Weymouth v Boreham Wood
Saturday 21st August 2021, 3.00pm
Bob Lucas Stadium, Vanarama National League
Match Preview written by Aaron Bennis (BWFC Media Assistant)
This Saturday, Wood kick-off their 2021/22 National League campaign with a trip to Dorset to tale on Weymouth.
The Terras enjoyed a successful 2020/21 season, building on their promotion from the National League South with a comfortable league finish in 18th, eight points above the drop zone.
Wood on the other hand are looking to improve on their 14th place finish last time out.
2020/21 SEASON REVIEW
Weymouth have enjoyed two wonderful campaigns over the last two years, achieving back-to-back promotions from the Southern League Premier Division and then the National League South. This meant they would face a season filled with fight and bravery as they would be expected to battle against the drop. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the non-league to the extent that the sixth tier was declared null and void as well as relegation removed, an 18th place finish made this irrelevant. They were comfortable and ended the season eight points above 21st, with highlights including a win over eventual promotion winners Hartlepool and a 4-0 thumping of relegation rivals Wealdstone. They will be excited to welcome fans back into the Bob Lucas Stadium to urge them onto another successful survival campaign.
Wood faced a 14th place finish in the 2020/21 campaign and will be keen to go one better this time around. Following a second play-off attempt in three seasons fans were looking forward to another high finish but alas, it wasn’t to be. A 12-game unbeaten run included just two wins and massively hindered their chances at getting into the top seven again, ending the season with four defeats in seven. It wasn’t all doom and gloom, however. An FA Cup run has eluded Wood throughout their history, going furthest in 2017 with a second round appearance after a famous victory over league side Blackpool. A weaker opponent at the same stage last season allowed for a better chance at going further, doing so with a comfortable 3-0 win over Canvey Island. Championship outfit Millwall awaited in the club’s first ever third round appearance. Blighted by the lack of fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the main talking point going into the upcoming season is their return, and is something bound to help Wood get over the line and improve on their mid-table finish last time out.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Former AFC Bournemouth centre back Tyler Cordner signed for Weymouth last month after his release from the Cherries. Born in Southampton, the 22-year old enjoyed his first experience of senior action when he joined Havant & Waterlooville on loan, making 34 appearances during the 2018/19 season. The following campaign saw him briefly play in front of Wood keeper Nathan Ashmore, playing 21 times on loan at Ebbsfleet United before further temporary spells at Scunthorpe United and Southend United during 2020/21, with 17 and 14 appearances respectively. The highly rated defender was released from Bournemouth following their failed attempt at returning to the Premier League and made the short trip south to the Bob Lucas Stadium ahead of 2021/22.
Starting his career in the Southampton academy, Josh McQuoid was released after just a year and joined AFC Bournemouth’s youth system, progressing through the ranks to make his first team debut in 2007 as a substitute in a 2–0 home win over Doncaster Rovers. He played a part in the Cherries’ miraculous survival at the end of the 2008/09 season in which they began the season with a -17 points deduction, before playing more regularly during the 2009/10 season and scoring his first professional goal in a 4-0 victory against Port Vale that secured the club’s promotion to League One. He began a superb run of goalscoring form following Brett Pitman’s departure, being deployed as a striker as opposed to his usual place on the wing and scored five goals in four games as well as two hat-tricks in a week in successive games against Tranmere Rovers and Walsall.
His form earnt a move to the Championship with a loan move to Millwall, joining permanently in January after just a couple of months in South East London. However, he tore a ligament just a week later and saw his time at the Den plagued with injuries. He linked back up with Eddie Howe after joining Burnley on loan before returning to Bournemouth ahead of the 2012/13 season, helping the side win promotion from League One. He made just one appearance during the following campaign due to injury and dropped back into League One with a loan move to Peterborough United for the second half of the season, where he was awarded the first winner’s medal of his career after coming out victorious in the 2014 Football League Trophy final, in which McQuoid scored the opener. He was loaned out again for the first half of 2014/15, joining Coventry City, but was released from his parent club at the end of the season. Luton Town was his next destination, where he was a regular until suffering a setback in January when he required surgery on his knee. He subsequently struggled to break into the team during the following season and had brief loan spells with Stevenage and Torquay United, remaining in the National League on a permanent basis after leaving Luton by mutual consent midway through the 2017/18 season. He signed a contract until the end of it with Aldershot Town.
A return to Dorset was on the cards in the summer of 2018, arriving at Weymouth and helping the side achieve back-to-back promotions from the Southern League Premier Division and the National League South, as well as playing a key role in their survival in the National League Premier last time out. McQuoid was named captain in July 2019.
A physical, no-nonsense striker, Ben Thomson has plied his trade in Dorset since the summer of 2015 after a spell with Frome Town. He struggled for success with the Robins, with just 18 goals for the club but saw a change in fortunes following his move to Weymouth. In his debut season, Thomson fast became a firm fan’s favourite with 14 goals making him the club’s top scorer, and maintained a healthy scoring record throughout the next few seasons. He contributed to the Terras’ success as they achieved back-to-back promotions, with 17 goals in the 2018/19 Southern League Premier Division and a further eight in the 2019/20 National League South.
LAST TIME WE MET
Weymouth 1-3 Boreham Wood
Tuesday 18th May 2021
Bob Lucas Stadium, National League Premier
Goals from Tyrone Marsh, Kane Smith and Corey Whitley was enough to secure victory for Wood in front of a small returning crowd at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
It was a dominant first half display from the away side. Kabongo Tshimanga went close just three minutes in before Jamal Fyfield did similar moments later. A deserved lead was taken midway through the first period though. Tshimanga was forced wide after being put through on goal but he recovered well to pick out Marsh who buried his shot in the back of the net. Smith doubled their lead shortly after with a wonderful strike that went in off the post. Weymouth began to grow into the game after the break with an improved second half performance, testing Nathan Ashmore for the first time after Andrew Dallas beat the offside trap. This was just a sign of things to come as the hosts were able to cut the deficit in half just after the hour mark, with a bullet header from Jake McCarthy giving them a glimmer of hope and a route back into the game.
Weymouth continued to pile on the pressure with two great chances to equalise, but Wood were able to hold off and extend their lead once again Whitley. As the clock ticked towards 85 minutes a brilliant run and pass from Kieran Murtagh found Whitley, who expertly finished past Ethan Ross to add a third goal. This brought Luke Garrard’s side back to winning ways after a defeat to Wrexham just three days prior, with a fine performance making it three victories in four games.
PRE MATCH WORDS
HOW TO WATCH
Due to the updated government guidelines, both home and away fans are now able to enter the Bob Lucas Stadium to watch the game live. All tickets need to be purchased online in advance to receive a £2 discount.
Alternatively, you can keep up with the action via our Twitter and Instagram pages, where there will be regular updates throughout the course of the match.
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