Blue Square Bet South
Hampton & Richmond Borough 0 Boreham Wood 1
by John Mead
Top scorer David Bryant hit his sixth goal of the campaign to record Wood’s first away victory against bottom side Hampton & Richmond Borough, lifting Ian Allinson’s side to sixteenth in the table.
Wood’s impressive run continues, they have taken ten out of twelve points hauling
themselves out of danger in a period where injuries to senior players are multiplying at an alarming rate.
Daniel Brathwaite joined Luke Garrard, Mario Noto and Daryl McMahon on the sidelines with a knee problem and there was more bad news to come, when Justin Cochrane was withdrawn after just 28 minutes with a groin injury. His replacement, seventeen year old Pelly Ruddock gave a good account of himself on a day when Wood had just three players over twenty years old in the starting eleven.
That they were up against a youthful side lacking in self confidence helped the cause.
Yet The Beavers came close to gaining something from the game, their efforts on goal allowed the quite brilliant Elvijs Putnins to deliver a “Man of the Match” performance between the sticks for Wood.
The game itself was a scrappy affair interspersed with brief passages of individual skill.
Sam Lechmere opened up The Beavers defence squaring for Bryant whose shot was
blocked by defender Matt Ruby, before a goal mouth scramble ensued. Cochrane then received a harsh booking before the home side managed shots on target, none of which troubled the Latvian shot stopper.
Wood went ahead after 43 minutes when the impressive Mark Jones lofted a ball down the left flank for Michael Thalassitis to chase. He found Nathan Koranteng on the overlap who executed a brilliant cross to the far post where Bryant positively converted past Matt Lovett with a powerful header.
Chez Isaac tested Lovett after the interval with a long range effort before the same
player was given the benefit of the doubt by Referee Mr. Atkins inside the opponents penalty area.
The Beavers main danger man Dave Tarpey struck a cross from the left which appeared to strike the young Watford Loanee on the arm.
Tarpey bought a spectacular full stretch diving save out of Putnins when he drifted
across the edge of the area into a shooting position, before Ruddock released
Thalassitis whose low shot was smothered at the near post by Lovett.
Wood were further depleted when Koranteng picked up a knock, although his
replacement Jordan Lawal put in a fine shift for the last twenty-five minutes
of the game.
Hampton went very close to an equaliser when J.J. O’Donnell supplied a cross from the left, Dan Thompson glancing his header just wide of the far post.
Marcel Henry-Francis then brought another fine save out of Putnins with his low drive, before Thalassitis immediately responded pouncing on a poor back pass from Dean Inman at the opposite end. He took the ball beyond the last defender yet lifted his angled effort just over the bar.
The game opened up further in the final stages, Lawal setting up Thalassitis whose
cross bound for the awaiting Bryant was cut out by the legs of Lovett.
With seven minutes remaining defender Lewis Ferrell lost his marker from a corner
heading just wide for The Beavers, before Putnins chipped in with the save of the game, a one handed flying tip over to thwart Charlie Moone’s fierce rising drive from the edge of the area.
O’Donnell’s late free kick from wide on the right almost caught Wood napping when it
bounced unaided just wide of the far post, but the youthful Wood held out for another three priceless points.
Speaking after the game Manager Ian Allinson concluded, “We have played much better and lost! It was a case of grab the points and get out of there today. It was a
scrappy game, David got the goal we needed and Elvijs totally commanded his area to continue our little run of good results.”
Team: Putnins, Hunter, Jones, Isaac, O’Loughlin, Wilkinson, Lechmere, Cochrane (Sub – Ruddock 28 mins.), Thalassitis (Sub – Effiong 86 mins.), Bryant, Koranteng (Sub – Lawal 64 mins.).
Subs (Not used): Akinola, Jordan.
Bookings: Cochrane, Thalassitis, Isaac.
Goal: Boreham Wood: Bryant 43.
Man of the Match: Elvijs Putnins.