London (AFP) – Boreham Wood boss Luke Garrard hailed his “incredible” non-league minnows after they shocked Championship side Bournemouth with a 1-0 win in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday.
Mark Ricketts’ first half goal at Dean Court sent Boreham Wood into the fifth round for the first time as they demonstrated the FA Cup’s renowned knack for producing stunning upsets.
Boreham Wood, currently in fifth place in the fifth tier National League, are the lowest ranked team left in the competition.
But Bournemouth, third in the Championship, paid the price for a lethargic display that suggested they were prioritising their push for promotion back to the Premier League.
Boreham Wood, yet to concede a goal in this season’s FA Cup, will face Frank Lampard’s Everton in the last 16 at Goodison Park.
Boreham Wood chairman Danny Hunter had to remortgage his house to help the club keep going during the coronavirus lockdown.
Their emotional journey from the brink of financial ruin to FA Cup glory reduced Garrard to tears of joy during the post-match celebrations.
“I’m on top of the world, the emotions at the minute are incredible. I’m going to get emotional, they are unbelievable these boys,” Garrard said.
“I was buzzing we scored the goal and I was quite content if we lost 4-1 or 5-1, just because I saw our crowd go mental.
“We rode our luck. To go and finish that and have the scenes we did towards the end was incredible.
“I love Frank Lampard. To be able to pit my wits against him, it hasn’t sunk in yet.”
– ‘Absolutely massive’ –
After sixth-tier Kidderminster Harriers came within seconds of knocking out West Ham before eventually losing in extra-time on Saturday, Boreham Wood proved FA Cup underdogs can still have their moment in the spotlight.
Despite their lowly status, Boreham Wood were by far the more threatening team in the first half and they drew first blood in the 38th minute.
Ricketts slotted his low shot in off the post after Bournemouth could only clear a cross to the edge of the area.
It was only the 37-year-old’s second goal in over 200 appearances, with the Boreham Wood captain needing injections just to play in the game after a recent injury.
“It’s huge, absolutely massive,” Ricketts said. “I knew the adrenaline would help and drive me through the game and it definitely did.
“Coming into this game there was a lot of interest in the club and the community, and now to go away to Goodison Park there will be even more interest drummed up in the club and I think it’s fantastic.”
Philip Billing should have equalised in the second half when he burst through on goal, only to lob his shot onto the roof of the net.
Bournemouth left their top scorer Dominic Solanke on the bench until the last 14 minutes and his belated arrival came too late to rescue the Cherries.
Boreham Wood keeper Taye Ashby-Hammond made a superb double save to preserve the lead as he kept out Ryan Christie’s shot and Billing’s follow-up header.
There was almost last-second drama but Solanke turned to fire inches wide.
Moments later, the final whistle sparked wild celebrations from Boreham Wood’s disbelieving players and fans.
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