F A Cup First Round.
Boreham Wood 0 Carlisle United 0,
by John Mead.
It was a very frustrating afternoon for Graham Kavanagh and his Cumbrians who were taken to a replay by a part time side seventy four places below them in the football pyramid.
Both sides created chances to win the game, with the visitors winning the possession statistics yet failing to turn those into goals.
The result sees Wood in the hat for the Second Round draw for the fourth time in their history, with their solid performance on the afternoon the closest they have ever come to defeating a professional side.
The opening exchanges were cagey and even, which matched the script according to Wood Boss Ian Allinson, “ We needed to make sure we were in the game after 20 minutes and we accomplished that very well.”
David Moli, who was unwell all week leading up to the tie lead the line superbly for Wood and he produced the first goalscoring chance of the game after 12 minutes. Accepting a quick throw in he beat a defender on the left before shooting from a tight angle, his effort smothered at the near post by The Cumbrians shot stopper Mark Gillespie.
Carlisle wasted a number of free kicks around the Wood penalty area with Sean O’Hanlon coming closest heading over from a Liam Noble free kick that Wood custodian James Russell got an important hand to en route.
Luke Garrard then hit a fine volley at Gillespie as the game opened up, with the visitors responding with their best spell of the game. Wood had to be at their best defensively as the visitors pushed them deeper and deeper. Matthew Robson’s free kick skidded goalwards after coming off the wall forcing Russell into an acrobatic save. However Wood failed to completely clear with a cross headed onto the post by O’Hanlon before Callum Reynolds cleared a follow up effort off the line.
Moli took the heat off momentarily when he collected a loose ball and ran forty yards shooting at Gillespie. Back came Carlisle though and a fine cross from the left by Robson picked out Lewis Guy just ten yards out in a central position. Russell pulled off the save of the match diverting the point blank effort over the crossbar.
Sam Cox brilliantly defended a Noble thunderbolt before Garrard blocked a shot from Robson.
Wood responded winning a free kick. Moli lost the ball in the penalty area which fell for Austin Lipman who shot just wide of the left hand post . Graeme Montgomery then produced a heart in the hands moment hitting an audacious effort from forty yards out that forced a save from the back peddling Gillespie.
Montgomery’s deflected shot forced a corner as the half ended with the game in the balance.
Wood started the stronger of the two sides after the break and at times made the visitors look average. Lipman saw his shot deflected behind for a corner from which Moli hit the side netting.
Cox then supplied Lipman who should have done better shooting high when well placed.
Half chances came and went as the game entered a quieter period with Allinson freshening up his tiring forward line replacing Lipman and Moli with Matthew Ball and Raheem Sterling-Parker.
Blues substitute David Symington went for goal from distance out on the right forcing Russell to save low at his left hand post. Montgomery continued his fine afternoon turning and firing just wide before supplying a right sided corner that was met with an on target header from Charlie O’Loughlin. Gillespie kept the visitors in the game with a near post save.
As the game entered stoppage time Gillespie succumbed to injury in diving to see out another effort from Montgomery. With all three substitutes used up, Kavanagh’s men were subjected to a nervous last four minutes with Gillespie lame .
Wood failed to trouble him however, James Berrett’s effort at the other end that found the side netting the last action of the tie.
In summary a proud Ian Allinson commented, “That was our cup final today and we gave a decent performance. We did lots of defending and we did not get beat. We could have been sharper in the final third and I felt we snatched at some of our opportunities. Obviously fitness will always play a part on such occasions but we survived to live another day. Our thoughts now turn to the visit of Gloucester City in the F A Trophy next Saturday where a win is all important.”
In respect of the replay in ten days time his main concern was, “ Trying to get two days off work for the players!”
Team: Russell, Nunn, Jones, Garrard, O’Loughlin, Reynolds, Morgan, Cox, Moli ( Sterling-Parker 76), Lipman ( Ball 76), Montgomery.
Subs not used: Jibodu, Noto, Whichelow, Courtnage, Hastings.
Man of the Match Graeme Montgomery