The under 19 Academy boys have had two days to remember as on Wednesday afternoon they overcame a battling AFC Halifax side in the National League Under 19 Play Offs.
The boys had to battle hard as they had to come from two goals down to secure a place in the semi-final less than 24 hours after securing the ECFA National Cup.
The play offs is made up of all ten regional winners of the National League U19s, this saw the Wood drawn in the 1st round against Halifax, who won their league by 8 points. Halifax who knew the boys had an ECFA cup final the day before refused to move the game to an alternative day, were determined to use their superior energy levels as an advantage.
All the celebrations from 24 hours ago were soon forgotten as against the run of play Halifax scored 2 quick fire goals to put themselves in the driving seat to progress. However the young side are made of stern stuff. They re-grouped and for the remaining 60 minutes put in a performance to be proud of, which had everything quality, character, guts, and determination. Ezra Bolt calming slotted in from a free kick just before the break to give the boys hope of staging a comeback.
The second half begin with the Halifax keeper making two fantastic saves from Frank Keita, but the pressure on the Halifax goal soon told as Yves Kpemow entered the game. Just as he did in the National Cup semi final he found himself bearing down on goal and he slotted home to level the score.
From then on their only looked one winner, as Halifax tried to cling on and take the game to penalties, but pressure told as a Keita weighted a excellent pass into the path of Alex Morgan who capped off making his first team debut earlier this week, with a rifle into the bottom corner to send the wood through and they’re tired players into a Quarter Final clash AFC Hornchurch on Monday.
Under 19s Manager Cameron Mawer commented after the win “This crop of boys continue to show what they are about, to play a final at 2pm then play a play off the next day at 3pm and put that sort of effort in is something really special. They have a fantastic bond as a group because at two nil down many sides would have folded, but they came back stronger. We now have 4 days until another busy week starts and we had some really tired young men in the changing room so all about rest and recovery before Monday”