Blue Square Bet South
Boreham Wood 1 Chelmsford City 3
by John Mead
Chelmsford City extended their unbeaten run in the League to fifteen matches in controversial fashion against a hard done by Wood side that until the sixty-eighth minute were in total control of proceedings.
What followed smacked of bitter resentment, with Referee Mr. Coggins awarding a controversial second goal which appeared a clear offside, followed by a Premiership style second yellow card for Sam Cox for a tackle that was micro-seconds mistimed after Kezie Ibe had struck a superb third goal inside six horrible minutes for the visitors.
Thereafter there was clearly no way back for Wood who were left with just one point from twelve in their recent run, in stark contrast to the scintillating run of late that featured six straight wins propelling the side from the pits of relegation to a lofty seventh in the table.
Michael Thalassitis celebrated his recent call up to a National training camp for the “Under 19” Cyprus team with a superb performance in front of goal, where his pace and presence allowed Wood to literally camp out in the Clarets half for long periods of the game.
Wood took control from the Kick Off, Sam Lechmere down the right found David Bryant and his ball across goal was perfect for Thalassitis who shot just wide. Bryant and Thalassitis again combined with the Stevenage Loan player’s shot deflected wide by a defender. The early pressure paid off after six minutes when Lechmere played a right sided corner out to Bryant. His fierce volley was blocked falling for Cox who controlled a sweet strike from twenty-five yards out that left the ex-Chelsea ‘keeper Stuart Searle no chance, giving Wood a deserved early lead. City were less than convincing with their deliveries from corners on the evening, yet after nine minutes they got it right, with Michael Jordan only half clearing, relying on his defenders to scramble a shot off the line.
Thalassitis again went close before City, playing on the counter attack sent Craig Parker through on goal, only for Jordan to rush out and make a brave block on the edge of the area. Wood continued to threaten, with a Mark Jones cross that ran dangerously across goal. Cox was harshly booked after 23 minutes when he got the slightest of touches on Clark who went to ground.
Wood at this stage were keeping The Clarets on the defensive for long periods.
Kezie Ibe had a rare chance on the counter, yet slipped and shot straight at Jordan, before Osei Sankofa produced a fine blocking tackle to deny Warren Whitely.
Whitely caused problems for Wood after the interval with a penetrating run. His final ball was intercepted by Luke Wilkinson and with Jordan out of position the whole ground waited with baited breath as the ball ran just wide of the right hand post. Wood rode their luck with some tight offside traps until a brilliant run from Thalassitis down the left saw him power past Adam Tann into the penalty area pulling back a fine ball into the path of Daryl McMahon whose powerful volley sailed just over the bar. With Cliff Akurang failing to make an impact against a focused Charlie O’Loughlin he was swiftly replaced with Michael Bakare by Clarets Head Coach Glenn Pennyfather.
Parker played Ibe through into the penalty area and a brief lack of concentration from O’Loughlin sent the forward to ground, allowing Parker to beat Jordan from the spot for an equaliser after sixty-eight minutes. Four minutes later a cross from the left was not taken by Jordan, with Bakare seemingly miles offside bundling the ball in at the far post. To the shock of all those present Mr. Coggins allowed the goal to stand.
With scarcely time to feel bitter Ibe produced a moment of magic swerving on the spot in a crowded area to lash home a superb finish high into the roof of the net after seventy-four minutes, City’s third goal in six minutes.
Wood were dragged into the depths of despair just a minute later when Mr. Coggins firmly cemented himself as “Man of the Match” sending Cox packing after what was an innocuous sliding tackle, a decision that was extremely harsh on the Barnet Loan player.
City were now full of confidence and Substitute Tosan Ebigbeyi-Popo almost added to Wood’s misery after a quickly taken free kick. Jordan saved well to keep the scoreline at 1 – 3, which did little to hide Wood boss Ian Allinson’s frustrations at the final whistle.
Speaking after the game Wood Assistant Manager Daryl McMahon shared his frustrations. “We were seventh in the table until the sixty-eighth minute. The Referee acknowledged after the game that he got it wrong in allowing their second goal to stand. The sending off left Sam Cox very dejected and we emphasised to him that he did nothing wrong. It seems you can get booked every time you go in for a tackle in some games. It was not a dirty game. Chelmsford City are a very good side with a huge Squad but the nature of the defeat leaves us very disappointed. That said we are not far off where we need to be and we will go again against Sutton United on Boxing Day.”
Team: Jordan, Sankofa, Jones, Cox, O’Loughlin, Wilkinson, Lechmere (Sub – Hunter 80 mins.), McMahon, Thalassitis, Bryant, Hutton (Sub – Cochrane 80 mins.).
Subs (Not used): Johnson, Koranteng, Beckles.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Cox 6. Chelmsford City: Parker 68 pen, Bakare 72, Ibe 74.
Bookings: Cox 23, sent off 75. Jordan, Bryant, McMahon.
Wood Man of the Match: Luke Wilkinson.