Blue Square Bet South
Billericay Town 1 Boreham Wood 1
by John Mead
Draw number fourteen leaves Wood just outside the Play-offs after failing to finish off relegation strugglers Town. Both sides badly needed three points for their own causes which made for a closely fought game.
An even start with neither side really threatening was upset by the Town opener after fourteen minutes. With Charlie O’Loughlin drawn out of position by Jay May, the centre forward looped a ball forward from a deep midfield position that found space for Alex Osborn. With Callum Reynolds unable to intercept the ball, Osborn cut in from the left with a fine angled finish across James Russell.
It was a lead that was to last just eight minutes. Graeme Montgomery tested Kevin Scriven with an effort that required a flying one handed save, before fluid football featured in the build up to the goal. Ben Nunn and Chez Isaac pushed the ball around at pace finding Loick Pires who embarked upon a trademark mazy run. He advanced play to a central position just outside the area before poking a ball sideways for Montgomery, whose dummy sent the last defender the wrong way before poking home his eighth goal of the Season under the body of Scriven. Wood looked the likelier to add to the tally as the half progressed, with a fierce low drive from Mark Jones bouncing off of Scriven unfortunately with no forward on hand to finish the job.
Town came into the game more after the interval with Glenn Poole going close from a free kick. Wood missed a hatful of chances to take the lead with Pires and Luke Garrard firing wayward. A Montgomery free kick from the left was perfect for the late arrival of Greg Morgan at the far post who should have hit the target with his header. Then Morgan picked up play on the halfway line running at goal. His curled effort failed to test Scriven to the full however.
Charlie Moone replaced Michael Thalassitis, with twenty minutes remaining and played his part in Wood’s best chance of the game since scoring. Morgan cut in from the left finding Moone who teed up Pires for what would have been the winner were it not for a superb save from Scriven who acrobatically tipped the deflected left footed shot away from the top right hand corner of his goal.
Apart from catching a couple of corners Russell had little to do in the half until the introduction of ex-Wood winger Sam Lechmere, who twice forced fine saves from his long range efforts.
Sandwiched in between Bai Lette – Jallow turned and smashed a shot past Russell that crashed against the post before coming back into play. With the hosts smelling victory they left themselves exposed at the back. Wood’s second debutant of the night from the bench, Jerome Anderson will look back on his first night out in a Wood shirt with regret. Playing on the counter attack and with a man over Wood broke through Pires and Montgomery. Anderson arrived on the right and was the fed the perfect ball to feet, only to blast his effort over the bar and out of the ground.
Another two points dropped, yet excepting the inability to hit the target this was far from a poor performance as endorsed by Wood Boss Ian Allinson, “We created the better chances on the night but a draw was a fair result. We gave a goal away when we were starting to dominate and that gave Billericay Town belief. We quickly got back level, yet misses from Greg Morgan and Jerome Anderson have cost us victory, along with a world class save that denied Loick Pires a goal with his deflected effort. I cannot fault the commitment and effort that my players showed again tonight, but we have to start finishing teams off. We are creating the chances, that is the most frustrating thing about it. Hopefully bringing in Charlie Moone and Jerome Anderson we can only get better. I thought they both looked sharp for us at the end of the game tonight.”
Team: Russell, Nunn, Jones, Garrard, O’Loughlin, Reynolds, Morgan (Sub – Anderson 80 mins.), Isaac, Thalassitis (Sub – Moone 71 mins.), Pires, Montgomery.
Subs (Not used): Noto, Akurang, Courtnage.
Goals: Billericay Town: Osborn 14. Boreham Wood: Montgomery 22.
Man of the Match: Greg Morgan.