Match report:

F.A. Carlsberg Trophy – First Round

Eastbourne Borough 3 Boreham Wood 1

by John Mead

A gallant effort proved to be insufficient against Blue Square Bet Premier opposition in this first ever meeting between the two sides.

With Daniel Brathwaite and Michael Kamara ruled out from the start and fellow defenders Luke Garrard and Luke Wilkinson failing to complete the game due to further injuries, it left Ian Allinson’s side vulnerable at the back.

However it was a dream start when Justin Cochrane put the visitors ahead with a superbly crafted goal and his first for the Club. Ali Chaaban held onto possession inside the area and laid up for the Antigua and Barbuda International, whose delicate curling effort found the top corner of the net.

It proved to be a false dawn when from the restart Ryan Moran gave away a cheap corner. Matt Crabb supplied for Matt Langston with the defender heading home for an equaliser. An open attacking game ensued with both defences subjected to mounting pressure. Borough somehow failed to take the lead after 27 minutes when Richard Pacquette, with the goal gaping, scythed his effort high and wide after Jamie Taylor himself in an excellent goal scoring position laid up for his team mate.

Wood went straight up the other end winning a corner. A goal mouth scramble ended when Gareth Risbridger headed against the crossbar from just two yards, with the ball bouncing on the goal line before being hacked to safety. Ashlee Jones then pulled off a point blank save to keep Wood’s hopes alive, only for Taylor to give the home side the lead after 35 minutes firing comprehensively beyond the Wood custodian.

An injury to Luke Garrard just before the interval saw the introduction of Bradley Fraser as Wood were forced to revert to a back three. This seemed to tip the tie in the hosts favour and they hit a third after 56 minutes when Pacquette atoned for his earlier miss scoring from an acute angle after Simon Johnson’s excellent cross from the left.

Chaaban saw a low drive saved and Elliott Godfrey tested the Borough ‘keeper yet it was all in vain as Borough ended their ten game winless run to advance in the Competition.

A disappointed Ian Allinson commented, “I thought they were there for the taking yesterday and their heads dropped when we went ahead, only to defend poorly and let them straight back into the game. Gareth’s header was as much of a miss as their open goal and had he hit the target we could well have got something from the game.”

Wood will need to strengthen quickly with Daniel Brathwaite ruled out with a fractured cheekbone sustained in last week’s rout of Weston-super-Mare. Another casualty of the 6 – 3 win was Michael Kamara who dislocated his shoulder just before half time, thus ruling him out for possibly two months, a situation that Allinson is keen to address. “We may have two new faces in time for Tuesday night. There is a need to bring in personnel with games coming thick and fast over the Christmas period. Luke Garrard and Luke Wilkinson suffered impact injuries yesterday and should be back in action sooner rather than later. Greg Morgan has an achilles and calf problem and he may take a little longer.”

Team: Jones, Garrard (Fraser – 45 mins.), Nicolau, Moran, Wilkinson (Sub – Walker 85 mins.), Noto, Risbridger, Godfrey, Chaaban, Cochrane, Hunter (Sub – Close 65 mins.).

Goals: Eastbourne Borough: Langston 12, Taylor 35, Pacquette 56. Boreham Wood: Cochrane 11.

Man of the Match: Justin Cochrane.