Boreham Wood 2 – 0 AFC Wimbledon
Saturday 8th January 2022
Emirates FA Cup 3rd Round
LV Bet Stadium Meadow Park

WOOD REACH FOURTH ROUND IN HISTORIC VICTORY

History was in the making at the LV Bet Stadium Meadow Park as fifth tier Boreham Wood caused an FA Cup upset, getting beyond the Third Round for the first time after a 2-0 victory over League One side AFC Wimbledon.

Wimbledon dominated the opening stages and very much looked the third-tier side that they are. A quick counterattack after Scott Boden tried to create the Wood’s first opportunity saw Ollie Palmer take control, but his low cross/shot from just outside the box evaded everyone as it went past the far post with just four minutes gone.

Jack Rudoni had his first impact on the game shortly after, but Paul Osew was unable to direct the winger’s cross on target with his headed attempt. The Dons would soon be made to pay, as the Wood struck back in spectacular fashion. With just nine minutes on the clock, Josh Rees threaded a lovely ball through to Tyrone Marsh to run onto, who jinked past Nesta Guinness-Walker and fired a powerful effort from just inside the box across Tzanev and into the side netting, giving the Wood an early lead against all the odds and sending the sold out home support into raptures.

The visitors looked to hit back and put plenty of pressure on the Wood’s defence, but not for the first time this season a back three of Will Evans, Dave Stephens and Jamal Fyfield stood firm against a wave of Dons’ attacks. One of these fell to Luke McCormick who dragged a tame effort wide and he would have been disappointed to not test Taye Ashby-Hammond from a good position.

Rudoni was perhaps lucky not to see red after being cautioned for a late challenge on Kane Smith. Extended spells of possession followed as the Wood grew into the game after taking the lead against the run of play. Marsh looked to terrorise the Dons’ defence once again as he showed some great skill to make his way into the box before being bundled over by Guinness-Walker. The home side wanted a penalty, but the referee disagreed. Chances continued as Josh Rees put a left footed effort over the bar from a pinpoint Mendy Mendy cross, before a lovely move ended with Marsh’s effort from distance being blocked.

Rudoni was once again involved when his deflected cross required Ashby-Hammond to backpedal and claw the ball away from the underside of the bar on the stretch just after the half-hour mark, but this was all the visitors could manage during the latter stages of the first half as a stubborn and resolute Wood defence made life increasingly difficult for Wimbledon. Mafuta struck a powerful effort from distance into the heavens a couple of minutes later, whilst Scott Boden came ever so close to making it two but could only turn Mendy Mendy’s chip into the wrong side of side-netting from a tight angle shortly before the first half came to an end.

A superb second half showing began with Marsh going close just eight minutes after the break, cutting in from the left and sending a drive that was deflected out for a corner. This began an excellent spell for the hosts who went close to doubling the lead on the hour mark with a golden opportunity for Rees. The midfielder was played through by Marsh and put in a great position to shoot, but the move broke down after he tried to cut it back for Boden as Will Nightingale got in the way.

The Wood continued to push for a second though, and some excellent work from Smith saw him beat Mebude’s challenge on the stretch before putting it through Woodyard legs and playing a cross-field pass over to Marsh who eventually won a corner. This preceded another great chance for Marsh to get on the end of a dangerous Mendy Mendy delivery, but Nik Tzanev was able to gather.

Wimbledon would begin to dominate proceedings though as the game entered the final 20 minutes, with lots of the ball in their defensive and midfield zones. A lovely move led to substitute Dapo Mebude playing a low ball into the box, but Ashby-Hammond claimed the delivery calmly. This was a theme throughout the final stages of the game, as Wimbledon attempted cross-after-cross in an effort to break down a stubborn Wood defence, but they remained organised along with the height of Evans, Stephens and Fyfield allowing them to deal with everything that came their way. With just under 15 minutes to go, a dangerous free kick delivery required Ashby-Hammond to take action before substitute Wimbledon’s Kaja drove towards goal and set himself up to shoot, but Fyfield made an important last-ditch challenge and the Wood were able to clear once again.

The pressure would begin to ease as the clock ticked towards 90, but there was just enough time for late drama. As goalscorer Marsh was withdrawn to see out the narrow victory, but it was his replacement Adrian Clifton who made an immediate impact as he met a Mendy Mendy cross and turned a side-footed effort past Tzanev and in off the far post. This was met by a deafening roar from the North Bank who were about to see their team confirm history. Wimbledon were defeated, and as the full-time whistle blew, the extent of this day was evident by the noise the Wood Army continued to create. It is a day that nobody will ever forget.

WE ARE IN THE EMIRATES FA CUP FOURTH ROUND!

Boreham Wood: Ashby-Hammond, Evans, Stephens, Fyfield, Smith, Rees, Ricketts, Mafuta, Mendy Mendy (Raymond 90), Marsh (Clifton 84), Boden (Ranger 90).

Subs not used: Roach, Comley, Smith.

AFC Wimbledon: Tzanev, Osew, Henegan, Guinness-Walker, Lawrence (Nightingale 56), Hartigan, Woodyard, Rudoni (Mebude 63), McCormick (Chislett 79), Assal (Kaja 63), Palmer.

Subs not used: Oualah, Csóka, Marsh, Alexander, Ablade.

Star Man: Tyrone Marsh.

OUR CLUB. OUR TOWN. OUR COMMUNITY.

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