by John Mead.
This Saturday the roller coaster ride continues with a trip to highly fancied Ebbsfleet United, in what is for The Wood our penultimate League match of the season.
The Fleet were title favourites back in August, but since then a hunger for success has seen the Club change its manager and half of its playing staff in an attempt to live up to its pre season billing. Up until a week ago it simply had not been working. Then along came Easter and two back to back wins, including a 3-0 win at home to Whitehawk has turned the heads of many of the sceptics.
There is little point trying to guess the outcome of games in this League as we are well aware in our incredible campaign . However both sides will keep on believing that until things are mathematically unfeasible anything is possible. The Fleet have more than one eye on a play off place and will be looking to keep their recent momentum going. Their manager Jamie Day has been given a remit of winning the League next season, yet another four wins from their last four games , although reliant on both Whitehawk and Gosport Borough both suffering a dip in form could give them a play off place.
Our strong finish to the season, along with both Basingstoke Town and Havant and Waterlooville’s, coupled with Bromley’s heart attack inducing form for their fans, still gives all four sides a dream to chase.
I caught up with Ian Allinson to get his take on the whole top of the table scenario after the Sutton game. “ Prior to losing at Bromley, I had set a target of 77 points to win the League. That is no longer possible but we still have it all to play for. Obviously only two wins will do at this stage and even then nothing can be taken for granted, but we go to Ebbsfleet with three clean sheets in our last four games. It will be a tough afternoon and we will need to create chances, but we are strong at the moment and we go there in a good frame of mind.”
Ebbsfleet have recently assembled a host of top names from the Divisions above in an attempt to snatch promotion after the dismissal of Steve Brown. Strikers Danny Kedwell from Gillingham and Adam Cunnington from Cambridge United have completely revamped the forward line. Luke Rooney was drafted in from Luton Town to boost their wide options going forward, to compliment an already impressive squad.
What Wood have over their opponents is a settled squad of players and there is sometimes no substitute for consistency in football. In Premier League terms Ian Allinson could be compared to Arsene Wenger if one pitches our management set up against to that of our hosts, post Liam Daish!
It is always a tough ask to get anything from a financially well backed club who know all about life in the National League, driven by a manager in Day who has already taken a less fancied side there and sustained that position, against the odds. His recent recruits possess a host of experience in that arena too. Kedwell not only won promotion out of the Conference into the Football League with AFC Wimbledon, he then top scored in Gillingham’s Division Two winning side.
Cunnington, along with Tom Bonner were part of the side that propelled Cambridge United into the Football League, whilst Bonner also has experience in winning promotion from the Conference South with Dartford.
We need your support this Saturday more than ever as we embark upon another journey that is part of the most memorable season in the clubs history. Luckily for us, our self proclaimed Non League Anorak Dell Ward reliably informs me there are trains out of St Pancras International that take a full seventeen minutes to reach Ebbsfleet International, with the walk through the massive station car park to the ground next door taking almost the same amount of time!
We hope to see and hear as many of you as possible on Saturday.
Come On You Wood!.
Ebbsfleet United v Boreham Wood.
Saturday April 11th, kick off 3pm.
Stonebridge Road, Northfleet. DA11 9GN.