Blue Square Bet South
Boreham Wood 3 Sutton United 0
by John Mead
Both sides contributed to a scintillating game that you could not take your eyes off. The win included two superb goals from Mauro Vilhete, the first of which was worth the entrance fee alone.
Sutton United arrived looking for their first win, yet even at 2 – 0 Wood were forced to defend for their lives, with the three points really not bagged until Vilhete grabbed his second in the eighty-sixth minute.
The entire game was played at a high tempo and it took Wood’s best performance of the Season to date to secure the win.
The U’s had themselves to blame for going behind after thirteen minutes. With Jerel Ifil looking to shield the ball out of play over the goal line down the right, Inih Effiong had other ideas and managed to stick a leg out to cross finding Graeme Montgomery who skillfully kept his shot down beating a stunned Kevin Scriven in the U’s goal, his defence seemingly having already prepared for a goal kick. Wood looked to increase the lead with a carbon copy move that earned a point at AFC Hornchurch a fortnight earlier. Mark Jones delivered a curling free kick which Charlie O’Loughlin met heading just over.
Both sides attacked with lightning speed, yet Wood injected a mini sprint with a quickly taken free kick that Omer Riza gathered, showing excellent feet to get into the box and cross, which led to a corner. Jones picked out Riza whose effort was defended as far as O’Loughlin whose shot was cleared off the line.
A James Russell clearance at the other end hit Kezie Ibe and it took a fisted clearance to prevent the dangerous spiralling rebound from crossing the line. From the resultant corner half the Sutton United side thought they had scored. A powerful Craig Dundas header from point blank range saw Russell somehow get down to smother the ball at the second attempt. The Assistant Referee deigned that the ball had not crossed the line and Wood were off the hook, with Russell the hero.
Immediately Wood broke and Effiong’s shot forced Scriven to parry and with no player on hand to follow up the score remained at 1 – 0. The second half was just as pulsating as the first. Montgomery had a shot deflected behind for a corner, from which Sutton United counter attacked at pace with Callum Reynolds foiling the lightning quick Craig Watkins. Vilhete then produced a magical moment to increase the lead. Receiving a throw in on the right he took two touches before hitting a curling shot that Scriven could not reach, the ball flying off his boot into the top left hand corner of the net.
That served only to make the visitors even more determined and was it not for the brilliance of Reynolds they would have been back in the game two minutes later. Watkins burst into the area and with the goal gaping he opted to pass sideways for Ibe, allowing the ex-Tamworth defender to make the goal saving interception. Harry Beautyman then shot just wide, before Paul Doswell made a brave treble substitution.
Watkins had another guilt edged chance yet failed to learn from his earlier decision, he again looked for a team mate when shooting was a very real option, and that man Reynolds again came to Wood’s rescue. A brief respite from the Sutton United onslaught came when Chez Isaac made space to hit a searing drive just over the bar. Russell denied Anthony Riviere with a full stretch dive to avert a fine shot bound for the bottom left hand corner of the net, before pint sized Vilhete finally made an advantage of the plethora of Wood corners won during the match. Greg Morgan swung over the delivery from the left and the Barnet loan player drifted out to the left running in to deliver a bullet header that left Scriven no chance for the second time on the evening.
There were many contenders for Man of the Match on the night and when U’s Substitute Tom Kavanagh hit the perfect volley from outside the area through a sea of players in injury time, Russell produced a seemingly impossible reaction save to throw his name well and truly into the hat.
Wood Manager Ian Allinson was “Delighted that we are back on track after Truro City. All the players deserve a pat on the back tonight. Most of them played in a nine man team for over fifty minutes down there and they were chasing the game. To turn in a performance like this so soon after is really commendable. We were forced to defend for long periods against possibly the best side we have faced so far who will be right up there at the end of the Season. Special credit goes to Mauro for his two special goals and to James Russell who made some excellent saves tonight.”
Team: Russell, Nunn, Jones, Garrard, O’Loughlin, Reynolds, Vilhete, Isaac, Riza, Effiong (Sub – Scott-Morris 83 mins.), Montgomery (Sub – Morgan 73 mins.).
Subs (Not used): Close, Buchanan, Hutton.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Montgomery 13, Vilhete 52, 86.
Man of the Match: Callum Reynolds.