Blue Square Bet South
Boreham Wood 1 Maidenhead United 0
by John Mead
A fractious affair that included ten yellow cards, which could easily have been more, saw Wood move up to seventh in the table albeit having played more games than their nearest rivals.
This meteoric rise up the table, Wood were third from bottom at the start of the month was this evening down to the heroics of ‘keeper Elvijs Putnins, who was simply outstanding!
A smorgasbord of footballing heroes were present to witness Wood’s third straight 1 – 0 victory, continuing their superb run of gathering thirteen points from their last five matches. Glenn Hoddle cast an eye over his protégé David Hutton who struck home a penalty after 42 minutes. Dave Beasant, a footballing legend at Stamford Bridge, watched on as his son Sam, following in his father’s footsteps between the sticks, pulled off two outstanding saves to deny Sam Lechmere then Pelly Ruddock. Loan player Michael Thalassitis also showed visiting Stevenage Manager Graham Westley that his career is on track with a rugged performance leading the Wood attack.
Wood started in commanding form, with a superb run and cross from Hutton, followed by Thalassitis getting beyond the last defender only for his last ball to let him down. Both sides found the last ball a difficult one to deliver on occasions, with Hutton mesmerizing with his runs, yet on occasions failing to deliver a ball of quality at the outset.
Lechmere and David Bryant then combined finding Hutton who shot tamely at Beasant at the far post. Max Worsfold’s run was then ended by Charlie O’Loughlin who collected the first yellow card of the evening.
Bryant had an effort cleared off the line by a defender from a Lechmere corner as Wood looked the likelier to score first. Hutton tested Beasant from a free kick before Manny Williams looked a certainty to open the scoring for The Magpies. Played through superbly by Daniel Brown his ferocious shot from eight yards was quite brilliantly held by Putnins.
Thalassitis hit a rising drive that flew just over before having a hand in the penalty. His forward header was perfect for Bryant who was wrestled two handed by Nevin Saroya to the ground. Somehow he stayed out of the Referee’s book, but Hutton’s resultant penalty was well struck and it needed to be as Beasant went the right way and got a hand to it only to be outdone by the pace of the ball. Saroya then claimed his booking with a rash challenge through the back of Thalassitis before the interval.
Bradley Quamina then meted out the same rash challenge on Thalassitis to earn his yellow before Lechmere almost claimed the goal of the Season. Osei Sankofa’s cross from the right was met with a wonderful scissor kick that was bound for the top left hand corner until Beasant performed heroics to keep the effort out.
Maidenhead United began to turn the screw with Substitute Ashan Holgate sending a free header just over the bar, before Putnins was equal to his fierce shot across goal.
Hutton then jinked along the goal line pulling back a ball into the path of Mark Jones who blasted over from close range. Williams then clattered into Putnins as the game started to turn sour. Reece Tison-Lascaris along with a warming up Substitute saw yellow after an ankle wrenching challenge on Lechmere.
Tison-Lascaris then tested Putnins at his near post, before Substitute Pelly Ruddock was played through on goal by Thalassitis. He coasted past two defenders but Beasant made a fine save.
Proceedings were then held up whilst Referee Mr. Kendall took an age to decide how to handle a free for all, with both centre forwards receiving bookings.
Putnins again denied Holgate from close range before O’Loughlin cleared an effort off the line as the visitors threw everything at Wood who somehow held on for another victory, surviving seven minutes of stoppage time.
The occasion was seemingly too much for Williams who chose to rush at the Wood bench at the final whistle, before remaining on the pitch long after the rest of his side had departed, taking his frustrations out on the advertising hoardings, a sorry scene that was quite unbelievable to witness.
Team: Putnins, Sankofa (Sub – Hunter 77 mins.), Jones, Cox, O’Loughlin, Wilkinson, Lechmere (Sub – Ruddock 64 mins.), Isaac, Thalassitis (Sub – Akinola 90+5 mins.), Bryant, Hutton.
Subs (Not used): Martin, Baker-Owers.
Bookings: O’Loughlin, Hutton, Thalassitis.
Goal: Boreham Wood: Hutton 42 pen.
Man of the Match: Elvijs Putnins.