Pre-Season Friendly

Boreham Wood    2    Barnet    3

by John Mead

There should be one Pre-Season game where two old rivals go hammer and tongs at each other for pride and cast aside any injury worries for the Season ahead.    That was certified by this extremely watchable combat between two sides that met up regularly until the hooligan days of the early seventies put paid to it.

Friends Re-united it was not.    In a League environment there would have been cards.    But both sides were committed in the correct way, with the League Two side twice coming from behind to take the honours.

Wood started the stronger and more organised with Graeme Montgomery fizzing an effort just wide.

Charlie O’Loughlin made his first appearance of the Season and was outstanding.    The central defender who went thirty-six games without scoring last Season, before hitting two in the last three games, did it again after fifteen minutes to open the scoring.    Early pressure and some good movement around the penalty area paid off when Wood earned a second corner.    David Hutton delivered and O’Loughlin powered home past Liam O’Brien with his head.

Inih Effiong had a productive forty-five minutes, reigning terror on the Bees defence and went close after playing a one-two with Hutton. He was just beaten to the through ball by O’Brien, who rushed off his line.

Jon Nurse headed over for the visitors before Ricky Holmes was very unlucky not to convert what would have been a fine goal.    The impressive Andy Yiadom embarked upon a penetrative run squaring for Holmes whose first time volley spectacularly hit the underside of the crossbar before bouncing back into play off the goal line.

Mark Jones was then called upon to execute a precision tackle to further deny the ex-Chelmsford City forward.

Omer Riza powered past The Bees Jon Fortune only to see his shot parried by O’Brien, before dishing out the same treatment to Ahmed Abdulla to cross into danger.    Poor defending after forty minutes from a low drilled free kick from Anthony Edgar allowed Clovis Kamdjo to turn home an equaliser at the far post.    Yet Wood bounced back in stoppage time when Hutton’s lofted cross from the right picked out Effiong at the far post.    He did extremely well drifting away from Kamdjo before looping a fine header over O’Brien to give Wood the lead at half time.

Elliott Buchanan replaced Effiong and Wood were soon pegged back when Edgar’s fine run was halted by Callum Reynolds on the edge of the area.    The Wood defence was slow to react to the loose ball, allowing Yiadom to curl a brilliant shot inside the unsighted James Russell’s right hand post after forty-seven minutes.

Barnet drew confidence from this and along with some wayward shooting by Wood slowly gained the ascendency.    Yiadom hit what was to be the deciding goal after sixty-three minutes when he was allowed to drift across goal before leaving Russell flat footed with a reverse shot into his bottom left hand corner.

Holmes blasted an effort over when well placed, before Riza missed out on a guilt edged chance to equalise. Hutton’s brilliant chip sent the forward through with just O’Brien to beat yet he took the ball too far before lofting his effort over the bar.    O’Loughlin had one last chance heading at O’Brien as Barnet closed out the game for a narrow win.

For Wood Boss Ian Allinson it was, “Disappointing that we lost on the day, given the chances we created. James Russell did not have so much to do I felt in our goal, but we have to be mindful of the mistakes we made for their goals.    I would rather have that today than in two weeks time against Eastleigh.    That said it has been a very good Pre-Season.    Inih got his fifth goal today, which is pleasing, and took it very well.    We were caught on the counter attack but overall it was a good performance against a full time side.    We have a very good Squad I feel and we are looking forward to going into the Season confident with the players that we have.”

Team:    Russell, Nunn (Sub – Close 83 mins.), Jones, Noto, O’Loughlin, Reynolds, Hutton (Sub – Hastings 78 mins.), Isaac, Riza (Sub – Scott-Morris 78 mins.), Effiong (Sub – Buchanan 45 mins.), Montgomery.

Subs (Not used):    Lewis.

Goals:    Boreham Wood:    O’Loughlin 15, Effiong 45.            Barnet:    Kamdjo 40, Yiadom 47, 63.

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