Tue. Jul 5th, 2022
FA Cup

  • Bournemouth 0-1 Boreham Wood
  • National League side into FA Cup fifth round

When Danny Hunter took over as the chairman of Boreham Wood in 1999, he was working in the film industry as a prop master. He won an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love, he was a part of the team that made Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket and there were plenty of James Bonds, too.

Were any of the silver screen dramas as gripping and outlandish as this? In the prickly heat of the moment, surely the greatest in Boreham Wood’s 74-year-history, it felt as though the answer had to be no.

Under the astute management of Luke Garrard, who has been at the helm since October 2015, Boreham Wood have established themselves in the National League, the top tier of the non-league game – and on a relative shoestring. They have gone close to promotion to the Football League, losing the play-off final to Tranmere at Wembley in 2017-18, and they are well-placed for another push this season. But if going up is the “Hoy Grail,” as Garrard has put it, this was La La Land.

Only three times previously have Boreham Wood taken a Football League scalp in the FA Cup – those of Blackpool in 2017-18, Southend last season and Wimbledon in the third round of the competition this time out. Those clubs were in Leagues One and Two.

But in Boreham Wood’s first ever fourth round tie, this was Bournemouth – a club that has designs on promotion into the Premier League, which recruited heavily in January to help them there.

Garrard’s team were deserved winners. They rode their luck at times towards the end, with Scott Parker seeing three of his Bournemouth substitutes go close to the equaliser. Philip Billing blew a one-on-one chance, Ryan Christie saw a shot come back off the crossbar and, at the very last, Dominic Solanke dragged wide.

It did not feel like a siege. Bournemouth monopolised the ball – the statistics showed that Boreham Wood had only 18% of it – but they did not create nearly enough. For long spells, it felt like possession for the sake of possession, sterile domination, and the moment that Boreham Wood had dreamed of came on 38 minutes.

Mark Ricketts – a qualified personal trainer – was a youth team player at Charlton when Parker was a star at the south London club. Here, the 37-year-old, who is doing an Open university course in IT and business, made the difference when he threaded home a low shot from the edge of the area.

The spark had come from Jacob Mendy, the left wing-back, who began his career within the Atlético Madrid youth set-up. He burst to the byline to pull back a low cross, which produced a rushed and unconvincing clearance from the Bournemouth midfielder, Gavin Kilkenny.

Ricketts was waiting and his side-foot went through a crowd, kissed the inside of the post and went in. How the captain celebrated. In the technical area, Garrard tried to show little emotion before he threw the contents of a water bottle up and all over the place´.

Parker’s priority is promotion and he made nine changes to the team that had won at Barnsley in the Championship last weekend. His line-up, which featured two of the January deadline day loanees – Freddie Woodman and Nat Phillips from Newcastle and Liverpool, respectively – still ought to have had enough. But they were too passive in the first-half, fringe players failing to seize their opportunities, and Boreham Wood not only settled easily, they went on to create something that they could protect.

There had been no trace of nerves from Boreham Wood, who have lost only twice this season – most recently on 23 October. And, if anything, it was Woodman who showed them, the goalkeeper playing out a loose pass which almost ushered in Josh Rees in the opening minute.

Mark Ricketts finds the bottom corner. Photograph: Graham Hunt/ProSports/REX/Shutterstock

Boreham Wood’s wing-backs were under orders to push up, with Garrard not wanting to die wondering. Rees worked centrally, in front of the midfield but deeper than the wide attackers, Tyrone Marsh and Scottt Boden.

The boos for Bournemouth were loud when the half-time whistle went. Moments earlier, Lewis Cook had lifted high – Bournemouth’s only real effort of the first-half – to draw an ironic chant from the home crowd. Yes, they had mustered a shot but, more seriously, they were staring at humiliation.

Parker introduced Christie and another deadline day loanee, Todd Cantwell, for the second-half – a sign of his urgency but would it come from his players? Woodman was almost caught out by a Ricketts cross that swirled towards the far corner and Boreham Wood dug in hard at the other end.

Bournemouth pressed on to the front foot and there was an inevitability about how they came on strong in the closing stages. Parker threw on Billing and Jack Stacey and then Solanke, his leading scorer.

The changes made a difference and there were chances but the cutting edge was missing. Billing lobbed high when played through by Christie on 76 minutes and Taye Ashby-Hammond tipped a shot from the latter up and on to the crossbar. Billing headed the rebound against the woodwork but he was offside and it did not matter when Jaidon Anthony put the rebound into the net.

Deep into five nerve-shredding added minutes, Boreham Wood knew they had pulled it off when Solanke dragged his shot past the post. “We’re going to Wembley,” chanted the 1,400 Boreham Wood fans inside the ground. They are actually going to Goodison Park for a fifth round tie against Everton. “It’s unbelievable,” Garrard said. “This is what dreams are made of.”

{{#ticker}}

{{topLeft}}

{{bottomLeft}}

{{topRight}}

{{bottomRight}}

{{#goalExceededMarkerPercentage}}{{/goalExceededMarkerPercentage}}

{{/ticker}}

{{heading}}

{{#paragraphs}}

{{.}}

{{/paragraphs}}{{highlightedText}}
{{#choiceCards}}{{/choiceCards}}

We will be in touch to remind you to contribute. Look out for a message in your inbox in . If you have any questions about contributing, please contact us.

By

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Wizadclick | WAC MAG 2022