Blue Square Bet South
Boreham Wood 2 AFC Hornchurch 1
by John Mead
With just one defeat at home in the League all Season Wood continued their superb home record to record a first win in four to climb back into the Play-off places. Having lost just once and conceded a paltry ten goals in seventeen League matches Wood boast by far the best home record in the Division.
It was at times far from convincing and after playing less than forty-eight hours earlier one could excuse the omnipresence of fantasy football, yet Wood again dug deep and showed yet again what a difficult team they are on home soil.
The visitors allowed Wood enough time on the ball and rarely troubled James Russell in the Wood goal until after the interval. Despite The Urchins winning several corners it was Wood who took the lead after twenty-one minutes. Charlie Moone, on his full First Team debut, held up play on the edge of the area supplying Luke Garrard. His exceptional ball forward to Graeme Montgomery caught out the AFC Hornchurch defence, allowing Montgomery to smash home across Joe Woolley on his favoured left foot.
Michael Thalassitis then stung the hands of Woolley with a well struck drive, before a Montgomery curling free kick was almost diverted past his own ‘keeper by Rickie Hayles. With Wood totally in control they almost added a second when Garrard prodded a shot at Woolley from a Montgomery corner.
Chez Isaac went close with a rising drive which Woolley turned behind, yet for all their domination Wood took just a slender lead into half time.
With Russell in command of his area and the only shot of note from Wood being a Jerome Anderson effort that was high and wide, Manager Ian Allinson rang the changes replacing Moone and Anderson with Loick Pires and Greg Morgan.
Charlie O’Loughlin made a goal saving challenge to deny Lewis Smith, but the defence could not stop Kieron St Aimie from equalising after sixty-six minutes. The much travelled striker rose perfectly to turn a hopeful cross from the left into a beautiful assist, cushioning a header beyond Russell with Callum Reynolds beaten by the leap.
Boosted by the goal the visitors suddenly posed a real threat and Wood looked like they may again rue their inability to finish off games. Both Pires and Morgan brought an urgency to Wood’s attacking game, with Ben Nunn playing his part with some positive play down the right wing.
Morgan hit a fine drive that Woolley punched to safety as Wood showed intent. The winner came after seventy-five minutes. Nunn drove down the right flank finding Montgomery, who advanced to send a superb cross that hung beautifully at the near post. Both Pires and Thalassitis rose and either man could have finished the move, with Pires making the important connection to leave Woolley stranded.
Mario Noto came on with twelve minutes remaining and was harshly red carded ten minutes later for a tackle which the Wood player won. Referee Mr. Crysell spoiled his afternoon with a decision more rash than the tackle it was earned for.
Pires went close a couple of times and St Aimie forced a fingertip save from Russell from his thirty-five yard effort from a standing start. Wood survived a bout of late corners with Reynolds resolute to climb back into the Play-off places.
For Ian Allinson it was, “All about the three points this afternoon. We had to dig deep after playing less than forty-eight hours ago and with every game now important results matter. Teams will raise their game against us as we are a top five side and we need to continue our superb home form until the end of the Season. There will be no more pretty games!”
Team: Russell, Nunn, Jones, Garrard, O’Loughlin, Reynolds, Anderson (Sub – Morgan 63 mins.), Isaac, Moone (Sub – Pires 63 mins.), Thalassitis (Sub – Noto 78 mins.), Montgomery.
Subs (Not used): Akurang, Grace.
Bookings: O’Loughlin, Morgan, Noto Sent off 88.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Montgomery 21, Pires 75. AFC Hornchurch: St Aimie 66.
Man of the Match: Ben Nunn.