Blue Square Bet South
Hampton & Richmond Borough 0 Boreham Wood 0
by John Mead
These two evenly matched sides drew for the second time this Season on a day that fellow relegation threatened sides Lewes and Thurrock recorded victories. The Thurrock win puts Bishop’s Stortford under immense pressure, whilst Lewes having beaten listless Maidenhead United who are now second bottom have dragged The Wood down to just four points from safety with six games remaining.
This was an open attacking game which made the end result something of a surprise. The contributory factors to the stalemate were numerous. The pitch was extremely bumpy, something that Ian Allison’s men are unaccustomed to. Wood’s set plays from a host of corners and several free kicks were on the whole poorly executed. Wood target man Ola Sogbanmu’s personal chaperone Dean Inman won his personal battle hands down, whilst both ‘keepers had fine afternoons, as did the rest of their defensive colleagues.
The Beavers centre forward almost opened their account in the second minute when his ferocious twenty-five yard drive beat Elvijs Putnins but not the right hand post. Wood almost opened theirs seconds later when Matt Lovett lost the race to the ball on the edge of the area. The home ‘keeper could only look on as David Bryant shot for goal, yet his effort was off target.
Mario Noto then set Elliott Godfrey through with a brilliant forty yard ball, only for the Wood forward to loose the ball under his own feet. Bryant then turned supplier allowing Sogbanmu a diving header which was wide of the mark.
A quickly taken Bryant free kick played Gareth Risbridger through down the middle yet he sent his lobbed shot into the stands.
Most of the offensive threat from The Beavers came via Dave Tarpey and he took advantage of Luke Wilkinson giving away possession high up the field with a rising goalbound drive that was acrobatically repelled by Putnins, allowing Mike Cestor to head to safety.
Tarpey then found the side netting before Sogbanmu, Bryant and Godfrey combined. Lovett managed the faintest of touches to divert Godfrey’s effort behind in a period of sustained pressure from Wood.
Tarpey then rifled a free kick straight at Noto who seemed to lose consciousness for a time through the impact, before remarkably recovering to continue.
The second half was just as open as the first. Cestor ran the whole length of the pitch before firing high over the bar, before Greg Morgan failed to find the target with a difficult volley after Risbridger and Bryant combined.
Inman tried his luck from forty yards, yet Putnins was equal to it as Wood took control of the game.
However it was the home side who finished the stronger, yet most in the ground had long given up on actually seeing a goal go in by this stage.
Team: Putnins, Garrard, Brathwaite, Wilkinson, Cestor, Noto, Risbridger, Godfrey (Sub – Maledon 85 mins.), Bryant, Sogbanmu, Morgan (Sub – Hurrell 76 mins.).
Subs (Not used): Kamara, Moran, Inns.
Bookings: Morgan, Noto.
Wood Man of the Match: Mike Cestor.