Accrington Stanley 1 – 0 (aet) Boreham Wood
Tuesday 24th January 2023
Wham Stadium, Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay
WOOD ELIMINATED FROM FA CUP
Tommy Leigh’s penalty in Extra Time saw the Wood eliminated from the FA Cup at the Third Round stage at the hands of Accrington Stanley, despite a hard-fought display from the National League side.
Indeed, Extra Time was required to separate the two sides, but despite keeping Stanley at bay for more than 90 minutes, the dangerous Shaun Whalley proved too much to handle as he won a penalty at the start of Extra Time which Leigh converted to put the ‘Owd Reds in the ascendancy and make them the last team to reach the Fourth Round of the FA Cup, with Premier League outfit Leeds United now set to make the trip to Lancashire instead of Hertfordshire.
Defeat at the Wham Stadium sees the Wood unable to match the heights of last season, but they will be looking to bounce back with a trip to Altrincham on Saturday as they return to league action with the aim of recording their first fifth tier win since the start of December.
Luke Garrard made just one change to the side that drew with Notts County two weeks ago in the Wood’s last outing, with Femi Ilesanmi returning to the back three allowing Dennon Lewis to replace the cup-tied Chris Bush.
It was the hosts who enjoyed the bulk of the possession early on as they looked to avoid a cup upset, but they struggled to produce more than a few half chances at best with the Wood going closest to scoring in the first few minutes.
Lewis came away with the ball on the right flank after a Stanley move broke down and swiftly led the counter-attack, but his dangerous ball into the middle was unable to meet Tyrone Marsh as the hosts were able to clear in the nick of time.
Another half chance fell to George Broadbent a few minutes later with the Sheffield United loanee firing a wild effort over the crossbar, before Marsh tested Toby Savin from close range with a tame effort. Action was certainly lacking as neither side was able to gain a foothold, and chances dried up for much of the first half.
Stanley certainly threatened more as the half progressed with Ethan Hamilton seeing a strike from distance blocked, and Whalley came even closer moments later when he drove into the Wood area before sending a powerful effort goalward, which needed a block from Cameron Coxe to keep it away from the danger area.
The hosts came ever so close to an opener on the stroke of half time when Rosaire Longelo sent a cross into the middle, but David Agbontohoma was well-placed to head away with Whalley ready to pounce, and this was all they could conjure before the referee brought a rather flat first half to a close.
HT: Accrington Stanley 0-0 Boreham Wood
The Wood got a cagey affair underway for the second half in similar fashion to the first, and it took until the hour-mark for either side to produce a meaningful opportunity.
Indeed, chances were at a premium early on, but an opener almost came gift-wrapped when Broadbent misjudged a header allowing Whalley to break away. The 35-year old advanced with pace towards the penalty area before twisting inside and out, but his eventual effort was blocked after Coxe made a crucial intervention.
Nonetheless, this proved to be a warning sign for the visitors with John Coleman’s men going close again minutes later. A big chance for Stanley saw Whalley find himself in acres of space for a free header, but he could only direct his effort into the gloves of Nathan Ashmore much to the disappointment of the veteran who had had perhaps their best chance of the game.
Ryan Astley, the scorer of Stanley’s opener in the initial Third Round tie, saw an effort of his own go amiss as he headed wide from close range, but the quality of chances had evidently gone up as the hosts began to threaten the Wood backline much more.
The visitors remained resilient for much of the half though and certainly made it difficult for Stanley to break them down. Another half chance fell to Whalley with eight minutes to go when Savin played a low free kick straight to the forward, who cut inside and fired an effort goalward that Ashmore was behind.
And the Wood stopper would prove to be the hero as he kept his side in it with a wonderful save at the death. Stanley sent a low cross into the middle which Sean McConville looked to sweep home into the empty net, but Ashmore was able to stretch a leg out and clear it off the line to the frustration of the ‘Owd Reds’ record league appearance maker, who thought he had won it for the Lancashire-based outfit.
A couple of rare chances fell to the Wood during stoppage time when Broadbent volleyed Brunt’s corner into the gloves of Savin, but they failed to clear their lines from the resulting goal kick as Doug Tharme played the ball straight back to the Wood. This forced Savin into action immediately, with the Stanley stopper pushing Lee Ndlovu’s effort wide before the referee signalled for full time, meaning Extra Time would be required to decide the winner.
FT: Accrington Stanley 0-0 Boreham Wood
Stanley produced a golden opportunity mere seconds into Extra Time, with a corner creating a goalmouth scramble that led to Tharme looking to force the ball over the line, but the Wood were able to clear off the line.
At long last a goal would be on the way, with the ‘Owd Reds finally getting it right seven minutes into Extra Time. Whalley would be at the heart of it once again as he weaved his way into the penalty area before being taken out by Brunt, and Leigh converted the resulting spot-kick to give his side a late lead giving the visitors 15 minutes to save their FA Cup journey.
HT (ET): Accrington Stanley 1-0 Boreham Wood
The Wood smelt blood after a brief pause to refresh, and began to put the pressure on in their pursuit of an equaliser. Substitute Érico Sousa did well to dribble into the area before seeing an effort blocked, but the nerves seemingly began to creep in as the visitors looked to take advantage of Stanley showing a bit of shakiness for the first time.
George Williams’ delivery moments later went across the goalmouth with no one there to get a touch, but they continued to build with Femi Ilesanmi doing well to reach the byline, however Savin was able to claim his cross to the relief of those in the home end.
Williams would almost turn villain when his slip gifted Liam Coyle the chance to put the game to bed, but his effort fizzed just wide of the post giving the Wood a lifeline.
They came ever so close to taking advantage with a handful of set pieces at the death, with Ashmore even coming up for each one as they looked to steal a late equaliser. However, Stanley were able to deal with each of Williams’ deliveries, meaning the Wood’s FA Cup journey had come to an end.
FT (ET): Accrington Stanley 1-0 Boreham Wood
Accrington Stanley: Savin; Astley, Nottingham (Longelo 34’), Tharme; Rodgers, Martin, Coyle, Hamilton (Pressley 92’), McConville; Whalley (Woods 102+1), Leigh
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Nolan, Perritt, Adekoya, Pickles, Fernandes
Goal: Leigh 96’
Boreham Wood: Ashmore; Agbontohoma, Evans, Ilesanmi; Coxe, Payne (Williams 109’), Broadbent, Lewis (Sousa 106’); Rees (Brunt 64’); Marsh, Ndlovu
Subs Not Used: Abayomi, Ricketts, Newton, Fyfield
Star Man: Femi Ilesanmi
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