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National League Boreham Wood dump Dons out of FA Cup

By January 8, 2022No Comments

Tyrone Marsh and Adrian Clifton fired National League side Boreham Wood into the FA Cup fourth round for the first time in their history.

Marsh’s spectacular first-half goal and Clifton’s late strike, moments after coming off the bench, secured a 2-0 victory and one of the shocks of the third round against League One AFC Wimbledon.

The Dons, who in their previous incarnation caused probably the biggest upset of them all when they beat Liverpool in the 1988 final, for once found themselves on the wrong end of a cup surprise.

It was a memorable afternoon for Wood and their manager Luke Garrard, who as a player made more than 100 appearances for Wimbledon and helped them to two promotions, as he ended up dumping his old club out of the competition.

Although 34 league places separated the two sides, the visitors are enduring a pretty underwhelming season while Boreham Wood are pushing for promotion to the Football League.

Nevertheless, the Dons threatened first when Ollie Palmer, with three FA Cup goals to his name this season, fired across goal and wide before Paul Osew headed over.

But Wood, unbeaten at home this season, took the lead with a classy Marsh strike after 10 minutes.

A through-ball from Josh Rees split the Wimbledon defence and sent Marsh racing through on goal.

The 28-year-old former Macclesfield and Stevenage forward had to check his run and cut inside Nesta Guinness-Walker before lashing a powerful shot into the far corner.

Wood reached the same stage of the competition last season but their defeat by Millwall was played in front of no fans, so the majority of the 3,500 crammed into Meadow Park enjoyed this goal all the more.

Wimbledon almost fluked an equaliser when Jack Rudoni’s cross flicked off Kane Smith and looped towards the top corner, forcing on-loan Fulham goalkeeper Taye Ashby-Hammond to scramble back and tip the ball over.

But Wood could have gone in 2-0 up at the break after Jacob Mendy’s cross was flicked into the side-netting by Scott Boden.

After the break the rain began teeming down to soak the already glum away fans in the uncovered south stand, while it was the home side who looked more likely to score the game’s second goal.

It came with four minutes to go, Mendy providing the cross for Clifton, who had been on for a matter of seconds, and he flicked home at the near post to seal a deserved win.

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