Blue Square Bet South
Boreham Wood 2 Staines Town 2
by John Mead
Wood twice gave away the lead settling for a point in what was a must win game. After comfortably controlling first half proceedings they found the opposition in better form after the interval.
David Bryant made his debut after joining from League leaders Braintree Town, who are next up at Meadow Park on Wood’s survival crusade this coming weekend. The twenty-eight year old forward made a positive contribution chipping in with a well taken goal.
The importance of survival in this League is more a question of the standard of football on offer rather than the financial gains that the professional Leagues enjoy. To measure the difference between Ryman League football and life in the Blue Square Bet South one has to check the Career of Mike Cestor the excellent teenager who has deputised so magnificently at left back. Recalled by his Club Leyton Orient he took his place on the bench two days ago against Arsenal and is now seemingly bound for Las Vegas!
Daniel Brathwaite made his timely return to the left back spot after missing seventeen games through injury and turned in a Man of the Match performance.
Wood bossed the opening forty five minutes with Greg Morgan in threatening form going forward.
Nicky Nicolau had a free kick cleared off the line which led to Morgan having two shots on goal, the first blocked by a defender before the second went wide. Alex Duffy then blasted a chance over the bar for the visitors. Wood looked the likelier to open their account when Mario Noto went close with a free kick from twenty five yards, before Elliott Godfrey ran onto a short corner with his effort seemingly coming off the arm of Danny Gordon. This was the first sign that Referee Mr. Rathbone was to be in an unforgiving mood, awarding a corner.
The opener came from a fine attacking move. A low cross from the left found Godfrey central just inside the penalty area. He guided the ball wide right to Morgan whose cross to the far post was met by Nicky Nicolau who rifled home a well taken low drive across ‘keeper Louis Wells from a tight angle after seventeen minutes.
Staines breached the resolute Wood defence when Scott Taylor was played through by Richard Butler with another Wood debutante the highly regarded Wes Foderingham effortlessly palming the effort to safety. Godfrey then executed a fine turn on the edge of the area hitting a low drive which Wells was equal to.
Nicolau went close with a dipping drive before a left sided corner was met full power by Alan Inns who headed wide of the target. Michael Kamara, playing against his old Club, did well to shepherd the run of Howard Newton, before a slip on the edge of the area by Jerome Maledon allowed Richard Orlu a free shot which he miss hit over the bar for the visitors.
A brilliant save from Wells denied Morgan after the interval. Supplied by Godfrey the Wood youth product hit a ferocious rising drive from close range that the shot stopper was somehow equal to palming the shot high and to safety. Staines Town gained parity after 49 minutes with a bit of help from the unfortunate Luke Wilkinson. Newton cut a ball in from the right to Dean Thomas who from a central position could only toe poke the ball towards Fotheringham’s goal. It struck Wilkinson en route wrong footing the Crystal Palace Loan man.
Credit to Wood who came back with the goal of the game just five minutes later. Noto ran through the middle of the park creating space for himself before laying into the path of Bryant who stood up, under the pressure of a tracking defender, releasing the ball at the perfect moment sending a fine finish across Wells and into the net.
A brilliant tackle by Inns denied Butler who was clean through on goal, before Maledon hit the side netting from a free kick 25 yards out. Godfrey’s lofted ball forward released Bryant who should have earned a penalty when he was bundled to the ground by Orlu, yet Mr. Rathbone had other ideas. Immediately Staines counter attacked and Fotheringham made a superb save to deny Duffy, before Brathwaite was forced to clear off the line. Wells again saved his side with a brave stop to deny Noto who hit a screamer at the near post from fifteen yards out.
The game became stretched and Gordon went close with a flicked header from close range that Foderingham was equal to. Wilkinson was seemingly fouled from behind trying to shield the ball out of play, yet Mr. Rathbone awarded a corner to Staines Town. From their second corner in the sequence of play came the equaliser. The ball whipped in from the left was superbly met by Thomas who ran short to flick the ball across the packed goalmouth and beyond Foderingham with a deft header.
Both sides had chances to finish the game thereafter, yet the spoils were shared which left Wood boss Ian Allinson frustrated. “It is just a point in the right direction. We had a strong side out tonight. On another day a weaker Wood side would have won this game. We did not see the game out, had a penalty turned down and their second came from a poor decision from the Referee who failed to punish a challenge from behind. We played very well first half yet the game got stretched after the interval and that seemed to suit Staines Town more than us.”
Team: Foderingham, Kamara, Brathwaite, Inns (Sub – Moran 90 mins.), Wilkinson, Noto, Morgan (Sub – Sogbanmu 85 mins.), Maledon, Bryant, Godfrey, Nicolau (Sub – Hurrell 85 mins.).
Subs (Not used): Risbridger, Lewis.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Nicolau 17, Bryant 54. Staines Town: Wilkinson 49 og, Thomas 77.
Man of the Match: Daniel Brathwaite.