United’s Emirates FA Cup adventure begins at Plainmoor tomorrow, as Boreham Wood provide the opposition in the 4th Qualifying Round.
The Wood will be familiar foes, with the meeting on Saturday following on from FA Trophy and National League clashes within the last 12 months.
Who’s the boss?
33 year-old Luke Garrad became the youngest manager in the top five divisions when he replaced Ian Allinson in October 2015. A former apprentice with Tottenham Hotspur, Garrad enjoyed playing spells in the league with Swindon Town and AFC Wimbledon, as well as non-league stints at Bishop’s Stortford and Northwood prior to his arrival at Meadow Park. His time in charge of The Wood has seen the club repeatedly defy the odds by holding their own in non-league’s top flight, culminating in the promotion near-miss at Wembley in 2017/18.
How have they been doing?
It took Garrad’s side some time to recover from their heart-breaking Wembley defeat against Tranmere Rovers last season, with the side eventually finished in 20th place, just one place above the relegation places. This season has started in much more positive fashion though, with The Wood currently residing in 11th place, just three points behind the play-off places.
Player to watch
The Wood completed a transfer coup by fighting off a number of other clubs to secure the services of 21 year-old Congolese striker Kabongo Tshimanga in the summer. Tshimanga was on a number of club’s radar, following his impressive form for United’s National League South rivals Oxford City last season. Quick and powerful, Kabongo’s 24 league goals saw him named in the division’s ‘Team of the Season’. The former MK Dons frontman has certainly lived up to that potential, with nine goals so far this term.
Joining Tshimanga in relocating to Hertfordshire this summer, is former Gulls striker Tyrone Marsh. Marsh, who has also played for Oxford, Ebbsfleet, Dover and Macclesfield, notched 7 goals in 18 league games for United during a seven month spell with the club at the beginning of the 2015/16 season. Tyrone has wasted no time in establishing himself in attack, with eight goals scored already this term.
United and Boreham Wood have been regular opponents over the last four seasons, and the two sides met last season in a dramatic FA Trophy first round tie at Meadow Park. The Yellow Army will be hoping for a repeat of the opening match of the season back in August, when United kicked off their return to the National League with a 2-1 win, courtesy of goals form Opi Edwards and Jamie Reid.
For entry prices click here.
Emirates FA Cup | Torquay United v Boreham Wood | 19/10/19 | 3pm KO | Plainmoor, Torquay, TQ1 3PS