Blue Square Bet South
Boreham Wood 0 Bath City 0
by John Mead
These two sides had never met before this Season and after two goalless draws it was probably for the good!
Wood certainly have a superb home record defensively having shipped just five League goals all Season. Yet it is the lack of goals which is the slightly worrying factor. This result extended the unbeaten home run to six, but with three of those drawn it leaves Wood clinging to the final Play-off spot. The lack of goals today was down to a superb performance from visiting ‘keeper Jason Mellor and an equally stand out performance from Romans centre back Mark Preece. For Bath City their paucity was more down to a lack of cutting edge and their failure to capitalise on mistakes.
A loose ball from Mark Jones let in lone striker Elliott Chamberlain, who was quickly supported, allowing him to curl a shot just wide of James Russell’s left hand post.
Graeme Montgomery was by far the classiest player on the pitch first half getting the first shot on target away before Mario Noto put pressure on his side when his dallying allowed Chamberlain to steal the ball from his feet. Through on goal Noto brought the player down and was lucky to escape with a caution.
Michael Thalassitis extracted the first good save from Mellor after fourteen minutes when his pace took him past the last defender before Mellor rushed out to dispossess the Stevenage Loan player.
He tested him even further six minutes later. Jones passed to feet from the left wing allowing Thalassitis to take one touch before hitting a sweetly struck shot from thirty yards that was bound for the top right hand corner until Mellor acrobatically tipped the effort to safety.
Callum Reynolds did enough at the back to deny the visitors leaving Russell little to do, whilst Mellor had to contend with a shot straight at him from Ben Nunn as the half petered out.
Mellor was soon back in action after the interval however, when he made a meal of an innocuous looking shot from Thalassitis, before Loick Pires forced a low save from the shot stopper with a left footed drive. For all of their possession City could not find a way past the Wood defence and the prospect of another stalemate between the two sides became more apparent as the game went on.
Substitute Lewis Toomey, on for Pires headed home from a brilliantly weighted ball forward from Montgomery, yet sadly he was just offside and the goal the game was screaming out for was denied.
Russell then gifted Substitute Kerry Morgan the ball inside the Wood penalty area yet he ran it straight out of play as both sides struggled to produce the piece of play needed to unlock the game.
It was Wood who finished the stronger. Thalassitis headed wide to Chez Isaac who flashed a dangerous cross across the face of goal finding Montgomery at the far post who again found Mellor in top form diving full stretch to repel. In the final minute Nunn supplied a cross from the right which Thalassitis met with his head. It looked every inch the winning goal, yet Mellor somehow twisted to tip the effort over the bar.
This was Wood’s ninth draw of the campaign, yet Manager Ian Allinson was ultimately pleased with “A point gained and a clean sheet after Tuesday’s heavy defeat. There are no poor teams in this Division and if you do not get in front then it leaves you chasing the game which can ultimately lead to mistakes. We played some good stuff at times yet our ball retention let us down on occasions. Bath City did not really create too much and their ‘keeper was in inspiring form on the afternoon.”
Team: Russell, Nunn, Jones, Noto, O’Loughlin, Reynolds, Mingoia (Sub – Morgan 76 mins.), Isaac, Thalassitis, Pires (Sub – Toomey 64 mins.), Montgomery.
Subs (Not used): Akurang, Garrard, Hastings.
Bookings: Noto, Russell.
Wood Man of the Match: Michael Thalassitis.