Boreham Wood 2-0 Altrincham
Tuesday 15th February 2022
LV BET Stadium Meadow Park, Vanarama National League

WOOD BOUNCE BACK TO BEAT ALTRINCHAM

The Wood ensured they didn’t begin a winless streak for the first time this season as they bounced back from defeat at Wrexham on Saturday to comfortably beat Altrincham, thanks to goals from Kane Smith and Scott Boden.

Altrincham dominated the opening stages with Matty Koslyo and Ryan Colclough standing out from the start. Koslyo got things up and running after just two minutes when he sent a volley straight down the throat of Taye Ashby-Hammond after an Alty corner was cleared to the edge of the box, before two chances in as many minutes fell to Colclough when firstly his low drive from 25-yards out came back off the post before he tried his luck from distance with an ambitious lob. The hosts did start to grow into it though, as they produced several half chances that weren’t quite able to test Tony Thompson in the Robins goal.

The Wood soon made their upturn in performance count though. It certainly took a bit of luck, but sometimes luck is what you need. Kane Smith’s long-range effort was heavily deflected to beat an already committed Thompson and secure a fortuitous opener, perhaps against the run of play, but met by a roar from the home end nonetheless as they look to take advantage of their games in hand. Altrincham looked to react immediately as Koslyo was unable to keep his lobbed effort on target, before Tyrone Marsh would go ever so close to finding a second just after the half-hour mark after looking to capitalise on Toby Mullarkey’s error, but Thompson was alert enough to prevent, making a good save at full stretch down the his right hand side. Mullarkey did nearly make amends for his shortcoming, threading a lovely ball through to Leitch-Smith to run onto to produce a golden chance, but the striker was unable to reach it.

A fairly even first half came to an end with the Wood the happier of the two sides, although they would be keen to see an improved display in the second. It almost got off to an excellent start as a backpedalling Thompson looked beaten after Connor Stevens met a free kick on his maiden home appearance, but his header went onto the roof of the net. Wood continued to push though, and Boden will have been disappointed to not double Wood’s lead. Some neat interplay between Tyrone Marsh and Kane Smith, playing a one-two with the latter getting to the byline before cutting a ball back for Boden, but after getting it under control he could only fire wide. It took just three minutes for the Wood’s number nine to make amends though. Smith drilled an effort towards the back post which seemed to be heading just wide of the mark but outstretched leg from Boden redirected the ball with a cute side-footed flick into the bottom left corner, ending his goal drought and giving his side a two-goal cushion. In an attempt to get back into it, Phil Parkinson threw Jordan Hulme and Josh Hancock on, and it began to inject life into his Altrincham team. The latter immediately got involved, and after a clever turn laid it off to Elliot Osborne on the edge of the box who struck a dangerous effort towards the top corner that beat Ashby-Hammond but went on wrong side of the post. The hosts were determined to keep their opponents at bay, and the dangerous Kane Smith continued to cause the Altrincham defence all kinds of problems. With less than 20 minutes to go he beat Andy White and cut it back to Marsh, but his shot went wide of the near post. White would be at fault once again when Smith and Marsh replicated their combination four minutes later to send Smith breaking into the box before going down under a poor challenge, and although it looked a stonewall penalty the referee wasn’t interested and waved away Wood’s appeals.

Altrincham began to put a wave of pressure on during the latter stages of the game, with Dan Mooney going on a good solo run before laying it off to Osborne whose shot was deflected behind for a corner. Mooney then sent the ball into the mixer five minutes later with Hulme’s eventual effort beating Ashby-Hammond, but it somehow stayed out as Smith proved to be the hero to clear off the line when everyone inside Meadow Park was waiting for the net to bulge. This just about summed up Smith’s evening, who was a constant thorn in Alty’s side.

Another resilient defensive display was the platform for the Wood to build on, keeping a bright Altrincham attack at bay. Dave Stephens in particular was immense along with Will Evans and Connor Stevens, while Smith’s relentlessness high up the pitch was the key to an effective attacking performance for the Wood. It brings another clean sheet and another win, and it bodes well going into the run of fixtures having been lifted to third in the National League with four games in hand.

Boreham Wood: Ashby-Hammond, K. Smith, Evans (Reckord 59’), Stephens, Stevens, Mendy Mendy, Ricketts, Comley, Rees, Boden (Orsi 77’), Marsh (Clifton 85’).

Subs not used: Raymond, Lewis.

Altrincham: Thompson, Densmore, Mullarkey, Mudimu, White, Osborne, Marriott, Kosylo (Mooney 74’), Pringle (Hancock 65’), Colclough, Leitch-Smith (Hulme 65’).

Subs not used: Cooper, Morgan.

Man of the Match: Kane Smith.

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