Boreham Wood bid for Football League place

Boreham Wood are one game away from reaching the Football League.

The north London side head to Wembley on Saturday where they will play Tranmere Rovers in the National League play-off final.

The Wood have come through play-off games against AFC Fylde and Sutton United after finishing fourth in the league table.

Now they face the side who came second after the 46-game campaign, with Tranmere favourites to earn promotion.

It has been an impressive rise for Boreham Wood who were playing in the seventh tier of English football just eight years ago and could next season be mixing it with clubs in League Two.

They are managed by 32-year-old Luke Garrard who was the youngest manager in the top five divisions when he was appointed in 2015.

If they do earn promotion, they will become the third team, after Watford and Stevenage, from Hertfordshire to play in the Football League.

They might be underdogs but they have a few ticks up their sleeve, including Bruno Andrade who in each of his last three meetings with Tranmere, most notably a winner the last time the two met in March, one of 22 goals he scored this season.

In goal Boreham Wood boast Grant Smith whose 18 cleansheets during the campaign was the best record in the National League.

Luke Garrard. Credit: PA

Manager Garrard said: “The players are echoing what my thoughts are; it is a promotion final game, that just so happens to be at Wembley.

“I keep saying it, but we are 90 minutes, 120 minutes, a penalty shootout, away from the Football League. That is my aim and that is my focus and my emotions are in check.

“I have done a lot of work – not any more than I normally would – and I have watched three or four of their games and spoken to a few managers about where they feel their threats are.

“They have got strength in depth across the board and they are a big team; they are a massive team at this level and they have ambitions to get back into the league and quite rightly, because their fan base suggests they are a league side.

“But, we possess a threat and we have got great quality. I went through where we feel they are going to cause us problems, and where we need to nullify them, but I finished with 95 clips of what we have done this season in terms of how we cause teams problems.

“Yeah, we are doing our homework on Tranmere, but I can imagine that they are fearful of Morgan Ferrier, Michael Folivi, Bruno Andrade and Angelo Balanta, to name just a few offensively.

“We have galvanised the town, which is something that I wanted to achieve as a manager.

“I have got to be honest, our following is unbelievable and when they start singing, I think that they out sing anyone in the National League.

“To do that is a very proud moment, but, we are not finished and I do not want to live on that.

“We had an aim to get out of this league and at the minute we are on track. We go there on Saturday with the focus and the mentality to put that into plan.”