Blue Square Bet South

Welling United – 3
Boreham Wood – 1

by John Mead

After weathering a first half storm and going in at the interval a goal to the good, Wood gave up the chance of earning something from the game with a horror show second half performance.

Missing the tenacity of the suspended midfield maestro Mario Noto and the guile and experience of the injured Elliott Godfrey a brilliant finish from James Hawes just before the interval against the run of play should have been the platform upon which to progress. Wood started brightly, had Claude Seanla put his towering free header at the far post on target after just six minutes it may have been a different story. Welling soon got into the game with Jack Parkinson heading wide, before Lee Kersey and Daniel Brathwaite did magnificently in blocking everything that came their way.

Greg Morgan was scythed to the ground when breaking free across the halfway line which earned The Wings Player / Manager Jamie Day the first of a succession of bookings meted out by Referee Mr. Breakspear, most of which the recipients could have little complaint about.

The dangerous Andy Pugh got the wrong side of Luke Garrard, the only mistake the Captain made all afternoon, yet Gareth Williams got a hand to what would have been a certain goal, allowing Garrard to recover and clear. There was little to choose between the sides until Williams indecisive punch forced a Wood defender to clear off the line, before both Graeme Andrews and Parkinson had shots charged down. Parkinson then forced Williams to spill a low drive, yet Kersey was on hand to mop up.

With Wood on the back foot they stunned the home crowd with a fine opportunist goal. Garrard’s long ball forward was chested down into the path of Hawes by Dewayne Clarke. Hawes ran onto the ball hitting a screaming low volley into the bottom right hand corner of Charlie Mitten’s net from fully thirty yards just a minute before the interval. Against their Manager’s wishes Wood were indecisive after the break. When Seanla lost possession on the edge of The Wings penalty area it was the catalyst for a counter attack that led to a string of corners. Day delivered from the left and Femi Omogbehin ghosted in to connect with a powerful glancing header that found the back of the net.

Wood’s advantage had lasted just four minutes and any dreams of dominance evaporated as the home side pressed for the win. Brathwaite cleared heroically to deny Luis Cumbers, Williams dived low to save Parkinson’s downward header from another Day corner. Struggling to stay in the game Wood gave away an awful second goal after 72 minutes. Kersey’s feeble headed back pass to Williams left the ‘keeper in no man’s land allowing Cumbers to nip in for the simplest of goals.

There was a brief interlude in play when Lee Allinson picked up two yellow cards in a minute. The first for a shirt pull, the second for what was perceived as a two footed challenge. The reaction of Parkinson the recipient was to head butt the Wood player, which seemingly gave Mr. Breakspear no option to send the Manager’s son to the changing rooms, not before he gave the totally uninjured Parkinson a straight red to compliment the mist that fell before his eyes.

Back to the action and there was still time for Wood to compound their misery when Ryan Moran headed past Williams at the near post from a Omogbehin cross from the right.

The sending off gave Wood Manager Ian Allinson, “No cause for complaint”, yet there was plenty to bemoan in his summary of the afternoon. “We work bloody hard for our goals yet hit the self destruct button by giving away the simplest of goals to teams that are clearly far better than us all over the park. The first goal was a catalogue of errors and we were awful at the start of the second half. The second and third goals were as soft as the first and we are learning the hard way that this is an extremely tough League. Welling’s movement up front today was something we cannot mirror and they clearly had no weaknesses anywhere in the team. We have experience at this level in some of our players yet the sum total of our efforts was not good enough today even though I cannot fault their endeavour.”

Team: Williams, Garrard, Brathwaite, Hawes (Sub – Hunter 81 mins.), Kersey (Sub – Blackburne 81 mins.), Moran, King, Clarke, Seanla (Sub – Dadson 81 mins.), Allinson, Morgan.

Subs (Not used): Kirby, Baker-Owers.

Bookings: Allinson,(sent off 79) Hunter, King. Goals: Welling United: Omogbehin 48, Cumbers 72, Moran (Own Goal) 84. Boreham Wood: Hawes 44.

Man of the Match: Luke Garrard.