Blue Square Bet South
Dorchester Town 0 Boreham Wood 0
by John Mead
This was a game that Wood dominated from start to finish. Eighth placed Magpies rarely looked like scoring, mustering just three goal attempts to Wood’s nineteen. However with just four of those on target the remarkable score line can be slightly more understood.
The odds were against the home side, losing their main striker Kieffer Moore to injury, he failed to return after the interval, plus going down to ten men, after just fifty-three minutes, should have helped the Wood cause. Yet Ian Allinson’s men did not make use of the extra space available to them, leaving the home fans to cheer the final whistle as if they had won a Cup Final.
The opening twenty minutes saw Wood tear the Magpies to shreds, creating enough chances to have wrapped up the game. The home defence was dormant, the home attack weakly conceding possession to the meanest defence in the League.
Chez Isaac delivered a sumptuous cross that found the head of Loick Pires whose effort found the top of the net after Graeme Montgomery’s free kick had caused panic at the back. A minute later Greg Morgan picked out a totally unmarked Pires just outside the six yard box who turned before shooting weakly at Jason Matthews. Isaac then provided for Montgomery who had space and time to tee up a shot that flew just wide of the right hand post.
Wood were dominant in possession and a move of around twenty passes ended with another off target Montgomery effort. With the game still only eighteen minutes old Luke Garrard played Michael Thalassitis through, who blistered down the inside right channel, hitting an unstoppable shot that was a couple of inches the wrong side of the left hand post.
With further shots from Charlie O’Loughlin and Morgan blocked and Pires putting Matthews under pressure it seemed only a matter of time before the home side found themselves behind in the game. Moore managed a headed effort over James Russell’s crossbar before Morgan shot weakly at Matthews.
The Magpies, who have netted just once now in their last three games, found the target through a Jake Smeeton volley that Russell left the ground for to take cleanly with both hands.
The second half started with a Thalassitis effort off target before Montgomery’s long ball down field allowed the pacy Stevenage Loan forward to outpace the defence. His square ball for the advancing Isaac was poor, yet Morgan was also in the queue and he steadied himself before shooting wide, with the home defence non existent.
Player of the Month for February, at The Avenue Stadium, Nathan Walker, then slid in to take a sizeable chunk of Morgan’s leg in a rash challenge that reduced his side to ten men.
Quite how Wood did not score after sixty-two minutes remains a mystery! A Montgomery corner from the right found Thalassitis who lost his marker. His header from just three yards out bounced before clearing the crossbar on a boggy pitch! Piero Mingoia replaced the lame Morgan with twenty-five minutes remaining, as Wood continued to put pressure on the opposition. Montgomery’s free kick swung in from the left for Thalassitis who headed just wide. Another dead ball delivery from Montgomery picked out Callum Reynolds, whose header needed a fingertip save from Matthews, to keep his side level.
The ten men of Dorchester Town were forced to defend for their lives, which they did with aplomb. A brilliant interchange of passes inside the Town penalty area between Reynolds and Isaac allowed Isaac in behind the defence. His ball into danger resulted in a frantic passage of play where three Wood efforts were cleared by the defence.
Montgomery then fired over the bar before having another shot blocked. Further off target efforts followed before Ben Nunn crossed for Pires, who headed on for Cliff Akurang. His diving header was saved by Matthews, Wood’s last chance of a winner on the afternoon.
Manager Ian Allinson praised his side’s overall performance. “Let us not take away from the great football we played on a sticky pitch today. We failed to convert enough chances to have won two games, but we shall take the positives on to Eastleigh. We looked dangerous and a handful for the opposition today. It is a shame that we are drawing so many games. Had we have turned a few of those into wins we would be out of sight now.”
Team: Russell, Nunn, Jones, Garrard, O’Loughlin, Reynolds, Morgan (Sub – Mingoia 65 mins.), Isaac, Thalassitis, Pires, Montgomery (Sub – Akurang 86 mins.).
Subs (Not used): Noto, Doolan, Hastings.
Man of the Match: Callum Reynolds.