Flood Wreaks Havoc!
Vanarama Conference South.
Boreham Wood 0 Basingstoke Town 4,
by John Mead.
The three week lay off did Wood no favours falling to their heaviest defeat of the season. The result opens up the title race and the visitors duly delivered a fine performance to put themselves right back in the mix.
It was a day to remember for Chris Flood, who had been suffering a goal drought of late. His return of two in nine appearances was boosted by a fine hat trick. The player has now scored five times this season against a side clinging onto their top of the table status.
Daryl McMahon made his debut after signing from Ebbsfleet United, preferred to Graeme Montgomery.
It was a cagey start to the game from the visitors with Wood kicking into a strong wind. Matty Whichelow spurned a fine early opportunity shooting tamely at Stuart Moore when through on goal.
Town struggled to come to terms with the wind overhitting balls forward, whilst McMahon’s pin point delivery from a free kick led to Ben Martin stooping to head over the crossbar at the other end.
Wood were good value at this stage, with Junior Morias forcing a save from Moore, before Jordan Brown set up McMahon for a fine curling effort that forced Moore into a flying stop.
Town produced a move of quality after 18 minutes when Rob Dickie played a ball down the left flank to Flood who took a touch before seeing his dangerous cross cut out by James Russell.
This seemed to awaken the visitors and they punished the Wood defence after 22 minutes. A Brown throw in was sent back down the right wing by Louie Soares finding Liam Enver-Marum. His crisp cross was perfect for the untracked Flood who guided the ball home to open his account.
It was at this stage somewhat against the run of play but it swayed the momentum towards the visitors with Wood putting together some fine passing moves without any end product.
The Wood defence were guilty of ball watching after 36 minutes when a long clearance upfield was tracked by Enver-Marum who timed his run to perfection. Russell smothered his initial effort but he ball rebounded back onto the striker who claimed the visitors second .
Just two minutes later a petulant and needless challenge by Luke Garrard on Manny Williams led to a free kick twenty five yards from goal. It was to be Wood’s undoing. Flood stepped up a struck the free kick which Russell could only palm into the side netting, making it 0-3 .
Lady luck was certainly not with Wood, when Garrard’s cross was spilled by Moore falling for Ricky Shakes who saw his effort hit the keeper and the post.
The second half belonged to the visitors who defended excellently to snub out any threat of a Wood comeback. Lee Angol failed to register a single shot on goal all afternoon, whilst the penetrative runs of Whichelow and Morias were dealt with competently.
Williams had a chance to make it five missing the target at the far post after a fine delivery from Soares, before Flood claimed his hat trick on 63 minutes. Enver-Marum and Williams worked the ball from right to left with Flood finishing superbly beyond Russell.
Substitute Lloyd Macklin embarked upon a penetrative run before seeing his shot cleared off the line by Brown, before Enver-Marum had an effort saved at the second attempt as the visitors looked to inflict yet more damage.
The introduction of Montgomery helped turn the tide somewhat. His audacious lob tested Moore who was called into action minutes later to repel another fine effort from the Wood substitute.
Martin cleared a Shaun McAuley strike off the line with Wood restricted to long range efforts which proved fruitless in the search for a late consolation goal.
Wood Manager Ian Allinson was left to rue his sides defensive ineptitude on the afternoon. “ You cannot defend like that and win matches. Our centre backs failed to pick up for the first two goals, then ill discipline led to a free kick which James Russell I felt could have saved.”
On the overall performance he added, “ It is difficult when you play at home and try to press the opposition high up the field if you fail to defend. We started well and had some good chances but our performance was average after they scored. There was a lot of huffing and puffing in the second half from us but we need to build again now with two away games coming up.”
Team: Russell, Garrard, Brown, Cox, Martin, Reynolds, Whichelow ( Montgomery 76), Shakes, Angol, Morias, McMahon.
Subs not used: Hill, Thomas, Toomey, Miller-Rodney.
Bookings: Morias, Angol, Cox, McMahon.
Goals: Basingstoke Town: Flood 22, 38, 63. Enver-Marum 36.
Wood Fans Man Of The Match: Ricky Shakes.