The Wood continue their National League campaign this Saturday, September 1 (3pm), when we welcome Braintree Town to Meadow Park. Here’s our preview…
Tickets will be available to purchase on the gates, on the day of the game. Ticket prices are as follows: Adults £19; OAPS £14, under 16’s £9 and under 12’s £5.
These prices are to sit or stand. The West and East stands are seated, and the North and South stands are standing.
The match will not be segregated, and the nearest public car park is stationed in Brook Road and adjacent to stadium.
Luke Garrard has no fresh injury concerns going into the game.
Justin Shaibu and Ryan Huddart have trained all week and Luke Garrard expects to have them available for selection again against Braintree Town.
The Wood enjoyed a successful Bank Holiday Weekend, with two wins from two matches.
Garrard’s side came from behind against Halifax Town 1-0, to win 2-1, thanks to a brace from on-loan Charlton Athletic striker Joshua Umerah.
This was followed up by another come from behind victory, when Angelo Balanta and Umerah netted in a 2-1 win over Maidstone United on the Monday.
Three goals in two games for Umerah has gotten the forward well and truly off the mark and he will hope to add to his tally in the coming games.
The win lifted the Wood up to 12th place in the National League table.
Managed by former Enfield Town boss Bradley Quinton, Braintree were promoted through the National League South Play-offs last season, securing them an instant return to the top tier of non-league football.
Braintree have drawn twice, and lost five of their opening five fixtures, but that included a well-fought draw against Barnet, away from home.
One to Watch – Billy Crook
Known for his goal scoring nous from midfield, Crook pulls the strings from the middle for Quinton’s side.
He also played under Quinton at Enfield Town, when he scored 17 goals and provided 17 assists, and was named as the Players’ Player of the Season, Supporters’ Player of the Season, Manager’s Player of the Season and Golden Boot winner.
The battle between Crook and the Wood’s midfield will be a key one on Saturday.
From the Dugout – Luke Garrard
“They are a new side to the level, so I am trying to get to grips with their personnel.
“I don’t really know Bradley Quinton as a manager, but I know that he done ever so well at Enfield and that his first job at Braintree was to get them promoted and he delivered on that.
“For me, it is about continuing the work that we have done, we know exactly what I am asking for and how we are going to go about our business.
“We had a good session today and we have got a big session tomorrow in prep for Saturday, so yeah, we are no fools and we know that it is going to be a tough test.
“Every game that they are in – if you look at Chesterfield which was 1-0, the game against Havant 4-3, the game away at Barnet 1-1 – it is not threes and fours, it is very much close ties. It is very much getting to grips with the level.
“It is 11-v-11 come Saturday. So, if we are not ready and we are not prepared, and if we maybe feel like we have done enough during the Bank Holiday weekend, then we are probably not going to get the rewards we want.
“But, if we go about our business like we should do and if we are prepared and we are organised and if we have the mentality to go and put on another performance, like we did up at Maidstone, then yeah, I believe we may have a positive result.”