Pre Season Friendly.
Boreham Wood 0 Brentford 3,
by John Mead.
The classy movement, precision passing and thorough organisation of the visitors thrilled those present in a sizeable crowd in perfect conditions at Meadow Park.
It was the first chance for Wood Fans to see Scott Doe and Luke Howells, arriving from Dagenham and Redbridge, in action.
The travelling Bees contingent had a great afternoon, their first half performance featuring nine first team regulars was a joy to behold. Yet it was Wood who started the stronger with Billy Clifford played into space to curl a shot just over the bar, before Ricky Shakes fired over after a fine move involving Sam Cox, Clifford and Harry Crawford.
A visionary cross field ball by Alan Judge won his side a corner, from which Jake Bidwell went close firing just the wrong side of the far post.
Graeme Montgomery looked particularly sharp in his forty five minute run out and his curling cross from the left just evaded two Wood forwards, before he hit a swivelling shot that David Button held onto.
It was an irrational and unnecessary challenge from Ben Nunn that gifted the visitors the lead after 15 minutes. With the ball running away from goal and no imminent danger he carelessly went through the back of Andre Grey who got up to punish the defender by sending James Russell the wrong way from the spot.
Brentford settled into the game thereafter, moving smoothly through the gears with the outstanding pair of Jota and Judge showing a real pedigree.
Jota, both menacing in attack and diligent in defence put his side further ahead with a strike of real quality after 33 minutes. Bidwell’s pass inside was allowed to run for the Spaniard who unleashed a superb effort from twenty five yards out that found the top right hand corner of the net with precision.
Montgomery then found the target but failed to trouble Button, before the lively Clifford hit high from a rare attacking opportunity for Ian Allinson’s men.
Judge looked to increase the lead after Josh Hill bought him down outside the area, but Russell was focussed and flew through the air to save the well struck free kick.
Judge did contribute to increasing the lead before half time when his low cross from the right led to another mistake from Nunn who allowed Stuart Dallas free reign at the far post to set up Grey for a simple tap in.
Marinus Dijkhuizen introduced eight fresh players after the interval, including new signing Josh McEachran who spent last season on loan at Vitesse Arnhem whilst still on Chelsea’s books. Allinson made five changes and his new look side settled well, albeit in a half of few chances.
Luke Howells combined with Clifford whose shot hit the rear net support. Clifford, another product of the Chelsea Academy remained a danger when in possession, but Wood’s attacking threat went by the wayside when Junior Morias broke down with a recurring ankle injury.
With new signing Charlie MacDonald not yet fit, Shakes was thereafter forced to play as a lone striker, with Howells and Nunn in support. Ironically that led to Wood’s best chance of repeating the score line that this friendly produced in the last two seasons. The three combined with Shakes set up by Howells for a shot on goal just fifteen yards out, but his effort went high, with only Jack Bonham to beat.
The final stages of the match saw Wood defend well to prevent Preston Edwards making any real saves of note.
In summary Ian Allinson was “ Very pleased on a fitness level how we coped today. We knew their pedigree and that we would not see much of the ball. We gave away two sloppy goals through errors and that was the only real disappointment for me today. The other goal was a wonderful move and strike. We defended well and I was really pleased with our second half performance.”
On how the squad was shaping up he added, “ We are not there yet and one or two more additions are required. That said we have competition and strength now in both defence and midfield so we are not far way from where we need to be.”
Team: Russell ( Edwards 45), Nunn, Woodards, Thomas ( Howells 45), Hill (Doe 45), Reynolds, Shakes, Cox, Crawford ( Morias 45) (Garrard 68), Clifford, Montgomery ( Whichelow 45).
Goals: Brentford: Grey 15 pen, 45. Jota 33.