The Skrill South.
Boreham Wood 2 Ebbsfleet United 1,
by John Mead.
A superb defensive performance assisted by an own goal and Lee Angol’s first for the club in only his second start allowed Wood to gain maximum points against the fourth placed Fleet.
Significantly Wood are now for the first time this season closer to the play off’s than the drop zone courtesy of what Wood Boss Ian Allinson described as “ A massive win that we really needed.”
Wood included Josh Hill a recent signing from Dartford in the heart of the defence, with Matty Whichelow preferred to Loick Pires, the other change from Wood’s winning side less than forty eight hours earlier at Concord Rangers.
As early as the 4th minute the visitors relied on a superb challenge from Yado Mambo to deny Angol an early chance after Graeme Montgomery’s fine through ball gave the Wycombe Wanderers loan teenager a clear sight of goal.
Wood continued their fine form from Thursday night, forcing the visitors to defend. The early pressure on The Fleet goal paid off after 17 minutes. A foul on Junior Morias led to a free kick ten yards inside the visitors half on the left. Greg Morgan was in familiar territory, his set piece for Callum Reynolds goal at Concord came from the same area. His delivery curled into the area with Michael Thalassitis’s attempted headed clearance spiralling high and back past Preston Edwards into his own goal.
The out of sorts Fleet defence were having problems dealing with set pieces and when Montgomery swang over a free kick from the right it ran through for Reynolds at the far post who shot just wide.
Fleet had a penalty shout turned down when Hill appeared to push Ben May, but referee Mr Daly was well placed. Anthony Cook then delivered a telling free kick which Morgan defended well, before a fine Wood move ended with Edwards at full stretch to repel a blistering drive from Sam Cox.
The visitors were clearly frustrated with their lack of penetration against a well marshalled Wood side and failed to muster a single shot on target before Mr Daly pulled up lame, causing a 20 minute delay whilst a local official was summonsed from his home to allow the game to continue.
When Anthony Acheampong fisted a clearance away inside the box he was fortunate Mr Daly’s replacement failed to spot it, evening up the penalty shouts on the afternoon.
Daryl McMahon finally tested James Russell with a low drive that was curling towards the keepers right hand post as the first half drew to a close.
Wood’s afternoon got better just two minutes after the restart. Hill slid in to block a Thalassitis effort with the ball immediately cleared upfield. Angol caught the defence sleeping bringing the ball under control before coolly lobbing the out rushing Edwards to double the lead. That was Wood’s 55th goal of the campaign, the same number that Ebbsfleet have scored, a record only bettered by Bromley and Sutton United.
The work rate of Ian Allinson’s men was commendable in stoically protecting their advantage. Reynolds was outstanding turning in a man of the match performance.
The introduction of Billy Bricknell did liven things up for Fleet and when McMahon hit a fine curling pass with the outside of his boot into the ex Leyton mans path it took a brave save from Russell to protect the lead.
May saw a header saved by Russell before Cook summed up his teams overall performance with three minutes remaining. Wood failed to clear an attack allowing the ball to run free to Bricknell ten yards out. His well placed shot was brilliantly saved by Russell at his left hand post, coming out to Cook who fired over the rebound when scoring looked an easier option. Ebbsfleet were made to rue that moment when on the stroke of ninety minutes Russell lost the flight of a high lofted ball from the left by Aiden Palmer. Bricknell never took his eye off of it and arrived late at the far post to power home for 2-1.
Wood saw out a nervy additional four minutes to record a result that their performance deserved.
For Allinson it was, “ A tough last twenty minutes when we started to tire. We dominated the first half and could have been further ahead at the interval. Sam Cox was struggling after picking up a knock during the game but we have a great little squad that has bedded in nicely now. I will need to rotate them next week as we face Watford and then possibly Hitchin Town before next Saturday. I certainly will not turn up at Dover with weary legs as we need to try and dent their recent run of results.”
Team: Russell, Nunn, Morgan, Garrard, Hill, Reynolds, Whichelow ( Pires 71), Cox, Morias ( Oyenuga 76), Angol ( Noto 83), Montgomery.
Subs not used: Brown, Courtnage.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Thalassitis og 17, Angol 47.
Ebbsfleet United: Bricknell 90.
Man Of The Match: Callum Reynolds.