23/24 - The Word in the Wood #25

Posted on 9th March, 2024

U15 Boys faced AEK away in the Challenge Cup quarter final far away in Winchmore Hill. The pitch was black with mud, the grass long enough to cover a small elephant or two and with the League failing to supply a neutral referee for the second quarter final running, the boys were certainly up against it.


However, they rolled their sleeves up and got down to business. Led by Hones from the back, they got to the ball first regularly and creating many shooting opportunities in the opening stanzas: Fan, Silva, Ifeacho, Montgomery and Green all had efforts on goal but, none quite had the requisite quality to beat the assured home keeper. Meanwhile, hesitant play from a Wood goal kick led to a period of play that ended with AEK delivering a quality shot that sailed frustratingly into the net.


The Wood fought back and built up another head of steam and seemed certain to have won a penalty when Fan was chopped down in the box, but, the home ref inexplicably ignored this and then compounded his decision by sin-binning Fan for dissent. In one fell swoop the team went from a match equalling penalty to playing with 10 men and such is life when home refs officiate big matches. In any case, the boys worked really hard to keep parity and ended the half no worse off.


The second half was nip and tuck and the Wood piled on again in search of an equaliser, however, no excuses could be offered as AEK doubled their advantage through shabby Wood play; a poor pass out the back under no pressure and a weak shot that really should have been stopped. Now chasing the game, the boys could’ve thrown in the towel but, didn’t and kept at it producing a strong finish with the lively Green denied only by a top drawer save. Manning was enjoying a terrific half at the back while Crucefix also impressed in the holding role.


Unfortunately, yet another long range effort hit home and the Wood trudged off 3-0 losers, giving so much effort and getting absolutely nothing for it. This is a familiar story for the boys as they’ve been catapulted up the divisions by a management team that unequivocally believes they have what it takes to mix it with the best. As that unshakeable faith is fully believed and absorbed by the boys themselves, quality will improve and mistakes will be eradicated and the team will get the rewards their hard work deserves. In addition, players will be able to take on the responsibility to emerge as genuine match-winners and though that has yet to happen in the big games this season thus far, today Silva enjoyed an excellent game gliding over a mud-bath pitch at times, but, also tackling with an aggressive snap that made him a comfortable MoM.




U13 Boys had a tough time away at London Colney and fell to a 10-0 reverse, while our U14 Boys enjoyed a terrific outing against Ally Pally West, running out 4-0 winners in the league, with the boys playing really well to specific tactics.


The first goal was a great header down from Smith to the overlapping Mill who finished well to make it 1-0. The very impressive (and man of the match) Sutherland was linking up beautifully with Sheppard all day. This link up produced a great cross from Sutherland to find Smith in the box; he went round one and drilled low to make it 2-0. With the centre back partnership of Adom and Joyce solid throughout, the half ended at this score.


Second half saw changes made but the boys carried on playing the football, with captain Gardiner keeping the team moving the ball through the middle of the park. The 3rd goal was a great cross/shot that sailed all the way into the back post from Staszewski to put the game to bed. Parratt then picked up the ball and glided forward only for his 25 yard effort to sail agonisingly inches wide of the top corner.


The 4th and final goal was from a quality through ball from Staszewski who found the in-form Rocha, who Romarioesque toe punted the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box! A solid clean sheet and some excellent performances but the work down the right hand side saw Sutherland deservedly take the MoM award and get the Wood army back on winning ways!




Our U9 Girls put on a thrilling match against Evergreen in an electrifying encounter at Pursley that left spectators on the edge of their seats! From start to finish, it was a spectacle not to be missed, with both teams displaying incredible determination and skill.


From the get-go, it was clear that Borehamwood meant business. Led by the indomitable Captain Leah, they took the game to Evergreen with relentless attacks and solid defence. Gracie, guarding the goal with finesse, showcased her prowess with some breathtaking saves, keeping her team in the game, however it was Elsie who opened up the scoring with a brilliantly well taken shot!


Our midfield maestro, Daisy, was a force to be reckoned with, orchestrating plays and finding space effortlessly. While up front, Emilia proved to be a constant threat, rattling the post early on and keeping the Evergreen defence on their toes.


As the match progressed into the second quarter, Borehamwood's depth came to the fore with substitutes Juniper, Sienna, and Olivia seamlessly slotting into the lineup. Daisy continued her dominance, finding the back of the net with a clinical finish, while Juniper showcased her attacking flair with a super slick goal.


Quarter after quarter, the action intensified, with both teams leaving everything on the pitch. Sienna's defensive prowess was on full display, thwarting Evergreen's advances with crucial clearances and timely tackles. Meanwhile, Elsie's precision passing and Olivia's safe hands kept Borehamwood's defence rock solid.


In the final stretch, Gracie and Olivia shared goalkeeping duties, both pulling off remarkable save after remarkable save, while Ruby surged forward with purpose, driving her team towards victory. When the moment of truth arrived, Captain Leah rose to the occasion, slotting home a crucial goal before Daisy put the cherry on the cake with a trademark thunderous strike.


Beyond the goals and the saves, what truly stood out was the camaraderie and team spirit exhibited by Borehamwood. Led by their inspirational captain, they fought as one unit, supporting each other every step of the way.


Congratulations to Daisy for a stellar performance, earning her the well-deserved Player of the Match accolade, and hats off to Juniper from Evergreen for her outstanding contribution on the day. In the end, it was a memorable victory for the Wood and a testament to their talent, teamwork, and unwavering determination. Here's to many more vintage days like this in the seasons to come!