Wrexham vs Boreham Wood
Tuesday 8th March 2022, KO 7.45pm
The Racecourse, Vanarama National League
This evening, Wood return to North Wales to take on Wrexham for a second time in less than a month, looking to make amends for our defeat to the Dragons three weeks ago in the FA Trophy.
The Dragons have enjoyed a fantastic streak in recent weeks; winning 12 and losing just two of their last 15 games to move them up to third in the National League table.
Wood come into the fixture fresh off a historic week after appearing at a Premier League ground in the FA Cup Fifth Round, but are now able to turn all their attention back to their league exploits, as they look to make up ground on those above them, with the opportunity to leapfrog their opponents.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
A product of the Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers academies, Aaron Hayden joined the latter at the age of 16 after four years at Stamford Bridge to become a scholar at Wolves, and got his first taste of senior action two years later when he agreed a one-month loan deal with Newport County.
He enjoyed further temporary moves to Hemel Hempstead Town and Bromley but saw the latter one cut short due to injury before he had a chance to feature for the Ravens. Nonetheless, the defender extended his new contract at Molineux in the summer of 2017 and continued gaining valuable experience out on loan, joining AFC Telford and Stourbridge Town, the latter being over two separate spells. He became a regular starter playing either at centre back or right back, and helped the club to win the Birmingham Senior Cup for the first time in 50 years in 2018.
His performances for Stourbridge caught the eye of League One side Carlisle United, who signed him on a permanent deal to end his time in the West Midlands after six years. He played 73 times while in Cumbria and secured the role of vice-captain in his second season, before joining Wrexham ahead of the 2021/22 campaign, where he has been a regular with 30 appearances in all competitions. Aaron has recently been called up by England C for their upcoming friendly against Wales C later this month.
Born in Plymouth, Luke Young joined the academy of local side Plymouth Argyle as a nine-year old, where he worked his way through the age groups to play reserve team football while he was still a schoolboy. He would sign a full-time scholarship with the club and after featuring heavily for the Under-18 side between 2008 and 2011, he was promoted to the first team where he made his senior debut at the age of 17 as a late substitute in a League One match with AFC Bournemouth, a week after being an unused substitute when he appeared on the bench for the first time.
He made his first start on his 18th birthday before signing his first professional deal the following summer, going on to become a more regular fixture in the Pilgrims team. His 28 appearances would see him win Young Player of the Season, with his first goal also coming in the same campaign and enjoyed three successful years in the Plymouth first team that brought 108 appearances.
He left Home Park in 2014 to join Torquay United, where he was a mainstay for much of his time at Plainmoor with 133 appearances over four seasons and won Player of the Season for his performances in both the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons. The latter saw the Gulls relegated to the National League South though and he subsequently departed Devon, joining Wrexham where he has become a key part of the team playing in the heart of the midfield and was promoted to club captain ahead of the current campaign, with his 155 appearances making him a viable candidate for the armband.
Striker Ollie Palmer graduated from the Woking academy with loan spells at St Albans City and Boreham Wood preceding his permanent departure from the Cards. He joined Havant & Waterlooville, finishing the 2012/13 season as the Conference South joint top scorer with 25 goals and was also named Player of the Year.
His form saw him earn a move to newly promoted League Two club Mansfield Town where he scored five goals in his debut campaign before doubling his tally in his second to hit double figures. A loan spell at Grimsby Town preceded his time with the Stags, scoring eight goals to help the Mariners reach the 2015 play-offs with Palmer starting in the final. Further spells with Leyton Orient and Lincoln City sandwiched a loan spell at Luton Town, with whom he helped reach the League Two play-offs, featuring in the FA Trophy final for Lincoln after being named in the Team of the Tournament.
Two years at Crawley Town brought 30 goals in 76 appearances, before signing for AFC Wimbledon and netting vital goals to help them stay in League One. His 18 months in South London came to an end in the 2022 January transfer window, departing for North Wales to join aspiring National League side Wrexham, who broke their record transfer fee to secure the services of the 30-year-old target man.
LAST TIME WE MET
Wrexham 3-0 Boreham Wood
Saturday 12th February 2022
The Racecourse, Buildbase FA Trophy 5th Round
Wood finally fell to defeat at the hands of Wrexham after going 17 games without losing, a run that included a historic victory over AFC Bournemouth the week before.
Goals from Ollie Palmer, Jordan Davies and Aaron Hayden was enough to see the Dragons knock the visitors out of the Buildbase FA Trophy at the Fifth-Round stage, after a below-par display from Luke Garrard’s men saw them unable to compete at their usual standards.
Wood had the better of the opening stages without making their dominance count, and a scrappy game overall meant chances as a whole were at a premium. It was Davies who had the hosts’ first shot of the match on 18 minutes when he struck over from distance, perhaps summing up the early part of the game. However, just a minute later Palmer gave Wrexham the lead when the former Wood loanee headed home a deep Callum McFadzean cross.
Danilo Orsi had the ball in the back of the net just two minutes later only to see it chalked off for offside, before Davies settled the contest shortly before the half-hour mark with a fantastic curling strike that gave Taye Ashby-Hammond no chance. Wrexham refused to ease the pressure as the game reached half time, with Palmer heading against the post and Daniel Jarvis coming close to meeting a dangerous Luke Young cross.
The second half started without much change as the hosts continued their domination, with Palmer nearly adding a third. Wood had their best chance of the game when Tyrone Marsh volleyed wide after meeting Dave Stephens’ flick-on, but Hayden was on hand to wrap up the scoring when he headed past Ashby-Hammond to finally secure a third, and progress into the Fourth Round of the FA Trophy.
HOW TO WATCH
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