Wood Open The Claret!

Vanarama Conference South.

Boreham Wood 4 Chelmsford City 0, by John Mead.

Wood condemned The Clarets to their heaviest defeat of the season , opening up a two point lead at the top of the table. In truth the Essex side had only themselves to blame after a calamitous afternoon at Meadow Park.

That said the visitors rarely troubled the Wood defence on the afternoon before throwing the game away, when third gear was seemingly enough for Ian Allinson’s side.

Luke Callender headed wide for the visitors before Lee Angol and Ben Nunn combined setting up Graeme Montgomery who headed over. Wood had the majority of the possession but were almost undone when a poor headed clearance from Josh Hill allowed Lee Sawyer a run at goal, only to blast his effort over the bar.

Mark Haines did a good job in keeping Angol at bay early on, with the main threat coming from Matty Whichelow who continued his fine run of form, coinciding with Wood’s excellent run of results.
He got beyond left back Leon Redwood forcing one of many corners, from which both Austin Lipman and Angol saw shots blocked.

Callender got beyond Hill to force Russell into his first save of the afternoon, before Montgomery should have increased his impressive goal tally after 33 minutes. A sweeping forward move and fine cross from Ricky Shakes found the celebrated scorer of special goals. With keeper Eyre out of position he sent his right footed volley over the bar with the goal invitingly unattended.

That action prompted Wood to turn the screw and a minute later Angol got beyond both Haines and the out rushing Eyre, only to be denied by a fine block by James Love.

The pressure on The Clarets defence finally provided the opener it deserved after 41 minutes. A short corner on the left was played to Whichelow whose low drive took a deflection before flying up into the arms of Eyre. He was seemingly put off by one of his own players, dropping the ball to see it roll over the line.

The next goal was crucial after the break and Eyre’s afternoon went from bad to worse after 51 minutes. Shakes hit a fierce drive at the keeper, which he spilled and with both Whichelow and Angol homing in on the loose ball, the shot stopper needlessly collided with them both, earning a red card.

This announced the arrival of one Niklas Freund, son of Steffan, the ex German International and current assistant head coach at Spurs . The young substitute goalkeeper featured for the Wood Reserves a dozen times last season, a spell in which he spent every Thursday evening engaged in penalty taking training with one Luke Garrard.
It was therefore very much to Garrard’s credit that he sent the young keeper the wrong way from the spot to double the lead!

Freund settled into the task of keeping his ten men afloat, saving from Whichelow and Lipman, before Callender was impeded by Hill. The resultant free kick was headed just wide by Yado Mambo.

Calamity struck again for the visitors after 69 minutes when neither Freund nor Mambo laid claim to a long ball upfield. Angol’s hunger for goals was satiated when he nipped in to pick up possession and round the keeper to walk home Wood’s third and his seventh of the season to date.

In the blink of an eye it was 4-0, with Nunn’s low ball into danger flicked on by Angol up onto the extended arm of Christian Smith, leading referee Mr Serrano to point to the spot for a second time in the half. It was Thursday night on the training ground all over again and this time Garrard hit his best spot kick since taking over the duty, an unstoppable shot that bulged the side netting.

A late flag compounded The Claret’s misery even further, when the lively substitute Evans Kouawsi was denied a late consolation goal.

It was left to Ian Allinson to sum up the day. “ They came to smother us with five across the midfield and they were dangerous from set pieces. I though we should have been two up at half time through Graeme Montgomery, yet we ended up a scrappy goal to the good. We learnt from our mistakes against Bath City today by not forcing things. Of course they were unfortunate to go a man down. I have never been an advocate of the rule which sees a goalkeeper punished with a red card for such challenges. It is a double whammy for me when a penalty and a yellow card would be a fairer decision in my eyes. However rules are rules and even though their substitutions disrupted us we earned our first two penalties of the season which eased us to victory. Obviously it was not a game to match the one we witnessed on Monday night, but performances like that do not come along week in week out! “

Team: Russell, Nunn ( Hope 81), Garrard ( Parsons 75), Cox, Hill, Reynolds, Whichelow, Shakes, Angol, Lipman (Moli 75), Montgomery.
Subs not used: Morgan, Noto.

Bookings: Garrard, Reynolds.

Goals: Eyre og 41, Garrard 51, 72 (pens), Angol 69.

Man Of The Match: Matty Whichelow.

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