21/22 The Word in the Wood #14

Posted on 12th December, 2021

It’s been a cracking weekend’s football from the Wood’s juniors!


First up were U18 Girls vs Garston Panthers, with the Wood fielding a strong side and eagerly awaiting a fab match, their last of 2021. Unfortunately, Garston were forced to pull out on the day and the Wood secured the points. Not what anyone wanted, of course, but, the girls finish the year most definitely on the up and ready to go for it in 2022, perhaps with another new signing in the offing too?!



Now, our U11 Girls have been coming along so well but, faced a stern test against one of their toughest opponents - Goffs Oak – who are talented, physically advanced and well coached.


With Manager Dave absent on this rare occasion, Coach Richard picked up the reigns and got the girls ready for action, knowing a good performance would secure a 25p performance bonus from the ever generous Dave!


A tough first half ensued with the defence being tested and responding strongly with Kiella producing one of her strongest performances to date and Annie seeing us out of trouble as she always does.

Lucy produced some great break up play in centre midfield with driving runs forward to set up great attacking opportunities. Lois and Hazel pounced on these and were only denied by good defending from the Oak. Amie put in an excellent shift and is improving week on week with her tackling and passing ability in the centre of the pitch.


Second half saw Kara, Theaya and Romey enter the fray with Kara showing toes that twinkled like the galaxies as she wove her way through to score a stunning opener. Theaya was her usual reliable self, putting in a class performance and dealing with some late pressure handily.


Romey played what was notably her best game to date upfront, pressing the opposition goalie and defence every time the ball was in play and just missed out on a goal herself before assisting for Hazel to smash in the Wood’s second.


Elsie perfromed with sheer determination on her face and produced some amazing football that wowed the crowd, going close with several excellent efforts. With the late pressure came some world class saves from our number 1 - Emily - with a true captain’s performance to keep a lovely clean sheet. The Wood support was notably encouraging and very well received by the team and coach. PoM went to Kara after Coach Richard couldn’t decide as they were all fantastic and put the vote out to the girls!



Next up were the U12 Boys, who were over in Enfield again, looking to bounce back against GFA Enfield Lions in the League, following the cup defeat last week.


The game started with Enfield looking to play out from the back, but some brilliant pressure from Adoma and Staszewski resulted in the latter winning the ball back and slotting home to fire us into a 0-1 lead. A long range equalised followed, but, the Wood started to play and scored a quick-fire double with an OG and another Staszewski belter! The next goal was even better with the ball dropping to centre half and MoM Adom on the half way line. He pushed forward and let rip from 40 yards, the keeper helpless as it flew into the net at 600mph, give or take a mph or two!


The Wood then started to settle down and played some good football, a penalty being awarded and dispatched by the outstanding Staszewski for his hat-trick. Another goal followed and was all down to hard work. Adoma closed down the full back brilliantly and won the ball, he then skipped passed another defender, flew down the wing and whipped the ball across for Evans (who had worked just as hard to keep up with play) to finish with aplomb.


In the second half, the Wood remained switched on and were led again brilliantly by their captain Hayden, with Josh having a very solid game also at full back. A penalty was conceded late on to make the final score 2-6, but, took none of the gloss off an excellent performance. A special mention to keeper Delia who firstly came out brilliantly late on to save at the feet of one striker only to then leap up and save at point blank range from the other striker. According to many old heads in the bulging terraces, it was a double save that would not have been out of place in the Premier League!


The boys really are coming along nicely and learning lessons from each game. A very professional performance this week and roll on next week for the last game of the year.



Meanwhile U13 Boys faced Whetstone Wanderers Leopards away in the WFL Green Division badly needing a point or two to get their League season back on the road. As it was, the boys grabbed three of the little beauties in an excellent performance.


Manager Makamian worked tirelessly on complex stratagem throughout the week that led to a tactical master-stroke late on Saturday night; stick the big man up front! This we did, with Ifeacho starting as striker for the first time and Pop moving to defence in his stead.


Immediately, the boys had confidence pulsing through them as they started fast, Crucefix sending a stinging effort goalward that was well gathered by the keeper. There then followed a goal of the highest class as Montgomery, McGuinness, Makamian & Crucefix combined with delightful and unplayable first time passes that sliced through the opposition with Ifeacho completing one further pass, straight into the bottom left corner of the net!


At the back, the three man defence of Hones, Hobbs and Pop looked very comfortable, as did Captain Marshall between the sticks, and the start of the second half saw Manning play a super through ball for the on-rushing Ifeacho to skip past the centre back and keeper before dispatching cleanly for his second.


The game was in the bag but, indecision saw a corner ball drop untouched in the box to present Whetstone with the simplest of goals. Though disappointed as they know they can deal better with this type of threat, the boys responded superbly and secured the points when Hobbs rampaged forward before supplying Ifeacho, who sealed his hat-trick and MoM performance with a deadly finish.


Great work from the squad and we are very much looking forward to our next fixture!