23/24 - The Word in the Wood #26

Posted on 16th March, 2024

U15 Boys faced Rap Aid FC in the Spring Cup on a wet and muddy surface at Pursley. Despite playing in the 3rd division this term, the opposition possessed top quality attackers, with searing pace the equal of any Red division player the Wood has faced this season. The boys were in for a battle if they were to secure the win and knew it.


Getting to the ball first was of paramount importance but, a disastrous start saw the Wood caught in the headlights as Rap Aid flew forward down the flanks, creating chance after chance. After just a couple of minutes, a cheap free kick was conceded and the resultant shot, though hit well, found the Wood net too easily; deeper positioning and quicker reactions the solution to saving such attempts in the future. Rap Aid went on to hit the crossbar and then forced Marshall to make an excellent diving save, with Hones & Pop both clearing other efforts superbly off the line.


The Wood fought back and started attacking the weaker defensive side of the opposition and Da Silva, no longer cup tied, raced on to an excellent through ball from Ifeacho, to finish in style and level the match. Green whipped an excellent ball into the box that Fan narrowly headed on to the post, while Makamian saw his effort hit the crossbar.


Second half saw Ifeacho, playing superbly in a deeper midfield role, exert more and more influence on the match, as was Fan, enjoying one of his best Wood performances to date at right midfield. Both players were instrumental in driving the Wood forward as were Green and Da Silva, working prodigiously up front together. Crucefix was at it throughout too and constantly mopping up the ball when Rap Aid broke.


Da Silva was pulled down in the box but, the Wood were unable to dispatch the resulting penalty. However, Da Silva, a constant menace, was quickest to react in the box shortly after, firing home to put the Wood in front. Green had numerous chances to score the goal his lung busting performance deserved but, was unable to beat the away keeper on this occasion though it was not for want of trying. However, a late, great Wood move sliced through the away defence and Da Silva capped a top level performance with a finish of true equanimity, sealing his hat-trick and making it 5 goals in 2 matches for him since joining the club.


The match ended 3-1 and the Wood worked very hard to secure a win that could, if they remain unbeaten against Whetstone next week, see them make the semi-final of this competition. More importantly, however, was that several players were able to take on the responsibility of raising their games considerably to secure the points, which was very good to see indeed and is key to the team's future progression. Of these, MoM was shared by Da Silva for his attacking quality and also for Pop who gave a tremendous defensive display against a very dangerous attacking side.




Our U13 girls were due to play their close friends and rivals St Albans City Lionesses at home but, another water-logged pitch put paid to that. So, faced with another wash-out weekend, the football mad dads searched high and low for an alternative with Pete Jeffery pulling a rabbit out the hat and sourcing an astro at the football pad on Barnet Lane!


This was a game the Wood needed points from to help with our league position; having played the Lionesses before this season in a game we were very unfortunate to be on the wrong end of a 3-2 loss, we knew it would be tough.


The Wood squad is stretched almost to breaking point, being down to 11 fully fit players, with Imani making her long awaited return as our 12th woman. Her return to football from a very bad injury earlier in the season is a wonderful boost for the team and a huge credit to Imani’s determination and positivity. Quite understandably and sensibly, as Imani searches for match fitness and game rhythm, small cameo appearances are what the doctor’s ordered for the time being. We have also recently lost star winger Elsinho to a perforated appendix and new signing Amy, who was looking like a real rock at CB, is also out with a fractured collar bone; our thoughts are with both girls as they begin their recoveries. Hazel was unable to make the late KO so the magnificent 12 were left to fight for the badge and each other with Emily & Riss our 2 GKs, a back 4 of Abi, Ava, Pola & Theaya, a midfield with Skipper Amie, Annie, Gabz, Kara & Imani, and our lone forward Gabby.


The game started and the Wood dominated possession with our quick 2 touch football; St Albans couldn’t get near our girls and we were dominating in the St Albans half. Shot after shot was taken and it wasn’t going to be long before we took the lead, Gabby duly obliging when beating her two  markers for speed and still having the skill to slot home past the excellent Lionesses keeper: 1-0 to the Wood.


We took the lead in our last game and this tenacious Lionesses side came back to win and again they showed their class by scoring an equaliser with quick thinking whilst the Wood switched off. St Albans were now in the ascendancy and having the lion’s share of chances; a mix up in defence gifted the away team the lead and the half finished 1-2 to St Albans.

Our girls came in annoyed as they knew they were the better team for long periods; we reminded them of what they did to gain the lead, quick  2 touch play, playing the way you’re facing and supporting the player with the ball, and the girls went out for the second half wanting to fight for everything and they did.


Gabz was causing mayhem with her jinking runs with the ball and made the keeper make 2 fantastic saves but she couldn’t keep her out all day! Our high press was bearing fruit and Gabz pounced on a loose pass, beat the covering defender and slotted calmly past the keeper for a deserved equaliser: 2-2.


Kara had a snap shot and hit the bar, Pola had a rasper hit the angle of bar and post, Gabby was knocking at the door but somehow St Albans managed to keep us out. This was definitely a step in the right direction and the football on show at times was excellent from our young team! Off to Hertford we go next week!


POM today was Riss who made 2 fantastic goal stopping saves in this pulsating encounter.




Our U9 Girls are going from strength to strength and faced a strong outfit from Welwyn Pegasus away from home. This was a spectacle to behold, played out on a sunny day that seemed to radiate with the promise of excitement and glory. With smiles adorning the faces of players and supporters alike, the Wood brought their A-game, igniting the field with a performance that left no doubt as to their determination and skill.


Led by the formidable Sienna, who wore the captain's armband with pride and doubled as a rock-solid defender, Borehamwood's lineup was a force to be reckoned with. Between the goalposts, Emily showcased her acrobatic prowess, diving from left to right with lightning speed to deny Welwyn Pegasus any chance of breaching their defences.


In defense, Elsie proved to be an immovable force, thwarting Welwyn's advances with her unstoppable determination. Meanwhile, Amber displayed versatility like no other, seamlessly transitioning from defense to attack and covering every blade of grass with her tireless running. Emilia's lightning-fast feet surged forward with purpose, leaving Welwyn's defence scrambling to keep up.


But it wasn't just the defensive line that shone for Borehamwood. In midfield, Maisie controlled the center of the pitch with finesse, orchestrating plays and dictating the tempo of the game. On the wings, Juniper unleashed blistering runs that left Welwyn's defenders in her wake, while up front, Ruby showcased her skills, with the ball seemingly glued to her feet.


The first breakthrough came from Ruby, who after being denied by several close attempts, finally found the back of the net with a precision strike. Amber set the tone early on with brilliant solo runs, while Elsie unleashed a powerful long shot that sent the crowd into a frenzy.


As the game wore on, Borehamwood's dominance only grew. Juniper added to the tally with an accurate first-time shot, showcasing her clinical finishing. Welwyn Pegasus threatened, but Emily stood tall, making crucial saves to keep her team's lead intact. Leah, undeterred by the physicality of the opposition, adapted seamlessly to different positions, while Maisie came agonizingly close to adding her name to the scoresheet on multiple occasions.


However, it was Elsie who sealed the deal for Borehamwood, capitalizing on brilliant team play to score their third goal and put the game beyond doubt. Throughout the match, Sienna's cool-headed leadership controlled the defence, ensuring the Wood remained resolute until the final whistle.


In the end, it was a performance that was as well-deserved as it was hard-fought. Borehamwood 2000 showcased not only their individual talent but also their unwavering teamwork and resilience. As they basked in the adulation of their supporters, they knew that they had not just played a great match, but also won hearts and minds with their inspiring performance. The girls are growing in confidence, determination and skill every time they lace up a pair of boots!