Blue Square Bet South
Basingstoke Town 1 Boreham Wood 0
by John Mead
A disappointing performance at The Camrose led to Wood’s nineteenth League defeat of the Season, allowing The Dragons to avenge their earlier defeat by the same score at Meadow Park.
Aside from a ten minute spell at either end of the game Wood were decidedly second best in terms of effort and creating chances, which upset Manager Ian Allinson considerably. “I expected much today after the fantastic efforts we have put in to climb out of the relegation battle. Our aim was to hit fifty points and finish above the likes of Staines Town and Hampton & Richmond Borough. The last thing I need is to finish poorly and concede to other sides just because we now know we are safe. I told the players we needed to give the League respect and some of them fell very short of the required standard today.”
Early signs were business as usual, with Wood sitting in the top eight current form table. Nicky Nicolau’s flick inside down the left picked out David Bryant whose forward ball through the legs of a defender sent Gareth Risbridger clean through inside the penalty area. He shot wide of ‘keeper Simon Locke only for Jay Gasson to hook the effort off the line.
Less than a minute later Mario Noto tested Locke with a low curling free kick that he saw late and pushed to safety. The Dragons responded immediately with Delano Sam-Yorke’s penetrative run allowing Jide Ogunbote a clear sight of goal, with Michael Kamara doing extremely well to block on the line. Matt Warner tried his luck from thirty yards for the home side, before Sam-Yorke got a fine cross in that evaded everybody.
Risbridger hit the pass of the game splitting the defence to find Bryant yet he failed to finish.
Back at the other end the ever dangerous Sam-Yorke hit a perfect cross for Ross Adams at the far post, yet his header which should have given the Hampshire outfit the lead was off target.
Wood were second best after the interval, prompting Ian Allinson to introduce Ola Sogbanmu, then Sam Hurrell, yet neither made a difference, with the Town defence in no mood to concede. It was Basingstoke’s superior work rate that set the teams apart. David Pratt went close with a header from distance before Sam-Yorke beat Luke Wilkinson down the right, cutting a fine ball back into the path of leading goal scorer Greg Draper who drilled home into the bottom left hand corner of the net with twenty minutes remaining.
Further long range efforts from Stuart Lake and Sam-Yorke continued the home side’s dominance.
Late Substitute Charlie Hunter hit a fine ball into the path of Elliott Godfrey who had a good shout for a penalty turned down, before a late effort from Bryant looked to have gained an unlikely point. However the off the line clearance by Adams was heroic, allowing the mid-table side to receive a standing ovation from the home faithful as the curtain fell on another Season of football at The Camrose.
Wood Manager Ian Allinson refused to be congratulated in surviving his first Season at this level.
“In the last weeks we have produced top eight results. Therefore we need to maintain that form to have a goal next Season. We know a few of our Loan players will not be with us next Season. We are losing the services of Elvijs Putnins, Luke Wilkinson and Ola Sogbanmu’s term also ends next Saturday, whilst Mike Cestor has already returned to Leyton Orient. So when I ask the question of the rest of the Squad to show me if they are good enough, I did not envisage a performance like this. I expect a lot more from our last game with Lewes next Saturday.”
Team: Putnins, Kamara (Sub – Sogbanmu 54 mins.), Brathwaite, Moran, Wilkinson, Garrard, Risbridger, Godfrey, Bryant, Noto (Sub – Hunter 84 mins.), Nicolau (Sub – Hurrell 69 mins.).
Subs (Not used): Morgan (12), Yala.(17).
Goals: Basingstoke Town: Draper 70.
Wood Man of the Match: Daniel Brathwaite.