There are just three games left for Wood to preserve their National League status, starting with a trip to face mid table Aldershot Town this weekend. Without a doubt, recent results mean this is one of, if not the biggest game in the Clubs history to date!
The sides have met on numerous occasions in the past, since Town replaced the former Aldershot club back in 1992. Thirteen meetings have resulted in just two victories for Wood to date in League campaigns, twelve of those in the Ryman League in a period spanning nine seasons, beginning in 1994.
The two sides also fought out a Ryman League Cup Final in the 1997-98 season. Staged at the long defunct Wexham Park, home of Slough Town, the tie went to extra time, with the vast majority of the crowd of over 1600 going home happy, with Non League legend Gary Abbott netting the winner in extra time, his second of the game to cancel out Junior Samuels’ strike for The Wood.
How times have changed since then. Town went on to gain promotion back to the Football League, before returning to the National League in 2014 after a six year absence. It has taken Wood thirteen seasons to catch up with The Shots, since the 2002-3 season saw them go their separate ways, quite literally. Wood were relegated from the Ryman Premier, whilst Town gained promotion the the Conference, romping to the title by a thirteen point margin.
Back to now and the two sides met at Meadow Park back in October and again it was the Shots who were successful, winning 1-0 on the night. Charlie Walker, one of two Shots players to have featured for both sides got the only goal. The former Luton Town player, who gained notoriety at Peacehaven and Telscombe is the sides top scorer with twelve goals to his name. Omar Beckles, who enjoyed two loan spells with Wood is also a regular starter for the Shots.
Both sides have struggled to achieve anywhere near their best this campaign. The Shots recovered from two straight home defeats to do Wood a big favour in getting a 2-0 win up at Halifax in their last outing. They boast fourteen clean sheets this season, but have won just seven games at the Recreation Ground. However eight wins on the road means Manager Barry Smith can already plan for life in the National League next season, a luxury that Luke Garrard and his side will have to work incredibly hard for!
The atmosphere is sure to play a part given the large a vocal following of the home side on an afternoon where the result will have a massive bearing on the next two weeks and hopefully the next year for Boreham Wood Football Club!
Vanarama National League.
Aldershot Town v Boreham Wood.
Saturday April 16th, kick off 3pm.
The EBB Stadium.