Vanarama Conference South.
Boreham Wood 1 Bromley 1,
by John Mead.
After creating the better of the goal scoring opportunities, Wood were left to share the spoils thanks to Danny Waldren’s 79th minute equaliser, which cancelled out another Graeme Montgomery wonder strike.
Both sides contributed to a high quality and closely fought contest and for Wood to come close to beating a side that are the bookies second favourites for the title was a measure of how strong they are looking this campaign. This was the eleventh competitive match between the two sides since Wood joined the Conference South, with the visitors holding the upper hand with five wins and just one defeat to date.
The energy and drive from the whole Wood side was exemplary and against such accomplished opposition it needed to be. A glance down the team sheet prior to kick off to the Bromley bench showed just how massive the task ahead was to be.
Seb Brown in the Bromley goal was tested in the 1st minute palming away a low drive from Montgomery that took a deflection.
The visitors showed their credentials when Sam Higgins and Ugo Udoji combined, allowing the lively Adam Birchall to nip in and almost catch James Russell unawares.
Ricky Shakes was a real driving force for Wood all afternoon. Intercepting a Waldren pass he released Sam Cox who played a fine ball into the feet of Lee Angol who shot just wide across goal.
Montgomery executed a lobbed effort that went just over after some good fluid football from Ian Allinson’s men. Back came Bromley with Adam Bailey-Dennis blasting wide after Wood came under pressure from a corner.
With Scott Thomas and Cox committed to the cause in midfield the visitors knew they were in a game. A superb piece of action almost led to a breakthrough for Wood after 35 minutes. A measured clearance from Thomas found Austin Lipman. His close control had the beating of two defenders, but Brown went the right way when he was through on goal, keeping his side in the game.
Waldren went close for Bromley, before a Lipman corner picked out Callum Reynolds who saw his header cleared off the line by Ali Fuseini. Wood finished the half the stronger with Angol shooting just wide.
Angol’s presence will cause teams problems all season and he got another shot away that Brown was equal to, before Shakes set up Lipman who was off target with his effort.
After 54 minutes Wood won a throw in on the right. Greg Morgan’s long throw was headed clear of the penalty area, right into Montgomery territory. He executed a quite superb volley off his favoured left foot from twenty yards out that left Brown with no chance whatsoever.
Wood were ahead with Montgomery hitting his fourth goal in as many games, three of which are contenders for goal of the season!
It needed a moment of real quality to separate the two sides at this stage, with Mark Goldberg responding bringing on three substitutes in quick succession. The plan worked, with Moses Ademola giving Greg Morgan a torrid time down the right flank.
Angol was stopped in his tracks by a superb challenge from Jack Holland before the visitors drew level. Ademola provided the supply, a low cross form the right that forced Russell to come out and dive on the ball. His take was not clean and Waldren pounced upon the loose ball planting the leveller into the net.
Bromley now had the momentum and it took a concerted effort to suppress the threat of a winner. Wood regrouped well and playing with belief had a good chance to win the game when Ben Nunn, who had an excellent second half crossed from the left, finding Angol who headed just wide.
The game was a real advert for the quality of football played at this level, which was summed up after the whistle by Wood Gaffer Allinson, “ The commitment , work rate and attitude was superb today. I felt we had done enough to win the game. We were undone by not closing down from what was a very good ball into danger. The substitutions ruffled our feathers but I was pleased with our reaction after conceding. We could conceivably have won this by two or three goals against a side of real quality. That shows how far we have come! It is a really tough and exciting weekend of football for us and after Monday we can see how far we are this season.”
Wood sit fifth in the table after four matches, with a trip to Sutton United to look forward to this Bank Holiday Monday.
Team: Russell, Nunn, Morgan, Cox, Hill, Reynolds, Shakes, Thomas, Angol, Lipman ( Whichelow 76), Montgomery.
Bookings: Angol, Reynolds.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Montgomery 54.
Bromley: Waldren 79.
Man Of The Match: Ricky Shakes.