Blue Square Bet South
Boreham Wood 2 Farnborough 4
by John Mead
The visitors arrived in scintillating form, having dropped just two points in their last eight games. Their last defeat was against Wood and this win lifts them to just one point behind leaders Braintree Town, turning the title challenge into a two horse race.
Wood found themselves two goals down after eighteen minutes, both penalties, which did little to please boss Ian Allinson. “We spoke about this at length before kick off. Farnborough have scored inside the first ten minutes in their last three games and we were guilty of not sticking to the script.”
The first penalty Wood can have little complaint about. Some explosive attacking down the left from the outstanding Craig Braham-Barrett and Dale Binns allowed Kezie Ibe to turn Luke Wilkinson inside the area. “Luke got too tight and stuck out a leg” concluded Allinson, giving Paul Booth the opportunity to send Elvijs Putnins the wrong way for the lead.
The second penalty, just nine minutes later was a controversial call. Osei Sankofa was right on the edge of the area and going nowhere when Gareth Risbridger challenged for possession. Not a single Farnborough player appealed as Sankofa went to ground, with Referee Mr. Serrano, who was just yards from the incident seemingly overruling himself in favour of his Assistant’s flag. Booth repeated his feat leaving Wood a mountain to climb.
At this stage it was very much damage limitation for Wood with the visitors producing a high tempo performance of skill and a work rate that matched their desire for the title. “We knew it would be tough and the amount of work Farnborough put in has to be admired.” admitted Allinson.
Wood did stem the flow, although David Bryant and Elliott Godfrey were toiling against a robust defensive pairing of Steve Robinson and Jack King. The main threat of a Wood breakthrough came from the darting runs of Greg Morgan and after 53 minutes he broke through the middle of the park. He had two options with Bryant to his left and the slightly better placed Godfrey to his right, choosing Bryant who received the ball on his weaker foot, eventually being ruled out for offside.
Farnborough turned the screw even further after 53 minutes. A route one attack caught out the Wood defence when a superb turn inside the box gave Kezie Ibe just enough space to slide the ball beyond Putnins. Daryl McMahon hit a thirty yard screamer for the visitors which went just over before the introduction of Ola Sogbanmu, who once again had a massive influence on the game for Wood.
Jerome Maledon, who had a fine evening in only his third start, slipped a central ball towards Sogbanmu which created enough panic in the unfortunate Jamie Stevens to stretch out and send the ball beyond his own ‘keeper Michael Jordan, making it 1 – 3 after 77 minutes. What followed did little to please the Wood boss. “Having just scored we immediately gave away a soft fourth.” Robinson sent a fifty yard clearance for the fresh legs of goal machine Bradley Bubb to chase. He left the Wood defence standing and even though Putnins did well to narrow the angle the finish was decisive.
That left just five minutes for Wood to respond and Sogbanmu popped up again with a classy second for Wood. Daniel Brathwaite, who produced another exceptional performance on the night, headed central. Sogbanmu turned magnificently and sped towards goal resisting the challenges of the defenders before hitting a low finish beyond Jordan. It was a courageous showing from Wood whom, like the visitors, proved they have aspirations of their own this Season!
In summary Ian Allinson concluded, “The strange thing about this game was that aside from picking the ball out of the net four times, Elvijs barely had a save to make! We stuck at it and had a go and need to pick ourselves up for the trip to Hampton & Richmond Borough on Saturday. The other results tonight down the bottom did not really hurt us and that was the best side we have faced for some time.”
Team: Putnins, Garrard, Brathwaite, Cestor, Wilkinson (Sub – Moran 38 mins.), Noto, Morgan (Sub – Sogbanmu 68 mins.), Risbridger (Sub – Hurrell 72 mins.), Bryant, Godfrey, Maledon.
Subs (Not used): Kamara, Inns.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Stevens 77 (O.G.), Sogbanmu 89. Farnborough: Booth 9 pen, 18 pen, Ibe 53, Bubb 85.
Man of the Match: Daniel Brathwaite.
Pictures courtesy of Phil Wallace