Tom and Jerry? It Must Be Boxing Day At Meadow Park!
Boreham Wood v Bishops Stortford Match Preview,
by John Mead.
History shows these two sides have enjoyed a cat and mouse relationship that Tom and Jerry would be proud of!
In 1977-1978 we swapped places after our first ever promotion to the top flight of the then Isthmian League was mirrored by Stortford’s simultaneous relegation.
Two years later in 1980-1981 they won promotion to rejoin us, a brief encounter as we suffered relegation the following season!
In 1991-1992 they again came back down to join us in Division One for just two seasons, before again winning promotion. We must have missed them as we replicated the feat the following year!
We enjoyed four seasons of sparring in the Ryman Premier until 1998-1999 season, when Stortford were again relegated. Of course it was hard living without them so we got ourselves relegated the following season!
We were to spend just one season together in Division One as we won promotion at the first attempt, even though we were whipped 0-3 and 4-0 by our visitors that year! Bizarrely Stortford found life without us difficult and went back up winning promotion twelve months later.
After a brief “re-reunion” for just one season in the Ryman Premier we were again relegated. It was poor timing as the end of the following season 2003-2004, heralded the introduction of the second tier of the Conference League, with our visitors taking up a spot in the new League, where they have remained ever since.
It was therefore a great feeling when back in September 2010 after gaining promotion for the first time ever to the Conference League we finally met up again, this time in the Conference South. However we lost both games that season too, before geography got in the way and The Blues were moved across to the northern half of the Division.
Last season we re-engaged in some style. The home fixture, our first against The Bishops in three seasons ended in a 2-2 draw, before a trip to Woodside Park last December featured three penalties, two sending offs for Wood and above all a memorable 1-3 victory. It was of course poignant that we then met in the Final of the Herts Senior Cup last April, a game that we won on penalties after a 120 minutes of football left the two sides locked at 1-1.
Back to this season and Rod Stringer’s side are currently 17th in the table. However they recorded their first League win in six on Saturday, defeating in form Concord Rangers 3-1. Other recent notable results include a draw at home to our slayers of last Saturday, Eastbourne Borough and a narrow defeat at Bromley where they lost by the odd goal in five.
As Wood Manager Ian Allinson is well aware, “ There are no poor sides in this League and we are there to be shot at given our current position in the table.”
The visitors will be doing their very best to affect our league position and it will be a titanic battle on Boxing Day.
In the words of The Gaffer, “ Every game will be like a Cup Final now,” and given these two sides ‘ history that statement has extra meaning.
The people of Boreham Wood are urged to give yourselves a Christmas treat and get down to Meadow Park this Boxing Day for the 3pm kick off. It promises to be a highly charged affair and an experience that may well lead you to take up Non League Football as a New Years Resolution!
Tom or Jerry, you decide!
Merry Christmas One and All!
Vanarama Conference South.
Meadow Park, Broughinge Road, Borehamwood.
Boreham Wood v Bishops Stortford, Friday December 26th, kick off 3pm.