Match Preview | Boreham Wood


Venue: Croft Park, Blyth
Date: Saturday 12th January 2019
Kick Off: 3.00pm


Blyth Live

Adults – £12
Concessions – £7
11-16’s – £5
Under 10’s – FREE with a paying Adult
£2 Stand Transfer Applies

Season Tickets aren’t valid for FA Trophy games.

By Stuart Dick

Alun Armstrong and his side will be looking to go one better than they did last season in the Buildbase FA Trophy as they take on National League opposition and Croft Park.

At this stage last season Spartans hosted Bromley, suffering a 4-1 defeat with a solo Greg Rutherford effort the only bright spot on a tough afternoon for Spartans.

This season we welcome Boreham Wood to Croft Park at the same stage as we look to extend our unbeaten run to 13 games in all competitions. A spot in the last 16 is at stake for both sides, and if the score finishes level, we will face a trip to Boreham Wood on a mid-week trip in the coming weeks.

The Opposition:

Boreham Wood currently sit 13th in the Vanarama National League having taken 38 points from their 29 games – winning nine, drawing 11 and losing 9, but sit just nine points of the play-off places, and 11 points ahead of the relegation zone.

The Wood have already faced National League North opposition this season in the FA Cup first round, losing 2-0 away at in-form Southport, which should give confidence to Spartans.

In round one they overcame National League South side Torquay United – who host former Spartans goalkeeper Shaun MacDonald in a 3-1 win at home, they’ll have to make their longest trip of the season this afternoon.

The tale of the tape:

This will be the first meeting between the two sides.

The Manager:

Luke Garrard started his career as a YTS at Swindon Town, making his full professional debut at 18-years-old against Oldham Athletic on 26th April 2003. He went on to make 17 appearances for the Robins before brief spells at Bishop’s Stortford, Boreham Wood and Northwood. Luke later joined AFC Wimbledon in March 2006.

A cult hero with Wimbledon’s fans, he made over 100 appearances for the club, mainly as a right-back but also occasionally in the centre of midfield. In November 2008, Garrard tore his cruciate ligament during training which kept him out for the rest of that season. From the start of the 2009-10 season, he made only occasional appearances for the Wombles, which saw him re-join the Wood in January 2010.

Luke couples his role as First Team Manager at Meadow Park with his role as the Academy Manager. The 31-year-old was originally an Academy Coach at the Club in 2008, before being promoted to Academy Director in 2012. Luke was the appointed Ian Allinson’s Assistant in 2013, a position he held for two-and-a-half-years. Upon Ian’s Departure in October 2015, Luke was appointed as First Team Manager, with his first game in charge a 1-1 draw away with Guiseley. Luke would steer the Wood away from the relegation zone in the club’s inaugural season in the National League. The side clinched survival on the last game of the season away to already relegated Welling United with a comprehensive 3-0 victory.

Luke’s stock has further risen in the following seasons, having last season taken the Wood to Wembley, for the first time in their history. The side achieved their highest ever league finish, in the National League play-offs, and Garrard steered the Wood to the Promotion Final against Tranmere Rovers, narrowly losing 2-1.

The Key Man:

Danish Under 20’s forward Justin began his career with Danish Division One side HB Koge and even won their Talent of the Year award in 2014, in his breakthrough campaign.

The explosive striker would earn a move to England with Brentford in 2016 and then a callup into the first team just a month later. He started on the bench against Exeter City in the EFL Cup and replaced Emmanuel Ledesma to make his debut.

Following 10 goals in just 18 games for the B team, Shaibu became a regular on the bench for the Bees first team, which earned him a fresh three-year contract. The striker has also spent time on loan in League One with Walsall.

A tall and powerful striker with great pace and energy, Shaibu has stated that he models his playing style on Romelu Lukaku. Has six goals for the club this season.


Spartans Team News and Milestones:

Robert Dale draw level with Eddie Alder as the all-time appearance maker for Blyth Spartans at 625 game if he appears this afternoon.

Dan Maguire is now just one goal away from 150 in a Blyth Spartans shirt. He has netted four goals in two appearances in the competition this season.

Peter Jameson is the only Spartans to have played in every game this season, and in fact has played every minute to date.

Posted by BSAFC Media Team