The Wood are back on the road this Saturday, January 12 (3pm), when we head to Blyth Spartans, in the Buildbase FA Trophy. Here’s our preview… 

Match Details 

If Segregation is in force, then visiting supporters are accommodated in the Plessey Road Stand, where up to 1,200 fans can be housed.

Team News

Luke Garrard has no fresh injuries to contend with.

The Wood gaffer admitted that the medical team had been nursing a few niggles in training, but with a full week’s work, he expects them all to return.

Form Guide

The Wood drew 4-4 last time out, against Dagenham & Redbridge in the Vanarama National League.

The clash was an excellent advert for non-league football, with six goals before the halfway point.

Wood had taken a three-goal lead thanks to Idris Kanu, Justin Shaibu and Ricky Shakes, in a ruthless attacking display.

However, three home goals in the five minutes, brought Dagenham & Redbridge back on level terms.

The Wood then came back from 4-3 down in the second half, to earn themselves a draw away from home.

Bradley Ash netted his third late goal in four matches, and he will be pushing for a start on Saturday.

The Wood beat Torquay United 3-1 in the previous round of the competition, to earn them an away draw with Blyth Spartans.

Managed by 43-year-old Alun Armstrong, Blyth Spartans are currently on a strong run of form, with eight wins and four draws from their last 12 matches.

They currently sit in eighth place in the National League North, on 38-points. They beat Lancaster City 3-0 in the last round of the FA Trophy.

One to Watch – Robert Dale

A legend amongst the Blyth Spartans faithful, Robert Dale has already surpassed 600 appearances for the club.

“The man, the myth, the legend” as their profiles declare him; Dale recently scored his 200th goal for Blyth Spartans and is second in their list of all-time top scorers.

Making his debut way back in 2005, the hard-working forward is described as a “one of a kind talent in non-league football.”

An experienced striker, the 34-year-old knows where the net is and will be keen to add to his goal tally against the Wood.

From the Dugout – Luke Garrard  

“It is going to be tough, I have done a lot of homework on them and I know that they are unbeaten in 12, and they have won eight of those.

“They are probably top of the form guide in terms of the National North and they have got personnel in there, like Rivers and Holmes either side, and Maguire up top, who I really like.

“I have done my homework and I have organised ourselves in terms of watching them and seeing where we feel their weaknesses are, and where we feel their strengths are.

“Their team talk will be ‘get into them, they have had a long journey, they have travelled up here on the Friday and they have the five and a half hours in their legs’. But for me, it is a game of football, it is 90 minutes, and that is a mindset.

“I feel that if you are prepared, organised and well-drilled, then you give yourselves the best opportunity of progressing.

“We need to make sure that we work at an effort, and make them match us on Saturday, not us match them.”


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