An early Angelo Balanta strike stretched Boreham Wood’s unbeaten league run to 11 games, with a 1-0 victory over AFC Fylde at Meadow Park.

Balanta put the Wood ahead in just the seventh minute when he smashed a rebound past Jay Lynch.  

The Wood continued to have the better chances as the half wore on, with Shaun Jeffers going closest for the home side.  

Although they weren’t able to add to it, Luke Garrard’s side were able to hold onto their lead, despite a flurry of late chances for Fylde.

Substitutes Jonny Smith and Matt Blinkhorn both had one-on-ones with Boreham Wood ‘keeper Grant Smith, but neither could find a way past the impressive stopper from close range.

Shaun Jeffers came in for Dan Holman upfront, with Angelo Balanta replacing Blair Turgott in midfielder, while Tom Champion, Dean Wells and Dave Stephens kept their places at the back.

Angelo Balanta scored with the Wood’s first shot on target, he latched onto a rebound in the visitor’s box, and fired home, leaving Lynch with no chance.

Smith had to be alive soon after, as he acrobatically pushed Sam Finley’s goal-ward shot out of the right corner.

The game calmed followed an action packed opening 10 minutes, as both sides looked to get a foothold on the match.

Fylde had the next chance of the match, as George Edmundson knocked Andy Mangan’s cross at goal, but it was narrowly wide.

Looking to double the Wood’s lead when the ball fell kindly for him on the edge of the area, Kane Smith sliced an effort at goal, but it sailed over the crossbar.

Having saved the hosts in the opening 10 minutes, Smith turned provider, with a superb up-field ball, that fell directly at the feet of Ricky Shakes. However, Lynch was quick off his line and able to smash it from danger.

Making his first start since the 4-0 drumming at Maidstone United in November, Shaun Jeffers was looking to make his mark.

The ball dropped for the forward in the box, he twisted and struck, but it flashed across goal and out.

Keiran Murtagh curled the ball through to Andrade, who played it perfectly across the box for Jeffers, but the forward had too much time and struck straight into the hands of Lynch.

The visitors then countered and nearly made the Wood pay, but Smith was on hand to save Mangan’s strike.

Lewis Montrose was awarded a chance to pull the away side level, but nodded over the bar from five-yards.

On the counter, the ball is sent into the area, Jeffers misses it and Shakes strikes, but it’s saved by Lynch.

The Wood started the second half as attackingly as they ended the first, and Andrade fizzled an early free-kick narrowly wide.

The Portuguese forward continued to press the Fylde defence and he swiftly turned his marker and drilled the ball across the goalmouth, but no one could get onto the end of it.

National League top scorer had struggled to impose himself on the Wood’s defence, coming closest with a free-kick, which he sent over.

Wood stopper Smith would then prove to be a match winner, as he pulled the first of two spectacular late saves.

Jonny Smith was unmarked in the area and smashed at Smith from five-yards, but the stopper somehow pushed it wide.

The England C international was then called upon again two minutes later as Blinkhorn met him one-on-one and lifted the ball above him and into the top corner, but the stopper somehow pushed it wide with his fingertips.

Dan Holman had a chance to wrap up the win in the final minute, after a slick low-cross from Andrade, but he missed the ball by the narrowest of margins.

The Wood: G Smith, K Smith, Ricketts ©, Wells, Stephens, Shakes, Champion, Murtagh, Andrade, Jeffers (Holman 75), Balanta

Subs not used: Woodards, Sach, Turley, Turgott

AFC Fylde: Lynch, Montrose, Francis-Angol, Tunnicliffe, Bond (Blinkhorn 71), Finley ©, Rowe, Mangan (Smith 64), Muldoon (Richards 57), Burke, Edmundson

Subs not used: Taylor, Grand

Attendance: 401


Boreham Wood: Balanta 7’



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