Absolute scenes! Boreham Wood players drench manager Luke Garrard and sing rendition of Teenage Dirtbag in raucous dressing-room celebrations after FA Cup third round win over AFC Wimbledon
- Boreham Wood players celebrated wildly after their win over AFC Wimbledon
- The 2-0 win over the Dons sees Wood in the FA Cup fourth round for the first time
- Wood boss Luke Garrard, who played for Wimbledon, is drenched in the party
Amid a raucous din at Meadow Park, National League promotion hopefuls Boreham Wood saw off League One side AFC Wimbledon to make it through to the FA Cup fourth round for the first time.
Tyrone Marsh and substitute Adrian Clifton scored the goals but the victory was a personal triumph for Wood manager Luke Garrard, who was a Wimbledon player for four seasons in the club’s non-league days.
A delighted Garrard said: ‘I’m on top of the world. I will enjoy tonight and the players will as well, but I don’t even know when the fourth round draw is. I was really proud of them today. I know it’s a cliché but all I’m thinking about is playing Wealdstone on Tuesday.’
Boreham Wood’s 2-0 win means they enter the FA Cup fourth round for the very first time
The club shared footage of raucous celebrations in the dressing room after the historic victory
Garrard has assembled a side unbeaten at home this season and without a defeat anywhere since October. His team reached the third round last season, but lost out on the chance to host Championship side Millwall in front of supporters because of lockdown restrictions.
The Wood faithful responded when a second opportunity presented itself, with 3,501 cramming into a stadium which also plays host to Arsenal Women.
This was no traditional long-ball victory for a non-league side on a muddy pitch. Garrard’s side cleverly exploited gaps.
A clever pass from Josh Rees saw Wood take a ninth-minute lead when Marsh cut a swathe through the middle and found the far corner with a rising finish.
Wimbledon were fortunate not to be reduced to 10 men when Jack Rudoni lunged in on Kane Smith but was shown only a yellow card. A Luke McCormick shot on the run that thudded wide and a deflected Rudoni cross which had keeper Taye Ashby-Hammond spinning backwards to tip away were the sum total of Wimbledon’s efforts.
Boreham Wood goalscorers Adrian Clifton (left) and Tyrone Marsh (right) celebrate at full time
They failed to properly test the home keeper after that near miss.
Dons boss Mark Robinson said: ‘The last thing we needed was to concede an early goal. They were really well organised and we didn’t have enough craft or guile to create enough, which is disappointing.
‘A few players went off and did their own thing, which can happen when you’re young and I need to talk to them about. By contrast they’ve got experienced players, so they knew what they were doing.’
The non-leaguers threatened again as the half progressed. Rees swung a shot wastefully over before Scott Boden found the side netting just before half-time.
Marsh was direct and had confidence and belief surging through his body throughout. The 28-year-old has spent his career flitting between non-league clubs, winning promotion to the EFL with Macclesfield in 2018, but has known nothing like this.
Boreham Wood manager Luke Garrard played more than 100 games for AFC Wimbledon
He drove at the Wimbledon defence whenever the opportunity presented itself. It did again in the 53rd minute when another shot lashed goalwards spun off a Wimbledon boot and needed Nik Tzanev to stretch out to prevent it going in.
Gus Mafuta also went close before Marsh was replaced by former Arsenal striker Clifton with five minutes remaining.
The 33-year-old spent five years in prison after losing his way in life and was another man determined to make up for lost time. He needed just 30 seconds. The skilful Jacob Mendy whose own career began on Atletico Madrid’s books, sent over a cross which Clifton deftly flicked beyond Tzanez.
Cue pandemonium and delight behind one goal contrasted with despair at the other as a thoroughly merited Boreham Wood triumph was assured.