21/22 The Word in the Wood #15

Posted on 8th January, 2022

After finishing 2021 in fine style, hopes were high as our U13 Boys faced NW London Jets at Pursley in the League.


Unfortunately, the boys just couldn't get out of first gear today and were out-gunned by the opposition, who were also down to ten men. The Wood did score an excellent opener with Ifeacho & Crucefix combining to supplying a quality cross for Captain Montgomery to sweep home, but, the lads couldn't build on this and were outfought and outplayed thereafter. Honours were shared after a wholly avoidable goal was conceded, allbeit from an excellent finish.


MoM went to Pop, who worked so hard to try and grab all three points for his side. Next up is Red Division opposition - Whetstone Pumas - in the Challenge Cup and we hope the boys will come to that game ready to batlle hard throughout and give a really good account of themselves.




The new football year and second half of the 21/22 season kicked off today with both our wonderful girls' sides in action.


First up were the U18s, playing table toppers Wormley, a side that completed in the Junior Premier League last season and who are a class act both on and off the pitch. The girls knew they faced a challenge, particularly after losing players to isolation, but, led by Captain Harry-Brown, they still went about their business very well with Hodges and Umalin both going close in the early exchanges. At the back the girls were performing solidly too, with Steward & Hooda putting in big shifts and the impressive Warren playing with a growing maturity and excellent decision making.


Against the best teams, however, you just can't switch off for a moment and when this happened briefly a slew of goals were conceded, with everyone disapppointed at being 4-0 behind after a half of football that they contested really well. During the team talk, much was said about making your own luck, not giving up, about staying focused and switched on and about playing for every minute of the game.


When some might have predicted a Wormley cakewalk second half, a determined Wood side took to the field and produced a stunning half of football. Absolutely every one of the matchday squad gave 100% effort throughout to draw the second half 1-1!


The Wood's goal came from the right boot of midfield maestro - Makamian - who stunned the home support with a devilish strike from 30 yards that screamed through the air and tore into the opposition net. Young Makamian dedicated the goal to her beloved Nan who sadly passed away last week but, who never, ever gave up and would have revelled in the Wood's spirit and endeavour.


As the ref's whistle blew, a buzzing Wood side left the pitch enthused by an ability to turn their day around and send us with momentum into a huge County Cup quarter final against Ruislip next week. In a game where literaly everyone fought tirelessly for their team, PoM was shared between no less than three girls!


One was Rodrigues, who returned after some weeks out through injury and illness to play incredibly well, just as if she'd never been away. Two was Hyman who resembled an adorable swamp monster at the end, covered head to toe in mud and who made countless saves and interventions throughout. While three was Embleton, who seemlessly moved from centre midfield to right midfield, to centre back and then back to centre midfield, anywhere in fact she was asked to go for the team, never moaning, just doing what was necessary for the greater good and doing it really well too. An absolutely first class effort and the Club is very proud of them all.



Now, something very interesting and exciting indeed is happening within our U11 Girls team as they learn and improve at a rapid rate of knots every single week. In a massive local derby today, they faced a very slick and advanced Garston Tigers side in an acid test of their progress thus far.


Soon after the ref commenced play the Wood scored through Hazel's mighty hammer, our star 9 showing her continued development by passing the ball firmly into the net. In midfield, Ella was a dynamo, just like Arsenal's Katie McCabe, breaking up oppositon play and launching Wood attacks, ably supported by best pal and defensive lynchpin Kiella.


However, the Tigers are a talented outfit and scored some cracking goals themselves but, the Wood's girls processed this calmly, learnt much and responded brilliantly. Karadonna caused the opposition no end of problems with her dancing feet and was at times sublime in attack, creating many chances for her teammates. Midfield warrior - Lucy - took control of the game and scored a fine goal to add to her growing tally this season, aided by Amie who was a PoM contender having had a truly outstanding game, running with the ball like Brazilian superstar Marta used to in her pomp!


Kate, an ever present from day one, was an assured rock at the back. Her constant prompting of the midfield showing great tactical awareness and a high football IQ. She made tackle after tackle and was joined in this by Annie, producing another stellar performance, particularly impressive in the one on one duals. Behind them, keeper Emily enjoyed a fine day, producing first class saves and providing excellent distribution from the back.


PoM went to Captain Elsie who inspired her teammates to greater things, grabbing the Wood's second goal just before half time, scoring a stunning equaliser with 10 mins to go and still having time to crash another shot of the post, cruelly denying her a vintage hat-trick! Manager Hobbs was delighted with the performance and feels this group has great potential. Without doubt, everyone at the Wood agrees and looks forward to following their future journey.