Vanarama Conference South.
Boreham Wood 2 Bishops Stortford 0,
by John Mead.
Clinical finishing from Lee Angol, the Leagues leading scorer secured another three precious points for Ian Allinson, keeping his side top of the table.
It was an entertaining game in which the visitors had chances, but the form of a 20 year old striker whose career has flourished since joining Wood was the real difference between the two sides.
Allinson made three changes from the side that lost at Eastbourne Borough. Junior Morias returned to the starting line up after injury, Scott Thomas started in place of the unwell Sam Cox, whilst Ben Martin was preferred to Josh Hill in the heart of defence.
The first half was a fairly even affair, with both sides creating opportunities. Joe Wright, back between the sticks for the first time in three months for the visitors made a quite superb stop after just four minutes. Matty Whichelow’s curling free kick from the left was met by Angol whose powerful header was prevented from hitting the top left hand corner of the net by a flying save.
Sheldon Sellears, the stand out player in the first half caused problems for the Wood defence, forcing a save from James Russell before flashing a dangerous ball across the box.
Angol then stole the ball from Joe Tabiri before driving forward, only to see his shot saved low down by Wright.
Some good possession play from Whichelow led to a corner from which the former Watford player delivered a fine cross onto the head of Ben Martin whose downward header was cleared off the line by a defender.
The visitors were a post’s width from taking the lead when Frankie Merrifield struck the woodwork , before the dangerous Whichelow cut inside from the right to hit a rising drive at the other end which sailed just wide of the target.
Back came The Bishops, with a smart move that almost paid off. James Walker’s drag back found Tabiri who sent Sellears through with a first time ball. His effort was only kept out by the fingertips of an air bourne Russell.
Anthony Church then shot just wide at one end, before Graeme Montgomery fired over at the other in an end to end first half.
Wood upped the tempo after the interval and Callum Reynolds stole in at the far post to force Wright to save low from a Whichelow free kick. Walker then went close for the visitors with an effort across the face of the goal, before Angol struck in the 55th minute.
Morias provided the fuel with a high cross field delivery from the right which was met by Montgomery whose dangerous cross was expertly fired home beyond Wright by the in form striker.
Reynolds took a booking for the side to end the run of Sellears, whose resultant free kick was heroically blocked by Luke Garrard.
Russell then made two saves in quick succession to deny Ashley Miller and then Sellears before the welcome introduction of one Anthony Jeffrey after signing for the club two days earlier. It did not take long for the ex Arsenal youngster to remind Wood fans what they had missed since his loan spell last season came to an end.
Winning the ball in midfield he chipped over an opponent to set up a superb move involving Angol, Whichelow and Ricky Shakes who pulled the ball back into the path of the man who started the move. Jeffrey’s low drive hit the post before coming off the back of Wright for a corner.
The game was won after 81 minutes when Wood turned defence into attack with precision. Hemmed back in their own half, Garrard took a throw in just yards from the visitors goal line. Angol played out as far as Shakes who supplied Montgomery out on the left. He advanced play before delivering a fine cross that found the predator Angol who had stormed into the penalty area to cushion a fine header beyond Wright for his eighteenth League goal of the season.
It was according to Allinson, “ A tough tough game against a much improved and strengthened side. They never get soundly beaten and have an excellent goal difference. We have picked up three points against a side that are very difficult to play against. They had chances, but their keeper has made some very good saves too. I felt we got stronger as the game went on and am very pleased to have got the job done.”
Teams: Boreham Wood: Russell, Garrard, Brown, Thomas, Martin, Reynolds, Whichelow ( Toomey 81), Shakes, Angol, Morias ( Jeffrey 66), Montgomery.
Subs not used: Lipman, Hill, Courtnage.
Bookings: Thomas, Reynolds.
Bishops Stortford: Wright, Miller, Herd, Tabiri, Bailey-Dennis, Hayles, Sellears ( Sykes 84), Church (Augur 77), Walker, Donovan, Merrifield ( Fenwick 84).
Subs not used: Anderson, McCall.
Bookings: Bailey-Dennis, Hayles.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Angol 55, 81.
Wood Fans Man Of The Match: Lee Angol.