Blue Square Bet South.
Boreham Wood 0 St Albans City 3, by John Mead.
Wood were comprehensively savaged by basement side St Albans who climbed out of the bottom three thus leaving the home side rooted to the foot of the table.
Wood manager Ian Allinson was left dumbfounded by what he saw, commenting, “ This was a local derby, let alone a relegation dogfight and quite why my players failed to understand that today remains a mystery.”
Whilst the St Albans media team hailed the performance as their “best this season by a mile”, Allinson declared that “ this was our worst showing in this league”.
In truth it could have been seven or eight. Inih Effiong returned to the club that released him to terrify a seemingly hung over Wood for the 75 minutes he was on the field, bagging two goals, one a contender for goal of the season, whilst missing out on at least two more thanks to the brave keeping of Ashlee Jones.
The defence was not completely to blame however as a midfield three set out by Allinson failed to win a battle against Steve Castle’s two. Ali Chaaban was forced to play alone up front after Elliott Godfrey damaged knee ligaments in the warm up. He was left isolated thanks to some woeful distribution.
Early exchanges gave nothing away as what was to follow with Wood enjoying the lions share of possession. Jones had absolutely nothing to do until Effiong struck after 17 minutes. The productive and classy Dave Hutton ran through a static Wood midfield leaving the treacle treading defence in limbo on the edge of the area as he threaded a ball through for Effiong. Jones went to ground early enough to allow the ex Wood man to slot comfortably home.
Peter Smith, a left back whose tenacity made up for what he lacked in stature then burst through the middle of the park unimpeded until he met with Gareth Risbridger’s desperate lunge just outside the penalty area, for which he was luckily awarded just a yellow card. Hutton went close striking his effort around the wall and just wide of the post.
Wood were reeling at this stage and it went from bad to worse after 27 minutes. The Saints won a free kick, from which the Wood response to was less than attentive. Jones was attempting to line up his wall and Smith rose to the occasion. With nobody claiming the task of standing over the ball, he belted home a quickly taken effort that caught everybody unawares.
Mario Noto hit a curling effort wide of the upright, before Justin Cochrane’s sweetly struck effort from the edge of the area was even closer.
Ryan Frater was a rock at the centre of the defence for the visitors and should claim a fair share of the plaudits for the win.
Effiong hit the third after 44 minutes. Dave Deeney crossed from the right and the lofty forward cracked home a brilliant volley across Jones to add to the misery.
The second half showed little difference in fortune. Only Jones’ brilliant body block denied Ollie Palmer a goal after being set up by Hutton.
Effiong could have claimed the match ball after Matt Hocking’s free kick was headed down by Ben Martin, yet he failed to connect when well placed. Then another superb point blank save from Jones again denied Effiong as Palmer played him through a now seemingly sleep walking Wood.
Simeon Akinola a prolific goal scorer from the PASE scheme was then introduced along with Bobby Aisien as Wood reverted to three at the back. Unfortunately it carried little momentum.
Hutton set up substitute Joe Newell who was clean through on goal. Jones pulled off his third magnificent save of the half, before denying Dom Petrucci at the far post in the dying moments of a game that Wood would want to forget.
For Ian Allinson it was, “ A poor day at the office. We have changed the personnel and the results and performances have been starting to come. I can only hope this was a one off. If we turn out like this at Woking in two days time we are in very serious trouble. We have dropped points whilst playing well this season, yet today we were embarrassing.”
Team: Jones, Garrard, Nicolau, Moran, Wilkinson, Noto, Cochrane, Risbridger (Aisien 68), Chaaban, Green (Akinola 68), Morgan.
Subs not used: Kamara, Hunter, Lewis.
Bookings: Risbridger, Wilkinson, Moran.
Goals: St Albans City: Effiong 17, 44. Smith 27.
Wood Man Of The Match: Luke Garrard.