Bath Feeds Off Goal Drought.
The Skrill South.
Boreham Wood 0 Bath City 1,
by John Mead.
The failure to score for the seventh time this season in the League in fifteen games sends Wood back into the bottom three. Conceding a goal after seven minutes is not normally a predicament for a side who can clearly defend their end with aplomb. Yet when there is no reciprocal agreement with the charges at the other end of the pitch it makes for worrying times.
After the game Ian Allinson spoke of “ A lack of consistency after a reasonable performance . We gave the ball away too cheaply and some of our play lacked quality. Giving a goal away so early left us on the back foot against a side that find themselves in the top five. I felt we were not far behind them in terms of ability , but we need to score goals.”
The visitors stormed into the lead after just seven minutes. With Wood playing high up the pitch in an attempt to address the “goals for” situation they were undone by a sharp move involving the City front two. David Pratt stole the ball from Sam Cox and slipped a fine ball through for Andy Watkins who timed his run to perfection. Leaving Callum Reynolds in his wake he cut inside to fire high into the net beyond James Russell.
Thereafter Wood had the opportunity to redress the balance but in truth until the half time changes they were second best against a well organised City rear guard . Their forward balls lacked quality and their set pieces were easily defended. However the Wood defence is a well oiled machine and aside from Watkins forcing Russell to save with his legs , neither keeper did more than pluck balls out of the air.
An astute and much needed double substitution at the break from Allinson rang much needed changes. David Moli provided the missing spark up front whilst Luke Garrard was relieved of his midfield role replacing Mark Jones in defence. Greg Morgan replaced Matthew Whichelow who had struggled to make inroads in a wide position. The tactic worked to an extent with City forced to defend solidly for long periods.
Watkins who looked the only player on the park with a goal in him hit a speculative looping effort just over before Moli was foiled by some superb keeping at the other end. Billy Lobjoit, obviously benefitting from the half time tactical change played a series of passes with Ben Nunn down the right before picking out Moli in a central position. His sweetly struck volley was tipped one handed to safety by Jason Mellor at full tilt.
Referee Mr Butler waved away appeals for a penalty when Lobjoit’s dinking run inside the area was ended, before Matthew Ball picked out Cox who blasted over when well placed.
Full credit must go to the City defence who were very busy but superbly marshalled by the imperious Mark Preece. Their diligence served to frustrate and allow Watkins another chance to attack down the left. His cross swang away from Russell allowing Sekani Simpson an effort from a tight angle that Russell held.
The result moved the visitors up into the play off spots, extending their unbeaten run to eight games. That run may come to an end when the two sides meet again next weekend in the reverse fixture, with Allinson stating, “ We are not a million miles way from Bath who are in the top five. If we get the first goal down there we can look to even the score.”
Team: Boreham Wood: Russell, Nunn, Jones ( Moli 45), Garrard, O’Loughlin, Reynolds, Lobjoit, Cox, Lipman, Ball ( Montgomery 77), Whichelow ( Morgan 45).
Subs not used: Noto, Courtnage.
Goals: Bath City: Watkins 7.
Wood Man Of The Match: Ben Nunn.