Boreham Wood needed a penalty shootout to overcome a strong Stevenage side, and progress through to the next round of the Herts Senior Cup.

With the game goalless after 90 minutes, the Wood stepped up and confidently struck home four out of five penalties, to seal a 4-3 win.

However, the story of the night was the first team debuts of four PASE Academy players.

Fred Burbidge played the full match, and saved a penalty to help the Wood to the win. There were also debuts for Tarrel Watson-Noel, Jack Gibbs and Cheyce Grant.

In total, there were nine players in the squad, who had came through the Boreham Wood academy, a huge accolade for the club.  

Frank Keita partnered Angelo Balanta in the middle, with Sorba Thomas at right-wing back and Bradley Sach upfront with Shaun Jeffers.

Keita tested the reactions of Chris Day early on in the match, firing a long-range effort at the stopper, who pushed wide.

The PASE players were all looking at home on the Meadow Park pitch, as Thomas received the ball, skilfully twisted around his marker in the area and struck at Day, who held.

Stevenage grew into the match, and Harry Beautyman had their first real chance on goal, he cut through the Wood penalty area, but was battled off the ball by Danny Woodards.

Jeffers launched a powerful half-volley from just outside of the area, but it was pushed wide by Day.

Thomas was looking bright and cut inside onto his right, before fizzling the ball at goal, but Day parried wide.

A bold halfway line attempt from Tom Conlon failed to trouble Burbidge, who caught with ease.

Stevenage did have the ball in the net shortly before half time, following a header from Luke Wade-Slater, but it was ruled out for offside. 

Stevenage returned from the break looking to break the deadlock, but continue to come up short against the host’s defence, with substitute Joe Leslie shooting just wide of the post.

Jack Gibbs then got his moment to shine shortly before the hour mark, coming on in place of Jeffers and slotting into the right-wing back position.

Gibbs was joined shortly after by Tarrel Watson-Noel, who replaced Blair Turgott in midfield. The duo looked instantly at home alongside the first team players, as they done both the academy, and the whole club proud.

Conlon fizzled a strong shot at goal, but it was held by the increasingly confident Burbidge.

The stopper was then forced into another impressive save, pushing Beautyman’s strike past the post with his fingertips.

It was then the turn of Cheyce Grant to make his Boreham Wood debut, as he came on at wing-back for Woodards.

The final chance of the match fell for Paul Benson, but he was unable to turn it in, slipping it just wide of the post, under pressure.

The Wood looked confident stepping up for the penalty shootout in front of the home supporters at the north end.

Sach took the first and scored, after Dale Gorman had missed for Stevenage. Burbidge then saved superbly from Fraser Franks, but Angelo Balanta sent his over.

Further penalties from academy graduates Thomas and Keita, and a fifth from Ryan Johnson, secured the win for the Wood, as they sailed into the next round of the cup.

The Wood: Burbidge, Turley, Woodards (Grant 84), Keita, Johnson, Thomas, Turgott (Watson-Noel 68), Balanta, Benson, Sach, Jeffers (Gibbs 58) 

Subs not used: Pepper, Radu

Stevenage: Day, Slater, Wilmott, Gorman, Franks, Van-Cooten, Conlon, Beautyman, Ofosu (Leslie 45), Georgiu (Goldbourne 89), Ferry

Subs not used: O’Keefe, Taylor, Payne


The Wood: (Pens) 90’ Sach, Thomas, Keita, Johnson

Stevenage: (Pens) 90’ Conlon, Van-Cooten, Beautyman


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