Heroic Ashmore Keeps Wood At Bay.
Vanarama Conference South.
Boreham Wood 1 Gosport Borough 1,
by John Mead.
Wood were made to settle for a point in a game that they dominated in terms of attacking play, but the meanest defence in the league left with a precious point and their unbeaten away record intact.
The heroics of visiting keeper Nathan Ashmore and a huge shout for a late Wood penalty turned down, shaped the final score.
Like the reciprocal tie down on the Hampshire Riviera this was a cracking tie between two sides that are very easy on the eye.
Wood settled quickly and went into all out attack which never let up for the entire ninety minutes. Graeme Montgomery forced an early diving stop from Ashmore, before Matty Whichelow tested Ashmore from a free kick, after Lee Angol was illegally stopped.
With seven minutes played Wood had a real chance to gain an early advantage. Whichelow who was superb all afternoon got his cross over from the right , which was met by the deftest of flicks from the head of Angol, only for Ashmore to pull off a remarkable reaction save.
Wood were controlling possession but the quality of the opposition shone through when they grabbed the lead with their first attack of the game after 18 minutes. James Russell only half cleared at his left hand post which led to an exchange of passes and a cross from the right which found Dan Smith. His low drive towards the left hand post was pushed away by a diving Russell but only as far as Tom Dunford who drove home the perfect poachers goal.
The goal did little to upset the pattern of play, with Whichelow’s cross picking out Josh Hill on the right whose intelligent side footed effort ran just wide of the far post.
Wood played some superb passing football but were frustrated by a superb Boro defence, who had conceded just eight times in the League prior to kick off.
Whichelow picked out Hill again from a corner, with the defender’s header running just wide of the post.
Quite how Wood failed to equalise after 36 minutes, only Ashmore will know. Whichelow’s effort from an angle on the right was palmed away by the shot stopper, only to fly straight back towards goal from just three yards out from Angol. Somehow Ashmore, falling backwards and on his knees found the ball safely in his hands.
Wood were undeniably playing some of their best football of the season and it continued after the interval, with the pace of the game never dropping. Whichelow nearly provided for Montgomery and it seemed only a matter of time before the equaliser would come.
The outstanding Whichelow powered down the left wing riding several challenges crossing into danger. Ricky Shakes saw his effort blocked off a defender as far as Junior Morias whose effort suffered the same fate, leaving Shakes to beat Ashmore on his line with the third shot of the attack and Wood were deservedly level.
Smith went close at the other end with a rising drive, before Morias took up the mantle, finishing the game with a renewed energy and drive. He supplied a pass for Whichelow who beat four defenders running across goal before losing possession.
A dangerous run and cross from Matt Paterson evaded Justin Bennett providing a rare break from Wood’s constant attacking threat.
Luke Garrard supplied Morias who hit a fiercely swerving strike that Ashmore reacted to superbly, parrying the effort away from goal with a two handed save, before a final onslaught on the Boro goal. Substitute Scott Thomas and Morias interchanged passes working the ball from right to left and then back again as the table toppers went in search of a winner. The move ended with Garrard crossing to the far post from the right where Sam Cox was clearly pushed in the back just yards from goal. It looked a certain penalty but referee Mr Da Costa waved play leaving these two fine sides to share the spoils.
Gosport are now up to fifth with enough games in hand to hit pole position, whilst Wood stay top, three points clear of their nearest rivals, Bromley.
Ian Allinson shared his disappointment after the final whistle, “ I thought they were brighter than us first half, but we came out to totally dominate and should have won given the chances we created. We gifted them a goal and hit a lot of shots straight at their keeper. We need to steer clear of too many draws as that was our downfall last season. That said we caused a very good side some real problems today and there are small divides between the top sides I feel. Thankfully we did not lose and will now look to push on against Weston Super Mare on Monday.”
Team: Russell, Garrard, Brown, Cox, Hill, Reynolds, Whichelow, Shakes, Angol ( Lipman 84), Morias, Montgomery ( Thomas 58).
Subs not used: Noto, Hickford, Courtnage.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Shakes 61.
Gosport Borough: Dunford 18.
Fans Man Of The Match: Matty Whichelow.
CLICK HERE for images of today’s game. Credit: Sean Hinks