OLD WOODS 3 – 0 Weirside Rangers III
21 October 2017
On a blustery day at Camdenians Woods played host to Weirside Rangers in a cup tie. Although Woods had made an excellent start to the league campaign their cup form had been relatively poor so a point needed to be proven.
Woods started with Andrew Hill in goal, a back four of Connor Nicolau on the left, Stu Cook on the right with Conor Higgins and James O’Neill in the middle. A middle trio of Owen Fern, James Dunford & Jonny Cuttter with Eoghan Reidy & Mason Taylor providing support on the wings for the lone frontman Ernest Didhevar. This meant places on the bench for Sean Crossan, Noel Brown & Cuong Mang.
The away side won the toss and opted to play with the aid of the strong breeze in the first half. Woods got kicked off and got off to the perfect start as straight from kick off and after 30 seconds went up the field and after some excellent footwork from Cutter & Reidy, Fern found himself one on one with the opposing keeper. Fern calmly slotted the ball home to make it 1-0 to Woods. Unsurprisingly given the conditions Woods were playing against, the away side soon dominated possession however were left frustrated in the final third as Woods central defence partnership of Higgins and O’Neill stood firm. The energetic Dunford was impressive as he broke up several promising Rangers attacks while Nicolau & Cook at full back were also defensively solid. Hill had very little to do in goal however when called upon he backed his defence up showing good hands and awareness to come off his line on several occasions and clear any danger as the away side mixed it up by trying balls over the top of the Woods defence. Didhevar was battling hard up top living off scraps while Fern and Cutter were battling hard in midfield as Woods looked to get on top in the midfield area. Reidy and Taylor looked dangerous on the wings anytime they were given time and space on the ball.
On the half hour mark Didhevar was replaced by Brown and Mang soon entered the fray to replace Taylor. These fresh legs seemed to give Woods a lift and the home side soon doubled their lead with a goal of real quality and certainly the goal of the game. A quick, flowing counter attacking move. As Rangers attacked Dunford tenaciously won the ball back on the edge of Woods area, he strode forward with purpose before releasing a perfectly timed ball to Reidy down the left, Reidy looked up and delivered a left footed pace to the edge of the area to find the onrushing Cutter, Cutter settled on the ball before driving it past the helpless keeper. 2-0 Woods. Woods saw out the remainder of the first half at ease.
At HT Cook was replaced by Crossan. The second half began with Woods now on top and beginning to get a foothold in midfield. As the away side naturally threw more bodies forward to try and get back in the game Woods found space and time to keep opening up the away sides defence however chances from Brown came and went after a couple of great saves from the Rangers keeper. Hill was called into action as he made a save diving to his left as the away side finally found a way through the Woods backline. On the hour mark Didhevar replaced Cutter and soon after Taylor replaced Reidy. Didhevar made an immediate impact as Crossan was released down the right and his wayward shot fell into the path of Didhevar who smashed the ball home to make it 3-0 to Woods. Cook was reintroduced for Nicolau as Woods mindset changed to preserving a first clean sheet of the season. After a lovely flowing move Brown was set free and looked certain to score however his perfectly struck half volley produced a fine save from the Rangers keeper. With 10 minutes remaining Reidy was reintroduced for Fern and Mang made way for Nicolau. The away side began to launch balls towards Woods defence however Higgins and O’Neill continued to dominate winning everything in the air and on the ground. Chances continued to come for the home side as Crossan blasted wide while in acres of space & some fine footwork on the byline from Taylor near the end nearly producing a fourth Woods goal however Woods saw out the final few minutes without much fuss to secure a fully deserved 3-0 victory and secured progression to the next round of the cup. It was an extremely impressive all round display from Woods who looked comfortable, composed & disciplined throughout despite not having the lions share of possession for long periods of the match.
MoM – Dunford. Another really impressive display from the holding midfielder who didn’t stop all day, he broke up countless promising attacks and provided a great platform for Woods counter attacks.
Southgate Olympic V 1 – 2 OLD WOODS
14 October 2017
Woods travelled to Southgate Olympic looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the league season. Tarik Mesfun started in goal, a change in normal formation meant a back three of Conor Higgins, Liam Francis & James O’ Neill, wing backs of Connor Nicolau on the left & Stu Cook on the right. A diamond in midfield with James Dunford at the base, Owen Fern & Sam Sholli taking up the central midfield positions with Cuong Mang playing in the advanced role. Noel Brown played as the lone striker. This left Sean Crossan and Ernest Didhevar on the bench.
Woods looked to start by playing their natural fast passing game keeping the ball on the deck where possible however they were not helped by the long grass. As they looked for the early breakthrough Woods dominated early possession and created a number of half chances with the tricky and pacey Nicolau in particular causing Southgate various problems down the left. Cook was also getting into excellent positions down the right flank. Fern, Sholi and Mang were pulling the strings in midfield while Dunford was quickly turning defence into attack while covering space & breaking up any potential Southgate attack. A breakthrough looked imminent. Woods decent start however then was undone in the 20th minute when Southgate were awarded a throw in on the right, a long throw in was delivered and a clear push on Francis was ignored by the referee, the Southgate attacker swiveled on the ball and crashed a low right foot strike into the bottom right corner beating Tarik at his near post. 1-0 to the home side and a very much undeserved lead.
Woods to their credit reacted to going behind like a team full of confidence and began to mix it up by hitting long balls over the top to Brown as himself and Mang pressed the Southgate defence into various mistakes. Sholli then picked up an injury and was replaced by Didhevar who was sent to play up top off Brown. Five minutes later and on the half hour mark Woods swiftly turned defence into attack with a long ball with Brown chased and won back from a Southgate defender, Brown then proceeded to beat two, maybe three, Southgate defenders before taking it past the keeper, his goalbound effort however was blocked on the line however Didhevar was on cue to knock the ball home to make it 1-1. Crossan was then introduced for Brown. Woods continued to press and took a deserved lead five minutes before the break when a Southgate attack was broken down by the Woods defence. The ball was played to Mang in midfield who turned before producing a glorious through ball, splitting the Southgate defence to the onrushing Didhevar who took the ball in his stride before calmly slotting it past the Southgate keeper. 2-1 Woods. Woods looked relatively comfortable now and controlled the game until the HT whistle was blown.
The second half started with the hosts starting to take control however the Woods back three of Higgins, Francis and O’Neill stood firm and dealt with everything in the air and on the ground. Woods midfield battled hard to try and regain a foothold in midfield but Southgate continued to throw everything at Woods. Woods should have gone 3-1 up when Higgins broke out of defence with the ball and played a defence splitting pass in the direction of Crossan who ran clear and finished finely however the referee somehow decided to rule the goal out from offside much to Crossan’s disappointment!
Brown was then reintroduced for Cook. Southgate continued to dominate possession throughout the second half but Woods dug in and made sure very few chances were created from the hosts. Didhevar then picked up a knock which meant Sholli was reintroduced. The last 10 minutes saw Woods drop deeper and deeper however when an out ball was provided to Brown he held it up well and took the pressure off. Woods saw out the remainder of the match without too much fuss and the full time whistle was met with joy as Woods ground out a hard fought 2-1 win and remain unbeaten in the league.
In summary Woods are used to much better performances than this however it is also credit to the team that when not at our best we can still get a positive result.
Squad: Mesfun, Francis, Higgins, O’Neill, Cook, C Nicolaou, Dunford, Sholli, Fern, Mang, S. Crossan, Didhevar
Goals: Didhevar 2
MoM: Dunford. Tirelessly worked and broke up attacks while providing a good platform for Woods counter attacks. Covered every blade of grass on the pitch twice over! Honourable mentions to Didhevar with his two goals and Nicolou who’s marauding runs down the left wing was a constant threat while being defensively solid.
Old Ignatian IV 2 – 3 OLD WOODS
Saturday 24 February 2017
Woods went into this match on the back of an unbeaten run stretching back to early December and knowing that only 3 points here would sustain their title challenge.
Jonny started in goal, with a back four of Conor and Ed in the centre with Cuong and Paddy taking up the full back positions. A midfield trio of Marvin, Liam and Wilson with Reidy and Tarik on the wings with Noel playing the role of lone striker. This left Chase on the bench. Not for the first time this season Woods started slowly and struggled early on to keep possession of the football. Ignatians certainly settled the better and found themselves 1-0 inside 10 minutes when the striker found himself with space to turn on the edge of the box before riffling a unstoppable right footed shot straight into the top corner giving Jonny in goal absolutely no chance. A wake up call that Woods needed!
After going behind Woods began to take control with Marvin, Liam and Wilson beginning to dominate the midfield battle while Tarik’s pace down the right wing was causing the Ignatians defence all kinds of trouble however Woods failed to turn the dominance into goals. Chances were being created regularly now with Reidy and Marvin beginning to unlock the Ignatians defence with through balls but Woods continued to be denied an equaliser. 40mins in and with Woods knowing three points was a must from this encounter Chase was brought on for Paddy and Woods went 442. Woods maintained control for the remainder of the first half however still someone managed to trail 1-0 at the break.
During the HT interval patience and the need not to panic was discussed and as the second half commenced Woods started in a very similar fashion to how the first half finished with Woods dominating throughout. The Woods defensive 5 were having very little to do while Noel and Chase up top began to click and link up well together. Woods continued to keep the pressure on and finally the equaliser they deserved came after 65mins when, after some good work down the left resulted in a low cross being drilled across the Ignatians box where Tarik arrived at the back post to calmly slot home. 1-1.
Woods now went in search of the lead and it came five minutes later when again they broke down the left. The ball was given to Chase who beat a man with some excellent footwork before audaciously floating the ball over the Ignatians keeper from the edge of the box to find the net. 2-1. Woods now looked as if they would go on and comfortably win the game and probably deserved to do so. Ignatians to their credit kept on plugging away without causing too much concern to the Woods defence.
With 7 minutes remaining disaster struck for Woods when an Ignatians free kick from the left was floated into the danger area and after some desperate last ditch defending the ball fell at the feet of the Ignatians striker who toe poked the ball into the net. 2-2. Woods rallied once more and began to go all out attack in search of the needed winner. Woods won several corners and free kicks in dangerous positions however the Ignatians defence and keeper were standing firm. Some excellent chances came and went most notably for Ed and Chase. With the game now in final minute Woods were awarded a free kick on the right hand side. The ball was floated in and after a scramble in the area the ball fell to Conor who swung a left leg at it, the goal bound shot was stopped by an Ignatians defenders arm and the referee immediately pointed to the spot for a penalty. Marvin was handed with both the ball and the responsibility of getting Woods out of jail at the death. A number of Woods players appeared worried and nervous that Marvin would try his normal ‘Panenka’ finish from the spot however on this occasion the midfield maestro smashed the ball to the left hand corner sending the Ignatians keeper the wrong way. As the ball hit the net the referee blew the full time whistle which was greeted with joyous celebrations from the Woods players.
A huge three points for Woods in dramatic circumstances.
Conor ‘Cassius’ Higgins
MoM – Tabi: Ran the show & pulled the strings in the middle of the park. The calmest man on the pitch when scoring the stoppage time winner from the spot.
Wood Green OB 3 – 5 OLD WOODS
Saturday 7 January 2017
Woods travelled to Wood Green Old Boys in their first outing of 2017 knowing that three points was a must to keep their promotion push alive.
Woods started with Fran in goal (who did his best Gabor Kiraly impression!), a back four of Cuong at left back, Conor & Ed in the middle and Simon at right back. The midfield was made up of Reidy on the left, a central midfield partnership of Liam and Marv with Charlie at right wing. Duggan played off Noel up front. This left Woods new recruits Paddy & Tarik on the bench.
Woods started the game sluggishly although the heavy, cutting up pitch was never going to suit Woods normal attractive passing game. The hosts settled the better with the front pairing in particular looking lively and keeping Conor & Ed occupied. It wasn’t long before the Woods defence was sliced open by a through ball and with a Wood Green striker closing down on goal and looking certain to score Ed appeared from nowhere to make a perfectly timed last ditch challenge. This seemed to give Woods the needed wake up call as they began to settle more on the ball. On the 10 minute mark the breakthrough came and it was Woods who got it. Some lovely football and a perfectly timed through ball sent Noel away however his effort was parried away by the Wood Green keeper but only as far as the unmarked Charlie who slammed the ball home from close range. 1-0 Woods. A second Woods goal came soon after when Noel charged down the left wing. His attempted cross looped over the Wood Green keeper and into the net. 2-0 Woods. Woods then seemed to drop their performance levels and Wood Green to their credit didn’t let the heads drop and continued to pick holes in the Woods defence and only for some great saves from Fran in goal Woods could’ve conceded a couple of goals. The pressure continued from the hosts and for a period of 5 mins they seemed to be camped inside Woods half winning 3 corners in quick succession. Eventually on the half hour mark the hosts pressure paid off when they broke down the left wing, the ball was squared to the unmarked striker who’s effort was again brilliantly saved by Fran however on this occasion the ball fell kindly at the feet of a Wood Green player who slotted it home. 2-1 and game very much on. After this Woods again started to take control of the ball and once again looked dangerous going forward. The hosts were punished once more when Reidy picked the ball up in midfield and played a perfectly timed through ball into the path of Charlie who didn’t even need to break stride as he controlled the ball and finished calmly to reinstate Woods 2 goal advantage. 3-1 Woods. Shortly after this Duggan was replaced by debutant Tarik as Woods saw out the remaining 5 or so minutes of the first half.
At HT, Paddy (another debutant) was introduced at full back to replace Simon. Woods started the second half in similar fashion to how they finished the first creating a number of chances and looking dangerous particularly down the left with Tarik’s pace and ability to beat a man causing Wood Greens defensive line problems however in the opening 10 minutes Woods squandered a number of opportunities. With the state of the pitch becoming progressively worse the standard of football became affected and Woods again started to lose their grip on the midfield battle with Noel becoming more and more isolated up top. With half an hour remaining Duggan was re introduced for Cuong which meant Charlie reverting to right back. The hosts again began to carve out chances and Fran once again made a couple of brilliant saves to maintain the 2 goal margin however Wood Greens goal did come with 20 mins remaining when the winger squared the ball to the edge of the 6 yard box to find an unmarked striker who stroked the ball home. 3-2 and once again it was very much game on. The hosts continued to dominate and with 15 mins remaining on the clock the referee awarded them a free kick on the edge of the area. The free kick smashed the top of the crossbar and the as the ball came back down it landed on the head of a Wood Green player after a goal line scramble and found its way into the net. 3-3. Woods were now seemingly rattled however calls were made for “calms heads” and “no need to panic”. The next 5 mins were extremely scrappy however Woods did create a great opportunity when some good work from Tarik down the left saw him through on goal however his effort whistled agonisingly past the far post. Woods had to dig in and battle and eventually it paid off when with 7 mins remaining Reidy again floated a ball over the top into the path of Noel who fended off a couple of defenders (in beast mode!) before smashing the ball past the Wood Green keeper into the net. 4-3 Woods and a mixture of joy and relief all around. Woods freshened it up again replacing Tarik with Cuong and Charlie with Simon and were then able to relax when they found the net for a fifth time with what was easily the goal of the day. Paddy who had been defensively impressive since his introduction broke forward and after some neat interplay with Marv he found himself on the edge of the area with the ball at his feet. He played the ball to Reidy who held it up well, waited for Paddy to continue his run into the box and then laid a perfectly weighted ball into his feet, Paddy took a lovely first touch before finishing calmly. 5-3 Woods. Game over, 3 points for Woods and although not the most impressive or dominating performance it was very much a feeling of job done.
MoM – Noel. A real powerhouse up front when provided with the service and two goals for his troubles. In truth it could’ve gone to a couple of players with notable mentions to Reidy (3 assists) & Charlie (2 goals).
OLD WOODS 5 – 3 Mill Hill Village II
Saturday 3 December 2016
Woods went into this game after two consecutive wins and knowing a further win here would add pressure to the teams at the top.
A starting 4-4-2 formation was deployed with Andrew in goals, a back four of Bryan at left full, Stu at right full and a centre back partnership of Conor and Deano. Reidy and Wilson took up the two central positions in midfield with Crossan and Ally on the wings leaving George Ghaffari and Duggan up top. This left Henry and George Osadebey on the bench.
Woods started the match in disastrous fashion and found themselves one down inside the opening 2 minutes after the visitors strolled through the Woods backline leaving the winger to calmly slot the ball past Andrew in goal. Woods struggled to find a rhythm and things went from bad to worse after 10 mins when a Mill Hill striker beat the offside trap and finished brilliantly. 0-2 to the visitors. Woods looked as though they were in all sorts of trouble and at one stage the temptation was to tell the onlooking Mick Kelly to get his boots on as his calming presence on the football pitch was exactly what Woods were missing! The temptation however was short lived! Deano picked up a knock and had to be subbed. This meant a reshuffle with Stu now partnering Conor in the heart of the defence and Crossan switched to his more natural right back role. Deano’s replacement Henry took up position on the left wing. Shortly after Duggan was replaced by Osadebey. Duggan provided a moment of absolute comedy before being hooked when he received the ball in acres of space in midfield and then somehow managed to fall over the ball! (Editor’s Note: This was soon followed by an equally hilarious moment - skipper Higgins running off the pitch and falling arse over tit after colliding with some kit bags. He was furious! How we laughed!)
Henry’s introduction seemed to give Woods the spark they were missing as his pace and direct running started to trouble the visitors defence. Woods now started to get into a rhythm and began to play with a lot more confidence. Chances were being created and the feeling was a goal was coming for the home side. Eventually the goal did come on the half hour mark when Woods played the ball out from the back and after some good work from Ghaffari led to the ball being played into the path of Ally who smashed it right into the top corner. A goal of real class but even better was to come from the winger. Woods were now dominant and enjoyed the lions share of possession however Andrew in goal did have to make two brilliant saves to keep the score line at 1-2. Woods pushed on and on the 40 min mark a slack back pass by the visitors was latched onto by Ghaffari who raced clear and finished superbly, 2-2. The HT whistle came with Woods now in the driving seat and with the momentum.
The second started very much how the first ended with Woods dominating all over the pitch. Woods were getting a lot of joy down both wings with Bryan and Henry linking up excellently on the left and Crossan and Ally doing similar on the right. Reidy and Osadebey were providing the attacking support from midfield while Wilson as usual provided the back 4 with great protection and was breaking everything up. A number of half chances were created by the hosts however a big chance came on the hour mark when Ally provided an on point delivery from a corner and Conor rose unmarked at the back post however his header was misplaced and ended up off target. Woods soon took a deserved lead after some excellent acceleration from Crossan on the right saw him beat the defender, make it to the byline and pull back a great ball which ended up at the feet of Reidy who’s deflected shot found the net. 3-2, comeback complete and relief all around. Woods continued to push on and on 75 mins got a fourth when another absolute wonder strike from the outstanding Ally flew past the keeper in the net. 4-2. With 10 minutes remaining Duggan was brought back on to replace Ghaffari and within a minute found himself one of one with the keeper after a superb ball in from Ally however he managed to hit the keeper with his shot when surely hitting the net was easier. Woods were now closing in on a big win however the visitors to their credit kept fighting and found the net for a third time to give Woods something to think about for the remaining 3 minutes. However the fightback was short lived as the hosts went up the field to win a free kick on the left wing. The free was delivered and headed clear by a Mill Hill defender however it fell to Ally who smashed a volley from the edge of the box right into the top corner, 5-3. An outrageous strike and a fitting way to seal his hat trick. The full time whistle came quickly after and Woods although giving the visitors a two goal head start found themselves taking the deserved 3 points. In truth they showed great character, teamwork and a fighting spirit to pull the win out of the fire and make it three league wins on the spin.
Conor ‘Cassius’ Higgins
Squad: A Hill, S Cook, D Docherty, C Higgins, B Macharia, S Crossan, M Duggan, E Reidy, A Duncan, G Ghaffari, W Tshundhi, H Albert, George Osadabye
Scorers: Duncan 3, Ghaffari, Reidy
MoM: Duncan. He was simply outstanding, A hat trick. All 3 goals fitting of winning any football match.
Old Manorians V 1 -7 OLD WOODS
Saturday 5 November 2016
After recent cup matches Woods were back in league action away to Old Manorians. Having no goalkeeper available meant Ed started in goal. A somewhat makeshift back four of Conor and Stuart in the middle with Cuong at left back and Wilson at right back. The midfield was made up of Reidy & Liam in the middle with Ally playing right wing and Jack on the left. The lineup was complete with the big man combo up front of George Ghaffari & Noel, both returning after a number of weeks out. This left Sean and George Osadebay on the bench.
Woods started the game on the front foot and created a number of early chances however were unable to find the net. The breakthrough however did come after 10 mins when a mix up in the Manorians defence meant the ball falling kindly for Ghaffari who fired the ball home clinically. 1-0 Woods. Being in complete control of the game Woods created chance after chance and were 3-0 up after 20mins with goals from Jack and Noel. Jacks strike in particular really caught the eye. Woods were causing Manorians all kinds of problems particularly out wide where Ally and Jack were cutting them open at every given opportunity while the physicality and power of Woods front two was unsettling the Manorians defence. Liam and Reidy controlled the middle of the park while the Woods defence had very little to deal with. It was not long before Woods grabbed a forth goal and it was Noel whos goalbound strike took a wicked deflection off a Manorians defender and looped over the keeper. A fifth followed soon after and after some good battling in midfield Reidy found himself with the ball at his feet on the edge of the area and his finely struck shot evaded the Manorians keeper to hit the net. Woods kept the pressure on overpowering their opponents in every department. Woods were to go in at HT 6-0 up when Liam picked the ball up in midfield & cut Manorians defence open with a perfectly weighted through ball to which Ghaffari had timed his run perfectly to run onto, he calmly slotted the ball past the onrushing keeper to grab his second of the afternoon and his forth league goal of the season.
Woods made changes at halftime as Osadebay replaced Noel and Sean replaced Cuong. The second half started very slowly for Woods as they struggled to keep up the same performance levels shown in the first half however being 6-0 up this was somewhat understandable. An hour into the game Jack picked up a knock and was replaced on the wing by Cuong. Woods were still very much in control and had the majority of possession however they were finding it more difficult to cut open the Manorians defence. On 75 mins after some good work down the left wing Cuong cut in and hit a low shot which the Manorians keeper found too hot to handle and the ball trickled into the net. 7-0 Woods. Keeping a clean sheet was now the priority for Woods however with what was the final attack of the game a Manorians winger broke the Woods defensive line and finished superbly much to the disappointment of Ed in goal.
Squad: E McElduff, C Mang, C Higgins, S Cook, W Tshundi, A Duncan, L Lawler, J Pugh, A Duncan, G Ghaffari, N Brown, S Crossan, G Osedabaye
Scorers: Ghaffari 2, Brown 2, Mang, Pugh, Reidy
MoM: George Ghaffari – 2 goals and an all round super performance.
Old Parmiterians III 5 – 1 OLD WOODS
Saturday 29 October 2016
After defeats in cup competitions in the two previous weeks Woods went into this cup as massive underdogs and knowing a big performance was required to match up against a team who are 5 leagues above them.
Woods started with Fran in goals, a Centre back pairing of Conor & Tim while Stu and Craig took the full back positions. A Centre midfield trio of Cillian, Wilson & Henry while Ernie played the lone striker role supported by wingers Reidy and Cuong.
Although a gap of 5 leagues between the sides Woods started brightly and settled early frustrating the opposition and forcing them into mistakes by pressing them on the ball. The pace of Ernie up top was causing Parmiterians defenders problems while the midfield trio of Cillian, Wilson and Henry provided the platform to quickly turn defence into attack while the guile & trickery of Reidy and Cuong on both wings had the opposition defence backtracking on various occasions. Woods backline were dealing with everything that came at them with relative ease. Woods were now looking comfortable and nearly took a deserved lead when some great work down the right flank ended with Reidy getting his head brilliantly onto a cross but the goal bound header was somehow clawed away by the opposition keeper for a corner.
As Woods continued to push forward in search of the opener they were then caught high up the field and Parmiterians sprung on the counter attack to quickly move down the field and finish a well worked move to take a somewhat undeserved lead. 1-0 to the home side after 30mins. After going behind Woods then rallied superbly and showed great spirit to equalise on the 40min mark when a ball over the top was latched onto by debutant Henry who beat the onrushing keeper to the ball and calmly slotted the ball into the empty net, 1-1. Parity however was short lived for Woods and only 2 mins later the Parmiterians striker broke the offside trap down the right wing and his shot took a wicked deflection of a Woods defender to leave Fran in goal flat footed as he watched the ball nestle into the bottom right hand corner. 2-1 Parmiternians as the referee blew the HT whistle.
Woods came out at the start of the 2nd half with a determination to take this cup tie by the scruff of the neck however tired legs began to tell and with the opposition able to call on fresh legs from the bench Woods went 3-1 down after 55mins. This cup tie was then put beyond Woods with a quickfire double from the home side to make it 5-1. Both goals of real quality particularly the 4th which was an unstoppable strike from all of 30 yards which flew straight into the top corner. Woods created a number of late opportunities to narrow the deficit however it wasn’t to be. All in all a good battling performance from Woods and for the majority of the 90mins it was very hard to tell that 5 divisions separated these two teams.
Squad: F Carragher, C Bull, C Higgins, T Ross, S Cook, H Albert, C Quinn, E Reidy, C Mang, W Tshundhi, E Divendhar
MoM: T Ross – Massive in the middle
OLD WOODS 2 – 0 Old Magdalenians II
Saturday 21 November 2015
OLD WOODS 2 – 7 Queen Mary College OB III
Saturday 24 October 2015
The 3s started the game with a new look back four and a makeshift keeper, along with a number of new faces throughout the squad. The lack of team cohesion was quickly exploited by decisive Queen Mary’s attacks that capitalized on poor marking at set pieces and in the box to give them a 3-0 lead within 15minutes.
However D’ Castro and his men regained their composure with an extended period of pressure that saw good ball retention and a number of chances created. The pressure paid off when Lawler put the game back in contention with his second goal of the season – resulting from a parried shot from Bully.
Despite possibly being the better team on the ball going forward two more defensive lapses at crosses put Queen Mary’s 5-1 up just before the half. A scoreline that was deserved due to the defensive lapses; but probably didn’t do the keeper, Whitworth, justice after a number of great saves.
A few decisive changes made at half time shored up defence with Whitworth coming in at defensive midfield, Crossan coming into central defence.
The second half was a better defensive display, with Crossan proving to be a revelation (watch your backs Day and “Lingerie” Lyne). Though this wasn’t enough to prevent McElduff scoring an own goal that would make any striker proud and Queen Mary’s from scoring a well worked goal to put them 7-1 up.
Having surrendered attacking possession in order to plug holes in the defence Old Woods attack did not look as dangerous in the second half. However Bully curled in a free kick from 25yds out to score a consolation goal.
The game finished Old Woods 2 – 7 Queen Mary’s.
OLD WOODS 3 – 1 Reigatians III
Saturday 17 October 2015
Going into this cup game we started with Ryan in goal with a back four of Simon, Labey, Dan ‘lingerie’ Lynne and Alex. Then a midfield of Jud on the left, Reidy on the right and DC, Mason and Liam in the middle leaving Langton up top in the lone striker role. Badr, Crossan and Brook started on the bench.
The game started off quite scrappy as both teams were trying to take control of the game. It then became clear that Reigatians game plan was very direct and the Woods started to keep the ball well, especially out wide where they continuously found space.
Woods broke the deadlock from a free kick far out on the right side of the pitch. Reidy went to put in a cross and it ended up looping over the keepers head into the top corner. This goal meant the Woods went into half time with the lead.
There were a few changes at half time with Crossan, Brook and Badr all coming on.
With both Brook and Judd staying out wide the Woods managed to stretch the play and started to dominate possession. There was a few good patterns on play from the Woods, one in particular lead to Badr having to roll the ball in from 10 yards but somehow managed to clear the bar.
Then Reigatians managed to grab one back making it 1-1.
The new centre back pairing of ‘lingerie’ Lyne and Labey were looking strong all game and not giving Reigatians any chance of getting near the Woods goal.
The game went into extra time and with a few more substitutions the Woods really started to open up the opposition. It didn’t take long until a “well struck” volley from Liam went straight underneath the Reigatians Keeper. 2-1 Woods!
Then the Woods kept the ball really well and had the game under control. After some good play by Jud and Langton they found Mason all on his own to tap in the third with five minutes to go.
Reigatians had nothing left and the Woods saw the game out comfortably and progressed through to the next round.
A great team performance lead to finally breaking down a solid Reigatians side. A few mentions go out to Labey and Dan at the back who were solid all game and DC and Reidy who continuously ran their socks off.
Mom – Jud
OLD WOODS 1-4 Old Salvatorians III
Saturday 26 September 2015
This cup game always looked tough on paper. Playing a team three divisions above them the Woods started with a line up of Jimmy Fowler in goal, a back four of Ed McElduff, Alex Day, Luuk Baltuseen and Sean Crossan. In the midfield we had a couple of new players in Alex Labey and Gaz Dray playing alongside James ‘Bully’ Young, Jud Walker and James ‘Sweetcheeks’ O’Shea leaving Badr Radi in the lone striker role. Simon Goldring and Liam Lawler started on the bench.
The Woods started well, pressing the opposition and showing them they were going to be no pushovers. After a good solid 20 minutes of pressure Old Salvatorians got lucky as the Woods conceded their second penalty in as many games, despite Luuk getting elbowed in the face. 1-0 Old Salvo.
Despite the opposition being a lot taller than the woods, the equaliser came from a great headed goal by James ‘Sweetcheaks’ O’Shea from a corner. The Woods made a few changes in the second half bringing on Simon and Liam for Ed and Gaz.
Despite a good opening 10 minutes the Woods started to tire which opened up the pitch for the opposition. After a very lucky goal to make it 2-1 to Old Salvo, Jud was put through on goal and rounded off the keeper only to be kicked in the shins. No penalty given!? Old Salvo got their their of the game from some good work out wide and then squaring it into the striker to finish.
Then a moment that Luuk would like to forget but I’m going to mention it anyway. After slowing the striker down and moving him out wide to where he wanted him, the striker squeezed the ball through Luuk’s legs and left him looking around for the ball much to many cheers from both sides. (Sorry Luuk)
The Woods were continuing to battle but the effects of closing down the opposition for a large part of the game was showing. Old Salvo got their fourth in the last couple of minutes of the game to make it 4-1.
It was a good performance for the first hour, proving that the 3XI can hold their own against higher teams but eventually the opposition managed to wear us down and get the win.
Squad: J Fowler, E McElduff, A Day, L Baltuseen, S Crossan, A Labey, J Young, J Walker, G Dray, J O’Shea, B Radi, S Goldring, L Lawler
Scorer: J O’Shea
Mom: J Walker
OLD WOODS 6 – 1 University of Hertfordshire II
Saturday 19 September 2015
With the first game of the season an AFA cup match against a brand new side the 3XI decided to try out a new keeper and new formation.
We started with the new man Jimmy Fowler in goal, a back four of Simon Goldring, Alex Day, Dan Lyne and Captain Chris Achilles, a midfield five of Badr Radi, Sean ‘DC’ D’Castro, James ‘Sweetcheeks’ O’Shea (Editor’s note: I like this nickname how did he get it?!?), Eoghan Reidy and Jud Walker, leaving James Brook in the lone striker role. James ‘Bully’ Young and Sean Crossan started on the bench.
The game started at a high tempo with both teams keeping the ball well. The Woods midfield were working hard and kept finding gaps in behind the Uni of Herts defence to play in Brook. After 20 minutes of resolute defending by Herts this proved the route to breaking the deadlock. A through ball to Brook lead to him rolling the ball through the keepers legs, 1-0.
The Woods grew stronger after, this creating lots of chances, and soon got a second through Eoghan’s fine half volley. From then on Badr and Jud had the beating of the full backs and kept breaking through on goal. About five minutes before the break Woods doubled their lead when Eoghan smashed in from 16 yards.
After half time, The Woods made a couple of changes bringing on Bully and Crossan. The first half possession proved to tire the Herts team with Eoghan grabbing his second and Badr also hitting the back of the net, 4-0.
Brook was reintroduced to the game and within a matter of seconds he too got his second goal of the game.Sweetcheeks was putting in some great set pieces all game and this lead to the 6th with DC getting his head on the end of a free kick.
Then came the highlight of the game. Badr was fouled in the box and a penalty was given. Both Brook and Eoghan were on a hat-trick and Eoghan finally got his way and got to take it. Up he stepped, while be filmed by James and put it wide, costing him his hat-trick and the MOM award. (For anyone that’s wants to see the video I’m sure James will be happy to show it)
Into the last five minutes, Herts Uni had their first opportunity to get a shot at goal after Dan Lyne clearly won the ball in the box but the ref saw it differently. Penalty scored which made it 6-1.
A mention has to go out to Jimmy for his great save in the last minute after being a spectator for most of the game.
Final score: 6-1
Squad: Fowler, S Goldring, Day, Lyne, Achilles, Radi, O’Shea, Reidy, D’Castro, Walker, Brook, Crossan, Young
Scorers: Brook 2, Reidy 2, Radi, D’Castro
MOM: James ‘Sweetcheeks’ O’Shea