Blue Square Bet South
AFC Hornchurch 1 Boreham Wood 1
by John Mead
This was a good point earned against a well organised Urchins side who looked like they could cause problems in this Division in their first Season at this level after an eight year absence.
Charlie O’Loughlin’s second half goal cancelled out the first half opener from the impressive Lewis Smith.
The visitors nullified any real threat Wood carried in the first half, creating some chances of their own. There were glimpses of the qualities Wood showed after their resounding win against Eastleigh. Omer Riza chased down an improbable ball crossing into danger before Joe Anderson and Alex Bentley combined picking out the prolific goal scorer Martin Tuohy at the back post. He just failed to keep the ball in play, but the danger signs were evident for the Wood defence.
A counter attacking move for the Urchins ended with Leon McKenzie bursting through down the right with his shot fired into the side netting. Riza then found space down the right teeing up a superb cross for Inih Effiong who ballooned his volley over the bar, as Wood came more into the game. Callum Reynolds found himself in acres of space and played Chez Isaac through, but he could not keep his shot down.
Back came The Urchins though, with Smith hitting a superb free kick from thirty yards out that drew a quite superb save from James Russell diving full stretch to his left. Smith, a two footed playmaker then opened the scoring. He cruised past Ben Nunn down the left before coming inside and driving a low shot across Russell. The ball took a deflection before finding the net through Russell’s legs after thirty-six minutes.
The Urchins continued to impress after the interval. A simple move involving Smith and McKenzie set up Frankie Curley for a shot that went wide.
Wood then increased the pace of the game looking very fit and purposeful. Mark Jones found David Hutton out on the left and his pass found Effiong whose flicked header was bound for goal until Joe Woolley produced a flying acrobatic save to keep his side ahead.
O’Loughlin headed wide from the resultant corner before Effiong tested Woolley further with a low shot from the edge of the area. Wood then earned a free kick out on the right, which took an age to complete with both sets of players jostling for position in the area. It was well worth the wait though. Montgomery’s curling ball was perfect for the run of O’Loughlin who ran in at the far post to slam home a superb and unstoppable header after fifty-eight minutes.
Smith continued to shine for the Essex side, before Elliott Buchanan replaced Hutton with fifteen minutes remaining. Isaac went close for Wood with a blistering rising drive from a tight angle down the right, which Woolley was equal to with another commendable flying save.
Late chances came and went for Effiong and The Urchin’s Sam Cutler as a very watchable second half ended with both sides sharing the spoils.
For Ian Allinson the result was “A fair one. We tried to expose their weaknesses but found that they did not really have any on the night! They are a decent side who did not lose many games last Season. At half time I had to remind the players that every game is difficult in this League and they responded well. Their ‘keeper made two match winning saves and I felt we coped well with everything they threw at us. James was unlucky with a deflection for their goal which I felt came at a bad time for us. That said I am happy with four points from two games and we move on to another difficult encounter with Hayes & Yeading Unied this Saturday.”
Team: Russell, Nunn, Jones, Garrard, O’Loughlin, Reynolds, Hutton (Sub – Buchanan 75 mins.), Isaac, Effiong, Riza, Montgomery.
Subs (Not used): Close, Yala, Scott-Morris, Baker-Owers.
Goals: AFC Hornchurch: Smith 36. Boreham Wood: O’Loughlin 58.
Man of the Match: Charlie O’Loughlin.