21/22 The Word in the Wood #27

Posted on 2nd April, 2022

Our U12s are guning for League glory and travelled to Hampstead to take on a good Alyth Belsize team.

The game started very cagey with both defences on top and not many chances created. Delia commanded his defence well as Alyth had 4 corners on the bounce but the Wood back line of Delia, Parratt, Gardiner, Adom and Mill stood firm. Down the other end after some great play in midfield between Joyce and Rocha, Adoma started his running battle with the keeper and a great strike saw the Alyth keeper pull of a top drawer save.


Staszewski was pulling the strings in midfield and had adapted well to meeting the long ball from the Alyth defence. After some great play, he was denied by what can only be described as a world class goal line clearance. The goal seemed inevitable but the Wood boys would have to keep switched on. All square at half time was probably a fair reflection of the half.


The Wood decided to try and play passes in behind the Alyth back 4 in the second half to capitalise on Adoma's pace. Within minutes following great link up play from Parratt and Staszewski, Adoma was released and after composing himself and finding the corner he was again denied by a great save. The Wood were piling on the pressure but also remained switched on to the long ball being attempted at every chance by Alyth.


The breakthrough came after some great work by Rocha found Adoma in the box who ruthlessly finally beat the keeper. The Wood smelt blood and pounced on this. After some great work out wide Adoma found Joyce in the box who finished for his first goal for the club! The game was put to bed minutes later when a Staszewski shot deflected into the path of Adoma for him to add his 2nd and the Wood's 3rd of the day. Fowler, Murphy and Evans came onto the pitch and added to the hard work that was being put in across the pitch; Evans coming close with a thunderous strike that just missed the top corner.


With 2 minutes to go Alyth hit Borehamwood on the break and scored with a great finish. All of a sudden the game was back on. Alyth kept going and when a free was given on the edge of the box, there midfielder stepped up and really made it interesting with a great shot into the top corner to make it 2-3. However, the boys are made of stern stuff and through hard work and desire saw the game out to take all 3 priceless points.

Some first class lessons taken from the game and the Wood go marching on, still with a very good opportunity of League glory.


U11 Boys' game was called off today due to the other team suffering with illness. The game will be re-arranged when the lads have recovered.



U13 Boys were looking to grab three points at home against Oaklands Tigers Sharks, who are sitting directly above them in the table. The team started well but, other than Oswald - who worked honestly and tirelessly throughout - lacked spark up front where there was little energy or desire seen and certainly not enough to score a goal. The half ended 0-0 with the defense and midfield to the fore. 


The half time chat saw a staff request to drastically improve output up front and really try to make a difference. McGuinness grasped the nettle and was like a transformed player, running at great speed and threatening the away defence constantly. He was joined in this by Captain Sunkara, who was driving forward with incredible intent and focus. After excellent work from Manning and Crucefix to find him, Sunkara then produced a slide rule pass to Song out right. This young fellow has great ability so it was no surprise to see him produce a sublime chipped finish that found the top corner, securing all three points for his team and MoM for himself.


An excellent result for the boys and the clean sheet was further testament to keeper Marshall's growing excellence and Hobbs ability to tackle and organise. Pop also showed a refreshing level of composure throughout the match and Reed performed highly in multiple positions, doing did him great credit indeed.       




U18 Girls took to the field against Harpenden Bobcats in the Shield knowing nothing less than three points would be required to keep their interest in the tournament alive.


The squad was rocked in the early hours of the morning losing multiple players to illness and injury however, the girls formed a huddle and took a blood oath (sort of, it was strawberry jam actually) to give everything for the cause!


They roared out the blocks like hellcats, taking the game to the Bobcats and starting really well and led in this by the excellent Hodges, before a sublime strike from the opposition fairly flew into the top corner from 25 yards out; it really was a bit special and a kick in the teeth for the Wood's gals.


Earlier in the season, this would've cued the Wood white flag, but, amongst other things, the girls have learnt to deal with adversity, sticking together really well and calmly preparing their comeback. After good pressure from Captain Harry-Brown, Makamian took an excellent corner that was attacked by the impressive Branigan. She hurtled through a dense pack of players to stick her right big toe on the ball and steer it skillfully into the net! As the half closed, the Bobcats purred into action and stole around the Wood's defence to score a certain goal, however, the outstanding Luckhurst had other ideas and made a crucial saving tackle!


The Wood laid seige on the Bobcats defence second half with the uber talented Umalin impressing up front, the steely Tulloch doing the same in midfield and an energetic and focused Steward in particular doing so also at the back. Try as they might, however, the goal would not come. The tension was unbearable and the Wood's travelling army were biting their nails incessantly, leaving a haystack of clippings by the side of the pitch. Just when it seemed time was running out, Hodges put a perfect corner into the box for PoM Branigan to drive forward again and meet the ball skillfully on the half volley, the team celebrating wildly as the ball struck the net!


The Bobcats mounted a superb challenge to level the scores in the last few minutes with coach Branigan needing a seat and a large valium to deal with the mounting stress, however, the girls stood firm and picked up the all important points. When the final whistle blew the relief was huge and the girls jogged off full or pride in themselves and rightly so. They've extended their season and a win against Sarratt next week will see them into the semi-finals. Tune in next week to find out what happens!!



Meanwhile, the next generation of Wood girls, our U11s, hosted their good friends from LGDA today in what has become a barnstorming local derby. In a very frantic high energy 1st half there was lots of heart and desire from both sides.


The Wood scored an early goal from star winger Lois, showing pace and trickery to calmly beat the keeper and take her season's tally to an eye boggling 30! The coaches are running out of superlatives for this talented young footballer. Captain for the day - Hazel - had been a little quiet in front of goal for her recently, in what is her best season to date with 22 goals.


Today she showed how she could knit midfield and attack together with great hold up play and deft touches to our advancing midfielders. Right winger Elsie is fast becoming as much of a stalwart and goal threat as her great buddy on the left Lois. After a quiet start in front of goal to the season she has now got 12 goals and was looking to add more today but was thwarted by some great goalkeeping. PoM Romey got a second Wood goal with a brilliant individual effort, receiving a pass to feet from the defence, turning and breaking free. She beat the next defender with skill and was through on goal, previously Romey may have been caught or mistimed her shot, but not anymore; she dispatched her effort into the bottom corner like a cold blooded assassin.


Karadonna is developing very nicely and is morphing into the most dangerous 10 we have seen after another great performance from her , cajoling and conducting the team's attacks. The midfield duo of Ella & Amie had their work cut out again today against a very fluid and fast LGDA, Ella having her best game for the team today in manager Dave’s opinion. She broke up play and stuck to her job and eventually was able to wrestle control of midfield and spring attacks driving at the opponents defence.


Amie is turning into Miss dependable for the team and her class allows her to play a myriad of positions, today she covered centre midfield and left side of defence from where she was able to launch attacks with her howitzer of a right foot. Lottie also had a superb game breaking from midfield into the opposition box, almost scoring from a cross field ball from Elsie, Lottie turned and controlled in one move but the LGDA keeper came out and smothered her effort.


The defensive three of Annie, Kate & Kiella were there normal super dependable selves, these three girls don’t get some of the the plaudits the attacking players do at times but they are the glue that binds us, and without them we’d be in trouble. They are a coaches dream as everyone is at least an 8 out of ten each week! Finally a word about our goalkeeper Emily who made 3 very important saves today to keep the opposition out; one effort tipped over the bar early in the match will live long in the memory! She also swept up any through balls that happened to beat our defensive wall.


What a unit they are becoming and we are super proud of them all!