Blue Square Bet South
Farnborough 0 Boreham Wood 1
by John Mead
Elliott Godfrey again proved his worth in the current Wood revival netting the winner, in a game of many chances, in spectacular fashion. It was his fourth goal in as many games since returning from injury.
This unexpected win against second placed Farnborough lifts Wood out of the relegation zone for the first time this Season, whilst extending their unbeaten run to four games.
With pre-match concerns focused on the extent of damage pivotal Club Captain Luke Garrard suffered in the previous game at Lewes, an injury that threatens his Career, his absence was seldom noticed thanks to a brilliant performance from Michael Kamara playing on the right side of a back four. The opening half an hour was like a day at the shooting gallery. Neither defence really got to grip with the super fast counter attacking style that both sides employed.
In the third minute Kezie Ibe lofted a cross from the left that found Dean McDonald who miscued a golden opportunity to open the Hampshire side’s account, before Mario Noto, who outperformed the rest on the night, deflected his second attempt behind for a corner.
The goalmouth action continued when Paul Booth was played through onside down the right only to strike the foot of the post after shooting across debutant stand-in Wood goalkeeper James Reading, who was signed at short notice from Hendon, to replace the injured Elvijs Putnins. James King then headed just wide at the far post for the hosts from Dale Binns’ corner delivery.
It was then the turn of Wood to threaten, with Luke Wilkinson first heading wide from a Noto corner , before a perfect delivery from a Nicky Nicolau free kick found the impressive centre back unmarked. Had his connection been clean then Wood were surely ahead. Ali Chaaban, who was a constant threat to the Boro’ defence all night, did extremely well to control Greg Morgan’s forty yard ball forward, running on to shoot just wide with his second touch.
Reading, a former Wycombe Wanderers Reserve Team regular overcame a shaky start to turn in a memorable performance, tipping Steve Robinson’s header over the bar as the first half somehow ended in stalemate.
Noto almost broke the deadlock after 51 minutes when he cut inside from the left, hitting a low drive forcing Michael Jordan to dive low to his left, producing a fingertip save. It took a moment of pure class from Godfrey to break the deadlock four minutes later. A half clearance fell to Chaaban with his back to goal on the edge of the area. His nestled header fell for the Canadian born striker who hit a sumptuous half volley that dipped and curled into the top left hand corner of the net. This served to bolster Wood’s confidence, whilst reducing the belief in the home side who began trying their luck with a series of wayward long distance efforts.
McDonald tested Reading, who relied on Wilkinson to mop up, from King’s follow up after taking the sting out of the original effort. Ryan Moran suffered a bloody head after heading Nicolau’s cross which Jordan was equal to. He left the field several times for treatment, yet the Wood defence held strong.
Chaaban beat two players before releasing Godfrey only for the Referee to deny the advantage, before Boro’ earned a penalty, when Reading was adjudged to have impeded Ibe when saving at the second attempt. Luckily for Boro’ they had just introduced goal machine Bradley Bubb, yet it was not to be their night, as the striker failed to score in his ninth consecutive game firing the spot kick over the bar. Booth compounded the home side’s misery missing two excellent opportunities when well placed. That aside, Wood never looked like conceding after the penalty miss, with Reading in outstanding form behind a resolute defence.
It was a terrific all round performance which compliments the hard work done off the pitch to build a Squad capable of surviving. “We will be adding two superb signings in time for Saturday, a centre back and a winger” informed Wood boss Ian Allinson. “We hope to have Daniel Brathwaite back in two weeks and are sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for news over Luke’s (Garrard) injury, but it does not sound promising. We had to nurse Elliott through tonight as he has just returned from injury and that was his fourth game in eleven days.”
Team: Reading, Kamara, Cestor, Moran, Wilkinson, Noto (Sub – Hibbert 87 mins.), Morgan, Risbridger, Chaaban, Godfrey (Sub – Sogbanmu 87 mins.), Nicolau.
Subs (Not used): Adjei, Hunter, Lewis.
Bookings: Nicolau, Wilkinson, Moran, Reading, Chaaban.
Goal: Boreham Wood: Godfrey 55.
Man of the Match: Mario Noto.