Fleet Inflict Rare Defeat.
Vanarama Conference South.
Boreham Wood 1 Ebbsfleet United 3,
by John Mead.
Wood suffered just their second defeat at home this season at the hands of Jamie Day’s Ebbsfleet United. Graeme Montgomery pulled Wood level after 50 minutes to equalise Billy Bricknell’s first half opener, but Fleet responded with two goals inside three minutes to claim victory.
It was an entertaining game played at pace, with both sides showing their credentials as potential promotion candidates. Matty Whichelow went close direct from a free kick, his effort clearing the wall and finding the side netting. A minute later Daryl McMahon pounced upon a half clearance from James Russell hitting a volley back towards goal that struck a post.
A cross by Matt Johnson for The Fleet ran dangerously across goal before Wood responded when Junior Morias and Montgomery played a one two sending Morias through on goal, but the competent Fleet defence were on hand to block.
Jordan Brown thwarted the dangerous run of Alex Osborn, before the visitors struck after 16 minutes. Johnson started the move on the right flank sending a ball across the park finding Sean Shields who also used a diagonal ball back across the park picking out Tyrone Marsh. His dangerous cross along the ground ran freely for Billy Bricknell who slid home at the left hand post.
Half chances came and went for both sides with Montgomery’s dangerous cross from the left almost finding Lee Angol. Wood were playing some good attacking football but two Whichelow efforts that went close were as good as it got to levelling up things before the interval.
True to form Wood increased the pressure after the interval and it was Whichelow again who saw his effort bound for the top right hand corner of the net punched to safety by Brandon Hall. Marsh then drew a save from Russell at the other end before a piece of Whichelow magic opened up the Fleet defence. Hemmed in on the touch line by two defenders he initiated a superb turn to run free of his markers before seeing his right sided cross deflect off a defender into the path of Montgomery. His finish was clinical and Wood were level.
Angol looked to have completed a quick turnaround just two minutes later with the quite outstanding Whichelow again the provider, only for the referee to rule out the effort for offside.
Marsh then embarked upon a run that took him past three defenders , with the Wood defence relying on Russell to keep the scores level.
Angol then showed great skill in a tight situation trapping and shooting inside the area, his effort running just wide of the left hand post.
Angol began to really test the Fleet defence but all the hard work was undone after 70 minutes, when Wood gave away a free kick thirty yards from goal. McMahon measured his shot sending it low towards goal, where the usually reliable Russell spilled allowing Bricknell to steal in and poke the ball home.
It was a soft goal to concede, but there was not a lot Russell could have done three minutes later when Anthony Cook’s cross from the left looked to have been over hit, until the ball dropped like a stone into the top right hand corner of the net.
That freakish goal knocked the stuffing out of Wood somewhat and the visitors duly saw out the final fifteen minutes for victory.
Speaking after the game Ian Allinson summarised his sides afternoon. “ I thought we were excellent today and actually played better than in our 0-5 win at Bishops Stortford. We started slowly but soon played our way back into the game. We needed to be more clinical in front of goal. Sometimes you need luck to win matches and I feel they got that with their third goal. That said we had an effort chalked out for offside that looked similar to their opener, which was allowed to stand. We have suffered a blip of late losing three out of five, but even if we had drawn those three matches it would not really affect out League position and we are now targeting maximum points from our next two games against St Albans City and Farnborough.”
Team: Russell, Garrard, Brown, Cox, Martin, Reynolds, Whichelow ( Lipman 81), Shakes, Angol, Morias, Montgomery ( Thomas 81).
Subs not used: Hill, Toomey, Courtnage.
Bokings: Angol, Morias.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Montgomery 50.
Ebbsfleet United: Bricknell 16, 70, Cook 73.
Wood Fans Man Of The Match: Matty Whichelow.