Boreham Wood FC’s Under 16’s beat Broxbourne Borough to win its first silverware of the season with a 1-0 victory in the EJA Cup Final at Billericay Town FC.
The EJA Cup is a cup competition inclusive of all EJA sides across all sections within the age group. Having already between London section champions Bishops Stortford 9-0, Billericay Town 3-1 and Brentwood Town 2-1, ‘Wood’ faced Herts sections rivals Broxbourne Borough in a eagerly anticipated match up.
With both sides 1st and 2nd respectively in the Herts section of the EJA, and Broxbourne narrowly beating ‘Wood’ on the 1st game of the season back in September, the game was always going to be a tight and tense encounter.
With all the pre-match niceties over and done with, the two sides took centre stage and the first final of the season began. Broxbourne as anticipated looked to implement their passing and possession style of play onto the game, with some smart passages of play around the back four and midfield without any real threat put on ‘Wood’ goalkeeper Fred Burbidge’s goal.
As Broxbourne continued to force their passing style on a bare and bobbly Billericay pitch, ‘Wood’ saw the opportunity to press high up the park and play in Broxbourne’s half. This pressure paid off midway through the 1st half, as ‘Wood’ pressed intensely in the midfield, winning the ball back before releasing talisman Benjy Aghadiuno through on goal.
Benjy still had a defender and goalkeeper to beat, but with the call from the Broxbourne bench “He’s all left, keep him on his right,” Benjy took it upon himself to put the shift the ball onto his right ball and riffle it into the top right hand corner of the net. 1-0.
‘Wood’s’ midfield and defense continued to press and win important headers and tackles in the centre of the park. Clear cut chances from Alex Morgan and Daniel Creese at the back end of the 1st half gave ‘Wood’ the opportunity to double its advantage, but both chances were squandered and ‘Wood’ took its 1-0 lead into the interval.
The 2nd half was much of the same with Broxbourne again passing the ball across the back four and midfield, however time after time they were met with ‘Wood’s’ resilient youngsters led by centre back partnership Jack Gibbs and Alex Radu forcing them back towards their own goal and away from danger. ‘Wood’ again had the best of the 2nd half chances with a stonewall penalty claim from Alex Morgan turned down and Benjy Aghadiuno smashing a volley off the crossbar.
The ‘Wood’ youngsters professionally saw out the remaining embers of the game to clinch its first title of the season. ‘Wood’ have an important last 3 weeks of the season, taking on Cheshunt in the Herts County Cup Final in Sunday, 10th April, as well as having 4 league games in that period as they look to clinch the League and Cup treble in just their first season together.
‘Wood’ Under 16 Manager Cameron Mawer said “I’m so thrilled with the win and the performance today. After playing Broxbourne on the first game of the season and losing narrowly 2-1, I was unsure how we would do this season as it was our first year together but today we have come full circle. Since we have won 22 out of 23 matches, putting us 4 points clear at the top of the League and in 2 Cup finals and we secured our first bit of silverware today with the win against a very good Broxbourne side.”
“We now have 5 more Cup finals remaining with all to play for. We take on back-to-back County Cup Champions Cheshunt in the County Cup Final next week, as well as 4 League fixtures. All credit though goes to the boys for putting in an immense amount of effort all season to put themselves in the hunt for the treble and although it is a tall feat I really hope they can pull it off, as they deserve it.”