Boreham Wood 1 Hendon 0
by John Mead
A first half penalty from Ali Chaaban proved to be the only goal of the game as both Managers took tinkering to another level.
For Ian Allinson it was a chance to see his latest signing Osei Sankofa in action at right back. The twenty-six year old Ghanaian is the fourth player to join ranks from Farnborough as the Hampshire outfit go full time next Season.
Sankofa spent the first six years of his Career at Charlton Athletic before turning out for Southend United. He famously played in front of 41,090 people at Stamford Bridge in January 2009 as The Shrimpers held Chelsea to a 1 – 1 draw in the F.A. Challenge Cup Third Round. Last Season he played twenty-three games for Farnborough. His pace and willingness to attack down the wing was evident in his forty-five minute outing.
Luke Wilkinson also played the full ninety minutes for Wood and was as impressive as he was in his Loan spell last Season from Dagenham & Redbridge, with the young centre back in outstanding form.
Hendon boss Gary McCann used a total of twenty-one players in pursuit of the perfect combination. His team’s second half showing far outweighed its first half contribution when Wood managed eleven attempts on goal to Hendon’s two.
A through ball from Charlie Hunter sent triallist Moses Ademola through on goal and when ‘keeper Berkley Laurencin committed to the challenge, referee Mr. Forrester rightly pointed to the spot. Chaaban made no mistake finding the bottom left hand corner of the net after just six minutes.
Wood went on to dominate, yet the anticipated goal festival never materialised. A fine move started by Luke Garrard allowed Chaaban to supply Ademola in the penalty area. His superb back heel fell into the path of David Bryant, yet his first touch let him down, with the resultant effort scooped over the bar when well placed. Ademola then sent a dangerous cross to the near post, before Daryl McMahon’s curling effort bought a fine save from Laurencin.
Wood were restricted by the Greens defence to long range efforts supplied by Hunter and Chaaban, although Laurencin was not really tested until another McMahon effort fizzed past the left hand post, with the ‘keeper struggling to meet the challenge. Gary McCann made a host of changes for the second half and the combination of Jamie Busby, Aaron Morgan and Carl McCluskey split the Wood defence. McCluskey’s effort called upon Wood ‘keeper Michael Jordan for the first time and he saved competently to repel the well placed shot.
Although Hendon enjoyed the majority of possession in the opening twenty minutes of the half, neither side tested each others defences until the introduction of Simeon Akinola after seventy minutes. Alongside fellow PASE colleagues Tony Walker and Harvey Scott-Morris he injected some much needed creativity into the side. Akinola showed again he has a real eye for goal hitting two decent efforts that kept Laurencin busy.
For Ian Allinson it was, “A chance to try out different systems and unfortunately we did not put our chances away. We have gained match fitness, kept a clean sheet and looked comfortable in possession. This is all about being prepared by the time we visit Tooting & Mitcham United in our final Pre-Season match.”
Team: Jordan (Sub – Baker-Owers 84 mins.), Sankofa (Sub – Kamara 45 mins.), D. Brathwaite (Sub – E. Brathwaite 69 mins.), Garrard, Smith (Sub – Walker 69 mins.), Wilkinson, Chaaban (Sub – Godfrey 45 mins.), McMahon (Sub – Matthews 69 mins.), Bryant (Sub – Scott-Morris 69 mins.), Hunter, Ademola (Sub – Akinola 69 mins.).
Goal: Boreham Wood: Chaaban (pen.) 6.