Wood Stung By Super Hornets

Pre-Season Friendly

Boreham Wood    1    Watford    6

by John Mead

The brilliance of Gianfranco Zola’s young side was too much for Wood who were forced to field just two regular defenders owing to non availability and injuries.    A further injury to Luke Garrard who turned sharply trying to prevent the visitors second goal in vain put paid to any chances Wood had of maintaining their excellent start to the game.

Thereafter it was damage limitation for Ian Allinson’s side who were comprehensively put to the sword by the swagger and skills of an Italian inspired outfit of First Team Squad players and Academy successes.

Donovan Simmonds continued to impress going close in the first minute before giving Wood a shock fourth minute lead.    Mario Noto dispossessed Reece Brown and played Simmonds through down the right who powered towards goal shaping a fine low shot across Jonathan Bond into the bottom left hand corner of the net.    Five minutes later and a clearance from Wood was pinged back into the area for Bernard Mensah who smashed home emphatically beyond James Russell.

Graeme Montgomery almost created a further shock right from the restart, his left footed effort needed a full stretch save from Bond who palmed the ball behind in what was a fine end to end game thus far.

The front pairing of Mensah and recent signing from Reading Academy Uche Ikpeazu, last year’s top scorer in the Premiership Elite League, proved to be a real handful, presenting a tough night for Sam Doolan playing at right back and Greg Morgan who was forced to fill in at left back.

When Christian Battocchio played the impressive Sean Murray through the middle of the park, Murray’s assist foiled Garrard, which is no mean feat, allowing Ikpeazu a very classy side footed finish beyond Russell, giving Watford the lead after twenty-three minutes.    Murray then went close for the visitors from distance, before forcing Russell into a high diving save to repel a free kick from twenty-five yards.

The Wood defence were pulled apart by some exquisite movement and long distance passing of optimum accuracy which allowed Battocchio time to find Ikpeazu who doubled his tally with a close range effort beyond an exposed Russell after thirty-four minutes.    Battocchio almost made it four when his header at the far post ran across goal after another impressive move.

Watford’s fourth oozed class and exposed the rooky defence again.    Alex Geijo’s ball down the right flank passed Morgan allowing Tom Rosenthal a cross to the far post which was met by a cushioned header from Mensah at the far post, allowing Battocchio to head home at the near.

Three minutes later it was five when Murray down the left picked out Geijo with a fine ball who rammed home a first time effort after fifty-eight minutes.

Wood Substitute Charlie Hunter had a decent effort pushed away by Bond,  breaking up a period of keep ball by the visitors, before Raheem Sterling-Parker tested replacement ‘keeper Arie Ammann who gathered at the second attempt.

The Swiss Geijo, who is merely training with the Watford side capped a fine performance when he intercepted a Doolan back pass before rounding the ‘keeper to complete the rout in the eighty-ninth minute.

Speaking at the final whistle Ian Allinson concluded, “That was the end of a very tough ten day period for us, during which some key players have picked up niggling injuries.    Obviously our focus is on the Tonbridge Angels game on 17 August and I used tonight to look at options. Missing three out of four of our defenders did not help against a side that came to impress their Manager.    We looked tired and hats off to Watford, they were an excellent outfit.”

Team:    Russell, Doolan (Sub – Thompson 68 mins.), Morgan, Bentley, Reynolds, Garrard (Sub – Brown 26 mins.), Simmonds (Sub – Hunter 63 mins.), Noto (Sub – Doolan 80 mins.), Willock (Sub – Jones 63 mins.), Montgomery, Enver-Marum (Sub – Sterling-Parker 68 mins.).

Goals:    Boreham Wood:    Simmonds 4.            Watford:    Mensah 9, Ikpeazu 23, 34. Battocchio 55, Geijo 58, 89.

Match Highlights below