With the 2018/19 Emirates FA Cup First Round Proper on the horizon, we take a look at the story of last year, and how your incredible support took us on a historic journey. 

Our FA Cup journey began with local rivals St Albans City, with not just a place in the First Round at stake, but local bragging rights as well.

Boreham Wood would need make the short nine-mile journey to Clarence Park for the exciting tie, which was featured live on the BBC Sport website.

Luke Garrard had enjoyed great success with the 3-5-2 formation so far that campaign and stuck with his tried and tested, as Angelo Balanta returned behind strikers Shaun Jeffers and Bruno Andrade up top.

The scoring was opened as early as the 13th minute, when Tom Gardiner hauled down Jeffers in the penalty area. Andrade stepped up and confidently slotted past Dean Snedker from the spot. 

The away side would have a second before the half-way point, with Andrade’s strike partner Jeffers twisting a powerful effort past Snedker via a deflection from his defence.

Pushing hard for a way back into the tie, St Albans were struggling against the power of their National League opponents.

Andrade was one of the division’s in-form players and ensured that he would be causing Ian Allinson’s defence nightmares for weeks when he netted the Wood a third.

A superb threaded pass from Jeffers was met by the on-running ‘Portugeezer’, who rounded the goalkeeper and tucked home his second of the afternoon in-front of the noisy travelling Wood Army.

The home side would get a consolation goal in the 66th minute through Zane Banton, but it was too little too late as the Wood sealed a First Round place.

The FA Cup draw was made, and it would be an illustrious one. Former FA Cup winners, in the famous Stanley Mathews Final, Blackpool.

It wasn’t long before that Blackpool were playing in the Premier League and for the Wood Army, the magic of the FA Cup was in full throttle.

The Hertfordshire based side had never beaten a Football League outfit in their rich 70-year history and were desperate to re-write the books.

Chances were few and far between in a tense first half, but Blackpool finally broke the deadlock shortly after the hour mark. Chelsea academy graduate Danny Philliskirk beat his marker and latched onto a well-timed through ball, before slotting past Grant Smith in the Boreham Wood goal.

Hearts were sinking around Meadow Park, but belief remained and Garrard made an incisive double change, with Blair Turgott and Dan Holman both entering the field.

It wasn’t long before the pair had an impact. Turgott broke into the area and Kane Smith darted down the right-wing with the ball. Spotting the run of Turgott, Smith pulled it back into the box and he swept it past Ryan Allsop to the elation of the home crowd.

Belief coursed through the side and suddenly they all believed. The Wood Army roared and Garrard urged his men forward.

Andrade drove a free kick into the hands of Allsop and Smith then crossed low into the box, but Holman as unable to flick past the stopper.

With just minutes remaining the winner did come. Andrade’s corner was headed across the box by David Stephens and Holman snuck in at the back post to poke the ball past Allsop.

The home supporters had been incredible all match and refused to contain their excitement as they poured onto the Meadow Park pitch.

The Wood were invited to the Second Round draw at Slough Town’s Holloway Park stadium, with manager Luke Garrard and defender Dean Wells attending.

A tense wait ensued with the Wood’s ball drawn out last and it was to be Coventry City away, at the Ricoh Arena.

Again, the Wood Army travelled in their numbers for what would be a historic occasion. And, Dan Holman and Blair Turgott came into the starting eleven, following their heroics in the last round.

The Wood started as the better of the two teams and had the League Two men back-peddling for much of the first half.

Their best chance of the half came shortly after the 20-minute mark, when the ball fell for Andrade who drove it powerfully at Lee Burge, but it was blocked wide. The ball was recycled and picked up by Kane Smith on the edge of the area, he dinked it at goal, but Burge caught.

Against the run of play, Coventry opened the scoring. Grant Smith made an excellent first save from Marc McNulty, but was powerless to prevent the rebound being struck home by Duckens Nazon.

Despite the host’s opener, the Wood remained on top. Turgott turned his marker and sent Andrade through, but his shot was blocked at the death by Ryan Haynes.

The resulting corner was sent in by Andrade, and Burge could only punch it as far as Shakes, but the wing-back knocked it over the bar, with an overhead kick.

The Wood had pushed forward and were caught on the counter by the Sky Blues. A lofted ball forward was met by McNulty, who lifted it over the top of Smith and into the left corner.

The two sides then returned from half-time knowing the next goal was crucial and that strike came as early as the 48th minute.

With the Wood on the attack, Coventry countered and Joradn Shipley broke into the box to meet a low cross, and sneak it in from close range.

Despite the harsh score line, the Wood Army remained in full song at the Ricoh Arena until the final whistle, having turned out in their numbers to support the side.

The journey may have ended at Coventry, but the memories would live with them forever.


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