Football Features

“Injections and a lot of tablets” – National League Boreham Wood’s FA Cup run ends with painful Everton defeat

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 23:12, 3 March 2022 | Updated: 23:21, 24 November 2022

Everton’s dream to end a near three-decade trophy drought lives on after reaching this season’s FA Cup quarter-final round at Boreham Wood’s expense.

Frank Lampard’s men were made to work by their non-league opponents ultimately running out 2-0 at Goodison Park with Salomon Rondon, making a rare start, registering a brace. His second and third goals for the club. The Toffees reward is meeting fellow Premier League outfit Crystal Palace for a place in the last four.

That forthcoming showdown pits Lampard against former on-field rival Patrick Vieira, both of whom have lifted world football’s oldest national football competition on multiple occasions during their respective illustrious playing careers.

Who are the favourites to win the FA Cup?

  • Man City: the Premier League champions are six-time winners, their last success came in 2019.
  • Liverpool: the newly crowned League Cup winners are chasing an eighth FA Cup triumph, subsequently ending a 16-year wait.
  • Chelsea: only Arsenal (14) and Man Utd (12) have won this competiton on more occassions than the Blues (8).

Boreham Wood came into this evening’s showdown in Merseyside seeking to become the second non-league club to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals in the modern era and greatly frustrated their more illustrious counterpart by going into the interval with the game being a goalless stalemate.

Lampard, who made six changes from last time out, handed Rondon a first start under his leadership and the Venezuelan striker would repay his manager’s faith. Moments after coming agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock — when he met Jonjoe Kenny’s cross but could only head over from six yards out — Rondon, again linking-up with Kenny, snuck the ball past Taye Ashby-Hammond at his near post.

It was the first time in the FA Cup proper this season Boreham Wood conceded; interestingly it came in the 57th minute, and Rondon’s shot also happened to be the 56th shot they had faced. There was a debut for 20-year-old Scottish midfielder Nathan Patterson, but he was hauled off at half-time to make way for the talismanic Richarlison, unfairly or not the Brazilian’s introduction galvanised the hosts. For a moment it looked as if he doubled their lead but his effort, which he didn’t know too much about, was disallowed by VAR for handball.

Technology was again called upon when Rondon, six minutes from time, rose to meet an Andros Townsend corner. Ashby-Hammond grabbed the ball in flight but it had crossed the line much to his disappointment. Technology was again called upon when Rondon, six minutes from time, rose to meet an Andros Townsend corner. Ashby-Hammond grabbed the ball in flight but it had crossed the line much to his disappointment.

Boreham Wood defender, and boyhood Everton fan, Kane Smith saw Rondon’s work up close but it was experiencing playing at Goodison that he’ll cherish forever especially given the ordeal he needed to go through to get on the pitch.

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“We frustrated them and settled in like we thought we would. We defended well but they ran us tired. They moved the ball so well,” he told ITV Sport.

“We stuck to the game plan and frustrated them. We tried pressing but they moved the ball so quickly so it was very hard.

“I had a few injections and a lot of tablets but I just needed to play and I’m glad I got through 70 minutes.

“I knew the fans would give me a great reception but it was outstanding. I cannot thank them enough and that will live long in the memory.”

If anyone exemplified the visitors performance it was him. Lampard, whose immediate focus switches to maintaining the club’s top-flight status, was effusive in praise for Smith and company as well as his centre-forward.

“All credit to them, they made it tough for us. It was a big night for them but we got the job done,” he told BBC Sport.

“There are lots of factors, it was a huge, huge night for them, well deserved and they had a massive support that travelled up. It was the game of their life for some of the players and they gave it their all. They are well coached, well organised and are no fools. If you don’t score early, there may be nerves around the ground and I understand that. Fair play to them, I wish them well going forward.

“Since I came here [Rondon] has not been a starter for me but when you call on him he has qualities. I see it in training. He was patient with his chances and comes in and scores two goals, you need goalscorers on your team, with the position we are in in the league.”