Blue Square Bet South

Boreham Wood – 1
Bishop’s Stortford – 2

by John Mead

A sloppy show from a side down on its confidence leaves Wood still looking for their first win after eight outings in the Blue Square Bet South.

It was not the superiority of the opposition as was the case seven days ago at Welling United that led to this defeat, but the inadequacy of the combined team effort that allowed the visitors to establish a two goal lead, before failing to show enough collective mettle to fight back.

The fate of goalkeeper Gareth Williams having shipped fourteen goals in six outings was decided during the week. Along with defender James Hawes both players were released making way for goalkeeper Ashlee Jones and striker Leon McKenzie. Twenty-three year old Jones had previously played for Darlington after featuring for Fisher Athletic early on in his Career, whilst McKenzie is a twenty-five year old signed from Bromley after scoring eighteen goals for Thurrock.

The game was an even affair to begin with, offering few goal scoring chances. McKenzie showed some excellent touches and looked to be forming a useful partnership with a lively Dewayne Clarke.

The outcome of the game was decided in the last ten minutes of the opening half. McKenzie created a fine chance for himself holding up a cross from Clarke before confidently teeing up a rising drive that flew just over. Two minutes later Jones raced off his line to gather a looping cross from Josh Llewellyn before smartly releasing McKenzie with a huge clearance. His marker slipped leaving the debutante through on goal only to be denied by a brave save from Nicky Eyre the Stortford shot stopper.

The visitors wasted no time in counter attacking and the superbly talented Sanchez Ming powered past Daniel Brathwaite in the Wood penalty area before hitting a slide rule shot into the bottom left hand corner. An even game suddenly became out of reach just two minutes later. Luke Garrard received no call when turning an innocuous cross behind for a corner. Scott Shulton delivered from the left and the goalkeeping hangover at Meadow Park continued when Jones dropped the delivery at the near post, which rolled over the line.

Aiden Palmer did his best to help the Wood cause after the restart when he allowed Elliott Godfrey to steal possession wide on the right before flashing a shot across goal. Godfrey then won a corner which Mario Noto played short and deep finding Lee Allinson whose finish was immaculate, hitting home low and with pace beyond Eyre. That left Wood thirty eight minutes to salvage the game, yet sloppy play put paid to any ideas of a first win. Time and time again the home side gave away possession looking like a side down on their luck.

Greg Morgan hit a speculative effort that deceptively dropped at the last moment causing a brief moment of hope. McKenzie and Clarke drifted out of the game with the defence at times heaping pressure upon themselves, not helped by some awfully guided balls from the midfield.

Lee Kersey provided the lynch pin required in defence whilst those around him faltered somewhat.

Ian Allinson made three Substitutions in an attempt to freshen things up, yet the trio should be collectively disappointed with their total lack of achievement. Substitute Danny Morgan missed a guilt edged chance to rub further salt in to wounds, yet his lack of proliferation highlighted that today’s visitors were on a better day a side that should have been beaten, a fact that causes much concern for the Management Team.

A disappointed Ian Allinson confirmed, “We need to improve quicker than I had imagined in a lot of areas. We gave away the ball for fun today and again stupid mistakes are costing us dearly. The opposition set out their stall and we found it increasingly difficult to break them down. Our last ball choice was poor today and I felt that we lost the plot after going behind.”

On the new signings he added, “It was unfortunate for Ashlee to gift them their second. That aside he had a sound game. I felt that Leon coming in offered us something that we had been lacking previously up front and both are seen as very positive signings. There may well be more to come as in some areas we are clearly lacking at this level.”

Team: Jones, Garrard, Brathwaite, Moran, Kersey, Noto, Morgan (Sub – Dadson 67 mins.), Godfrey (Sub – King 67 mins.), McKenzie, Allinson, Clarke (Sub – Seanla 78).

Subs (Not used): Hunter, Kirby.

Goals: Boreham Wood: Allinson 52. Bishop’s Stortford: Ming 38, Jones (Own Goal) 40.

Man of the Match: Lee Kersey.