Blue Square Bet South
Boreham Wood 0 Braintree Town 2
by John Mead
With just five games remaining Wood sit perilously just four points above the drop zone after failing to win for the fourth consecutive game.
After dominating the first half, yet failing to convert a number of chances, Wood were overrun by the League leaders in a one sided second half. It is the lack of goals which is causing concern amongst the Wood faithful, with Manager Ian Allinson admitting, “Things have dried up goal wise. You cannot go behind against the top sides and we failed to compete with them after the interval.”
Wood started in fine fashion with some high tempo passing and good deliveries into danger. Unfortunately with no fox in the box all the hard work went without reward. A lively David Bryant playing against his old Club turned to set up a Wood attack which ended with Mario Noto’s right sided cross almost picking out Bryant. Mike Cestor was alert to deal with the dangerous presence of Sean Marks on numerous occasions, whilst at the other end Luke Wilkinson was picked out by Noto’s free kick, yet the Dagenham Loan man’s header was high over the bar.
Wood continued to dominate until The Iron created their first chance of the game after forty minutes. A brilliant back heel by Marks set up Cliff Akurang whose low goal bound effort from just twelve yards was smothered by Elvijs Putnins.
The visiting Captain, Brad Quinton, relied on a succession of fouls that rather harshly went unpunished to stop the marauding Wood in their tracks. All the hard work shown by Ian Allinson’s men went to ruin after forty-eight minutes. The ball was cleared down field to Marks, who, seeing Putnins off his line executed a classy lob over the ‘keeper’s head to give his title chasing side the lead.
This changed the whole complexion of the game, with Wood left chasing the ball. Six minutes later Marks turned provider for Akurang who burst into the area. Daniel Brathwaite made the challenge from the side appearing to take the ball, only for Referee Mr. Power to point to the spot. As last man Brathwaite technically should have been sent off, yet received a yellow card, maybe a product of the seed of doubt in Mr. Power’s mind.
Quinton made it two with an unstoppable spot kick that bulged the top left hand corner of the net.
Thereafter Braintree Town exerted their authority on the game. Jai Reason hit a dipping screamer from the edge of the area that Putnins handled well. Kenny Davis headed just wide from a corner as Wood capitulated, succeeding only in adding to their collection of yellow cards.
A rare chance fell to Greg Morgan from a free kick that he placed into the neighbouring car park.
With five minutes remaining of a half to forget for Wood, Akurang broke from just inside the Wood half. Brathwaite connected with the much travelled forward before leaving the field without even waiting for the Official’s decision.
With Bishop’s Stortford winning convincingly on the night, it appears Wood have invited themselves into an “any two of three” battle to see who joins St. Albans City back in step three next Season, their fellow contestants being Maidenhead United and Lewes.
In summary Ian Allinson added, “The penalty was highly debatable, but conceding the first had already done the damage. Braintree Town were very professional tonight. We have lost our shape with Ola Sogbanmu injured and with Nicky Nicolau only just coming back after an illness I was forced to play Greg Morgan on his less favourable wing.” Mid-table Havant & Waterlooville visit Meadow Park this Saturday, with Wood still in desperate need of points.
Team: Putnins, Garrard, Brathwaite, Cestor, Wilkinson, Noto, Risbridger, Godfrey, Bryant (Sub – Nicolau 90+3 mins.), Maledon (Sub – Akinola 65 mins.), Morgan.
Subs (Not used): Kamara, Moran, Inns.
Bookings: Brathwaite (Sent off 85 mins.), Risbridger, Morgan, Garrard.
Goals: Braintree Town: Marks 48, Quinton 54 pen.
Wood Man of the Match: Greg Morgan.