Blue Square Bet South
Staines Town 1 Boreham Wood 1
by John Mead
After creating enough first half chances to win the game, Wood were made to settle for a draw. The result means Ian Allinson’s side have lost just one League match in their last nine, clinging onto a coveted Play-off spot, which is the main goal for the Wood Manager, going into the New Year.
A disappointing first half for Wood left the home side to gain the advantage on the hour, relying on a Ben Nunn strike to salvage the point.
Staines Town committed numerous fouls in and around the area to negate Wood’s offensive play. A good build up involving Luke Norris and Greg Morgan resulted in Chez Isaac’s going to ground on the edge of the area. Mauro Vilhete drew a fine save from Jack Turner when the Town defence failed to clear.
Poor free kicks from Wood did not help the cause but when they were allowed to play on the right side of the law Morgan supplied Norris who tested Turner from the edge of the area. Callum Reynolds then went close twice from a string of Wood corners, who were at this stage by far the better side, with James Russell merely spectating in The Wood goal.
Vilhete enjoyed some success out on his wing finding Graeme Montgomery central yet he could not keep his effort down. In the last five minutes of the half Omer Riza found himself through on goal with just Turner to beat on two occasions, with the Staines Town shot stopper upping his claim for Man of The Match with two fine blocking saves.
Staines Town came more into the game after the interval, with Omar Beckles executing a fine tackle to deny the Middlesex side any reward, in his first start since rejoining the Club.
The breakthrough came when Lewis Ferrell threaded a forward pass between Mark Jones and Reynolds allowing David Wheeler to take a touch before firing confidently beyond Russell, a stark turnaround after a turgid first half performance. Vilhete headed just over after yet another foul on the edge of the area by the home side, before Ian Allinson threw caution to the wind replacing Riza with Mario Noto and playing with a third striker.
Wheeler did find himself through on goal again yet shot wide as the game finally developed into a spectacle, with Staines Town looking to counter attack.
It was down to a fine run from Morgan whose cross was never dealt with, which allowed Nunn to strike home from twenty-five yards out, making it two goals in as many games for the highly regarded right back.
Both sides had just nine minutes to force a result. Cyril Ocansey shot straight at Russell when well placed, before Vilhete’s cross from the right found Montgomery sliding in who was foiled by the impressive Turner. The final chance of the game fell to Wheeler who looked to make it five goals against Wood in three matches, yet Russell was the hero for Wood, deflecting the shot onto the post allowing Jones to clear.
In summary Ian Allinson concluded, “We failed to punish them first half where one goal would surely have led to another. We should have been out of sight playing lots of ball into danger but their ‘keeper was on his game. We lacked a clinical edge and when they got their goal they started to play with belief. In the end either side could have won it. We need to stop dropping points against sides in the lower half of the table as we have a superb record against the top sides.” Looking forward into the New Year he added, “We have a tough trip this Saturday weather permitting to Chelmsford City, who have not let their Cup runs compromise their League form. Thereafter we have three home matches with Staines Town, Eastbourne Borough and Maidenhead United. These are games we must win to keep in touch with the top three sides.”
Team: Russell, Nunn, Jones, Morgan, Beckles, Reynolds, Vilhete, Isaac, Norris (Sub – Akurang 80 mins.), Riza (Sub – Noto 65 mins.), Montgomery.
Subs (Not used): Hutton, Hastings, Close.
Bookings: Nunn, Jones.
Goals: Staines Town: Wheeler 60. Boreham Wood: Nunn 81.
Wood Man of the Match: Ben Nunn.