Vanarama Conference South.
Boreham Wood 5 Eastbourne Borough 2,
by John Mead.
Wood made it a weekend to remember inflicting defeats upon the last two unbeaten sides in the Division to go top of the table. This game will stay in the memory of those who witnessed it for a number of reasons. That it already stood at 3-1 after 14 minutes was testament to the attacking prowess of both sides. That action included another jaw dropping worldy from Graeme Montgomery, his fourth contender for goal of the season. Then a bout of ill discipline led to The Sports going down to ten before the interval, before sensibility resumed.
Even with ten men the visitors gave Wood a stern test, before they seemingly finished the tie with a fourth. Not so, as The Sports clawed back a second, but losing another player to injury with all substitutions used up, led to a fifth and conclusive goal to cap a quite superb evening for Ian Allinsons men.
That both Luke Garrard and Ben Nunn recovered quickly from injuries picked up at Gosport forty eight hours earlier gave Wood a chance to impress and Garrard, a quite brilliant reader of the game took just three minutes to impose him self upon proceedings. Montgomery’s throw in on the left allowed Lee Angol to hold possession. Garrard chose the moment to sprint forward on the overlap and getting beyond the defence he delivered a low and telling cross that was struck first time by Austin Lipman, taking a slight deflection before beating Lewis Carey.
Four minutes later and Garrard showed again what an asset he is with a lovely dinked ball down the left flank towards Angol. It all seemed innocuous until Angol headed inside into the range of Montgomery who hit a simply unstoppable volley that curled away from Carney before nestling into the top right hand corner of the net, continuing the dream start for Wood.
With just ten minutes played Simon Johnson hit a cross from the left that bounced leaving Josh Hill stranded, allowing Adam Watts the task of smashing home past James Russell with a left footed volley to reduce the deficit.
The early league leaders were back in the game but Angol showed again what a difficult opponent he is with a sublime finish just four minutes later. Hill’s lofted clearance forward into the area which Angol and three defenders occupied looked odds on to be cleared, but the striker judged his run to perfection spinning to volley home, his second class goal of the weekend, taking his tally to six in eight games.
He almost added another heading just wide, before a Hill header from Lipman’s free kick required Carney to make a save. The tackles then began flying in with Angol the subject of some evasive action from the visitors.
Borough went close through Darren Lok who latched onto a flick on from a free kick and with just Russell to beat he shot straight at the Wood custodian, who did well to hold onto the effort.
Russell was being made to work and he judged his run to the edge of the area to take the ball in front of Richard Pacquette to perfection.
The pace of the game was breathtaking with the visitors screaming for a handball by Nunn that fell on deaf ears, before Pacquette was allowed to handle before shooting at Russell. The visitors felt down on their luck and that feeling led to ill discipline.
Into first half stoppage time Pacquette led with an elbow on Callum Reynolds, which meant he played no further part in this compelling tie .
Russell then produced a double save that kept his side in contention, firstly from Lloyd Foot, then somehow getting back up to deny Lok from point blank range.
Angol got the better of Ian Simpenba allowing Montgomery a shot across goal that was just wide, before Russell saved bravely at the second attempt at the feet of Watts.
The ten men were coping well and continued to threaten until with fifteen minutes remaining Sam Cox seized possession and released Lipman. He cut inside a defender before finishing with aplomb beyond Carney.
It should have been game over but Lok reduced the deficit making it 4-2 in the 83rd minute, getting beyond Garrard and looping a shot over Russell.
The Sports substitute James Walker then pulled up with a hamstring, reducing the visitors to nine for the remainder of the match. It was no surprise therefore when Wood added a fifth. Angol’s square ball for Whichelow allowed the ex Watford player to place a fine finish beyond Carney, wrapping up a memorable evening.
The view from the dugout came from Ian Allinson. “ We felt we needed to take the initiative away from them from the start, given they were fresh from not playing on Saturday. They are the best side we have faced so far and play good football at pace. It was a good atmosphere tonight and some excellent football was played, before the game took on a more blood and thunder feel. The red card was deserved, Callum Reynolds has to go to work tomorrow and he should be able to do that with his teeth and jaw intact. Thereafter with ten men the threat never abated. Rusty has made a remarkable double save that would have given Gordon Banks a run for his money to keep us in the game.
I said to the players at half time to calm things down. The game was end to end and more goals would undoubtedly come. We chose not to over commit and get our feet back on the ground. I was pleased with the goal return tonight. Lee, Monty and Austin now have fifteen goals between them in eight games which is a fantastic return. All three deserve immense credit for the way they have started the season. Lee is getting stronger by the week, whilst Austin knew he needed six games to bring him up to pace and he will now just keep getting better.
To win two tough games like that in forty eight hours was extremely pleasing, bit it will count for nothing if we do not carry on in the same manner on Saturday against Chelmsford City.”
Team: Russell, Nunn, Garrard (Morgan 84), Cox, Hill, Reynolds, Whichelow (Noto 90), Shakes, Angol (Hope 88), Lipman.
Subs not used: Parsons, Courtnage.
Bookings: Nunn, Angol.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Lipman 3, 75. Montgomery 7, Angol 14. Whichelow 87.
Eastbourne Borough: Watts 10, Lok 83.
Man Of The Match: Austin Lipman.