Vanarama Conference South.
Bishops Stortford 0 Boreham Wood 5,
by John Mead.
A devastating burst of three goals in eight minutes after the interval turned this tie in the blink of an eye.
After a three match run without a win on the road, this emphatic victory, courtesy of a slip up at home by Bromley, opens up a five point lead again at the top of the table. It also completes the set of wins to nil victories up to six!
Scott Thomas and Matty Whichelow returned to the starting eleven at the expense of the injured Junior Morias and Anthony Jeffrey, with Allinson opting for a tight and dangerous midfield, leaving Lee Angol to operate as a lone striker.
The opening thirty minutes on a windy afternoon at Woodside Park gave little away as to the final outcome of the tie. The hosts settled quickly and were stamping their authority on proceedings, winning three corners in as many minutes from the kick off.
Graeme Montgomery shot one across the bows as an early warning sign, but the best chance of a goal came after 18 minutes at the other end. Sheldon Sellears did well down the left cutting a ball central for the unmarked Frankie Merrifield who drove his shot the wrong side of the post.
It was pretty much nip and tuck until Angol began to see more of the ball as the half expired. He forced a low save from Joe Wright after beating two defenders, the supply coming from the lively Montgomery.
Just before the interval Angol in a great position and with only the keeper top beat stabbed the ball wide of the target.
The game exploded into life after the interval when a free kick found the hosts James Walker totally unmarked, who headed against the post with James Russell stranded. Quite how significant that miss was became apparent very quickly.
Three minutes later Sam Cox played a ball down the right channel for Ricky Shakes to predate. He outpaced his marker and with Wright forced out to cover Shakes just won the race to the ball, dinking it over the keeper and into the net.
The relief from the Wood bench was palpable, which soon manifested itself on the pitch. Ben Martin set up Montgomery for a sizzler that flew just over the upright angle. Just three minutes after Shakes’ first and with the Stortford defence dazed, he added his second. Adam Bailey-Dennis missed the ball allowing Angol to fly at the defence down the right, cutting a ball back for Shakes to blast home after 53 minutes.
Wood were now rampant and when Luke Garrard’s ball forward was only half cleared by Ricky Hayles it fell for Angol who sent his volley back towards goal leaving Wright no chance.
Bailey-Dennis was clearly struggling with fitness, but his withdrawal came too late with Wood seemingly home and hosed inside eight stunning second half minutes.
Cox went close to adding a fourth and with Allinson screaming for more from the dugout, Wood attacked with menace. Whichelow’s free kick was cleared off the line by a defender, before goal number four arrives after 74 minutes. Angol gave the left back a three yard head start but was soon in control of the ball powering down the right and with the Stortford defence in disarray he coolly centred for Whichelow to stroke the ball home.
Lewis Toomey and Austin Lipman were then introduced and it took the young player on Arsenal’s books less then fifteen seconds to add a fifth. Immediately picking up play in the centre of the park he drive forward past two defenders to send a low shot beyond Wright into the bottom left hand corner of the net via the post.
Angol could have added a sixth when he attacked down the left cutting inside to curl an effort just over the bar, his individual performance the stand out on a quite unbelievable afternoon.
Speaking after the game Ian Allinson explained, “ We got back to basics today. We looked too open at Eastbourne and Bath and we moved the ball around well again . We expected Bishops Stortford to come out strong after we beat them at home. We weathered the storm and were thankful they missed a golden opportunity after the break, When we got ahead they left themselves exposed looking for a way back into the game and from that point on we were clinical. There were some great individual performances today. Ben Martin led from the back for us and Lee Angol was outstanding. His pace and movement was devastating. “
Team: Russell, Garrard, Brown, Cox ( Toomey 75), Martin ( Hill 78), Reynolds, Whichelow ( Lipman 75), Shakes, Angol, Thomas, Montgomery.
Subs not used: Morias, Courtnage.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Shakes 49,52. Angol 57. Whichelow 74, Lipman 76.
Wood Fans Man Of The Match: Lee Angol.