23/24 - The Word in the Wood #24

Posted on 3rd March, 2024

Our U9 Girls, U14 Boys and U15 Boys all fell to the rain this weekend; when will it stop!


However, our U13 Boys did play and returned to Enfield to face New Salamis for the second week running, this time in the league.


The boys were a little nervous in the beginning and went 1-0 one down early, but, their response was tremendous, and 10 mins later they equalised. Kingham-Patrick, playing in his preferred forward position, laid a fine pass into the path of the onrushing Gopinath who made no mistake, burying the ball home in style. Five minutes later, Adom slalomed past two defenders before playing in Kingham-Patrick, who scored with a sumptuous first time shot.


The second half saw the Wood's defensive unit of keeper Lehouimel, and a back four of MoM Kurti, Patel, Hartslief and Ciochina keep New Salamis out with relative ease and the boys went 1-3 up after excellent work from Ellams, who slotted in Gopintah to secure his brace and 18th goal of an outstanding individual season.


New Salamis scored a late consolation goal but, the boys managed the remainder of the match and secured a really well deserved victory. With five league matches to play, the boys will be looking to build on this performance and propel themselves up the table! 




Our U13 girls played on astro and had a tough away trip to what has been the best team in the County for many a season in St Albans City Yellows. Our previous meeting was a very close affair ending in a 3-2 loss but with our girls coming away feeling that they fully deserved to be playing D1 football. Today was no different and we expected a very tough test against a good football team and we were not disappointed.


With a few  changes positionally we tried to firm up our defence and midfield, and believe we did this and all the girls performed fantastically well. The first goal came from a St Albans corner that was allowed to travel unchallenged to our back post; a cute header back across goal put the home side 1 up.


The defence and midfield where coping well with St Albans tricky attacker and we where keeping them at arm’s length. Emily in goal was outstanding and made some excellent saves whenever she was called upon with Amy, PoM Abi, Pola & Ava in front of her all competing well and showing their skill and tenacity. This St Albans team is made up of real quality with girls training at Arsenal, Tottenham and Watford so they can hurt you very quickly if you switch off for just 1 second. Without really putting a foot wrong we found ourselves 2-0 down and scratching our heads.


Gabby, Elsinho and Gabz were creating chances up front, while Abs was making her barnstorming runs from a new position of RB, causing havoc in the Yellows lines and one of her rocket shots with her seldom used left peg shook the Yellow's bar! Hazel was on hand but a split second too late to get the tap in; the good thing for her and the team was that she was there to compete for it though.


Our midfield duo of Annie and skipper Amie had a tough day at the office today, they played against some top-quality performers but they held their own and kept coming and kept fighting and had many opportunities to show their own class and skill on the ball. The yellows 10 - Nell - deserves a mention as she was masterful today in midfield, she squirmed and shimmied and found half a yard on the edge of our box and sent an exquisite low drive into the bottom corner just beating Emily’s dive for 3-0 Yellows.


The score paints its own picture but was not a true or reflective one of the game unfolding in front of our eyes. The scoreline was very harsh on our team and to be three down wasn’t fair, but this is D1 football and half chances are taken. We hadn’t really put a foot wrong in defence or our keeper either; the girls knew this and took strength from the fact and kept fighting.


The Wood changed formation second half as we needed to play more in the Yellow's half, so we went to a 3-3-2 from a 3-4-1 formation and it really worked and helped us control large swathes of the second half. A controversial disallowed goal from the ref - when Gabby clearly beat the keeper and got the ball over the line - was a cruel way to start the half. The girls kept coming though with shots from Pola, Abi & Amie testing the home keeper.

Our high press also put pressure on the home team and made them play long for our strong defenders to win the ball back and start another attack.


Our 1st goal would come from great work on the left from Gabz who had an outstanding 2nd half in midfield; she worked the space with great support from Pola and dinked a sublimely weighted cross to the middle of the goal where Gabby was waiting to tap in what looks a simple finish but was made with great skill.


Our second goal came from a long range drive from Annie who was getting stronger and stronger in midfield the longer the match went on. A cross from her hard running twin - Elsinho - & Annie unleashed the Kraken and was rewarded with a screamer for her efforts that left the excellent home keeper rooted to the spot and reaching for air.


3-2, game on and the girls knew they could get something from this game and rightly pushed hard for an equaliser. Kara was working tirelessly to get crosses into the box with Hazel hunting defenders down, Ava backing Kara up in their pressing down the right flank looking for the half yard needed to get a shot or cross off. Luck wasn’t on our side today though and the Yellows got their fourth and there was nothing Riss could do to stop a good finish from the dangerous opposition striker. A 4-2 loss but a fantastic game of football played in front of a large crowd.