Vickers Shows No Mercy!
Vanarama Conference South.
Boreham Wood 0 Concord Rangers 0,
by John Mead.
On a day when Wood’s two closest rivals failed to gain maximum points, this draw, only their fourth of the season was enough to stay top of the table.
It was a tough and entertaining battle, with the visitors thankful for three excellent saves made by the Arsenal loanee Josh Vickers to enable them to claim a share of the spoils.
Wood included new signing Ben Herd, whom although has had limited game time of late, showed no sign of fatigue, turning in a superb debut performance at right back. Herd, who started out as a trainee with Watford, went on to play nearly 300 games at Division Two level for Shrewsbury Town then latterly Aldershot Town, before their administration ended his career there. At 29 years old Herd showed a real maturity in playing at this level, having signed from Dunstable Town.
The Beachboys showed their credentials as a well organised side, making life difficult for the forward line to impose themselves.
Graeme Montgomery, recalled to the starting line up played a superb ball from the left which was perfect for Junior Morias to attack. He ran through on goal yet his shot’s power was affected by a bobble and Vickers was able to gather.
Rangers grew into the game without really troubling James Russell, with Gary Ogilvie striking an effort over the bar, before the game took on a stop start bias.
Wood increased their momentum approaching the interval. Lee Angol ran clear after winning a midfield challenge squaring the ball across the area finding Matty Whichelow who saw his shot excellently saved low by Vickers who had rushed off his line sensing the danger.
The visitors won a free kick that was well struck by Taylor Miles forcing Russell to get down low to save at his right hand post.
Back came Wood, with Morias brilliantly playing Angol through who looked likely to add to his tally. He held possession looking to lift the ball over Vickers who again made himself available rushing out to smother a certain goal.
Wood improved after the interval with Josh Hill lobbing just wide from a ball back into danger by Luke Garrard. Another chance went begging from a well delivered free kick from Herd. Vickers failed to gather with the ball dropping. Hill managed to work it back to Whichelow who drove a shot goalwards, only for the impeccable Vickers managing to somehow get back and repel the effort.
Herd and Hill then combined playing out of defence to set up Angol with a long clearance. His cross was missed by the defence running for Montgomery who could not keep his volley down on this occasion.
Ogilvie went close for the visitors when his perfect connection needed a clean punch from Russell to prevent it breaking the net.
Neither side managed to find a way to take maximum points in the closing stages of a very closely fought game.
Speaking after the final whistle Ian Allinson was left, “ A little disappointed as we had the clearer chances to win the game. I felt we needed to move the ball quicker in the final third and I have let the players know that. On the positive side we have recorded a second clean sheet in succession after our two heavy defeats. I am also very pleased with the performance of Ben Herd today who is a player I have known since he was twelve years old, when he featured in the same side as Ashley Young. We also have Ben Nunn due back in the country next week, so defensively we look assured again. We improved after the interval and Concord defended superbly. It is one point more towards our goal and we still have thirty points to play for.”
Team: Russell, Herd, Garrard, Cox, Hill, Reynolds, Whichelow, Shakes, Angol, Morias, Montgomery ( McMahon 86).
Subs not used: Martin, Brown, Miller-Rodney, Thomas.
Bookings: Hill, Shakes, Garrard.
Wood Fans Man Of The Match: Ben Herd.