a delightful early goal when star winger Lois completed a dazzling solo run before striking home with great composure. The Wood kept up the attacking pressure thereafter, with our back four of Captain Annie, Kiella, Kate and Emily (between the sticks) as mean as Scrooge in the run up to Christmas, giving nothing away.


The midfield of Lucy, Annie, Lois, Ella, Theaya & Lottie had their hands full all day with a combative and competitive Hemel midfield but, rose so well to the challenge with the Hemel keeper in inspired form and the woodwork also keeping the Wood at bay as the post was hit twice and also the bar! The girls kept driving forward and prolific No9 Hazel - the goddess of thunder - notched a real striker's goal, her 11th of an incredible season thus far, following in a shot the keeper saved to bundle the ball over the line. Not her most stunning strike perhaps, but, equally as valuable and given all the wonder goals she's scored this season, Manager Hobbs was delighted to see her game developing by following in shots and chasing down scraps, invaluable parts of any striker's arsenal!


The team kept pushing with PoM Elsie producing a display of attacking prowess and determination to succeed not often witnessed in one so young. As the clock ran down, mini wonder-woman Lois streaked down the wing to surge past the Hemel defence, finishing with aplomb for a world class brace and cueing scenes of delirium from the massed Wood faifthful! There was still time for further Hemel attacks but, Wood stalwart Theaya stepped in, closed down and then released her own team-mates superbly on numerous occassions.


Another awesome performance from the girls as they prepare in the best possible way for competitive football next season. Not long to go now!



U18 Girls faced a strong Kinja side with many genuinely talented players far away from home and somehow ended up 5-1 losers in a game they dominated for very long periods.


With many injuries and absences, so many of the girls were asked to play in unfamiliar positions with Embleton at centre half, Captain Pickford at right back, Branigan in goal and Hodges in centre midfield. However, they all adapted so well and everyone in attendance worked their socks off, putting in quality displays they could be rightly proud of.


However, goals change games and where the Wood's many excellent goalbound efforts resulted in just one, the opposition's comparably scrappy shots resulted in five; that's just how it goes sometimes. Producing a moment of genuinely top level execution after Makamian had been fouled, Hodges stepped up and hit our goal, a free kick right out of the top drawer from fully 30 yards that screamed through the air like a banshee before splitting the net asunder! This returned the score to 2-1 at half time and the Wood went on to bombard the home team's goal but, left the back door a little ajar and conceded multiple times on the break to record a scoreline that did no credit to their efforts on the day.


On a day of fine performances, PoM was shared between two girls that raised their games to a higher level. In centre midfield, Makamian rolled back the years to produce a virtuoso display of very technical dribbling and passing, sprinkled liberally with many solid tackles and interceptions. While Umalin took her game to the entire Kinja defence in a devastating and ceaseless performance of skill and desire, giving absolutely everything she had for the team throughout.


The girls move on to face Garston next week at home but, if they keep moving in this direction will be formidable opposition for anyone in the second half of the season and the multiple cup competitions to come.