Ball Winner Sends Wood Through

THE FA CUP

Boreham Wood 1-0 Heybridge Swifts

By John D. Gill

Matthew Ball’s all important winning goal in the eighty-third minute made sure that Boreham Wood reached the First Round proper for the ninth time in the Club’s history.

Heybridge Swifts certainly provided some tough and competitive opposition, but in the end experience and a good all round team performance won the day for Boreham Wood.

Boreham Wood defended throughout the first half against their Ryman Football League Division One North opponents with great determination.    Heybridge Swifts had the advantage of a strong wind and blustery rain in their favour.

Wood’s David Moli, on Loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, struck a tremendous free kick that just cleared the Heybridge Swifts crossbar by inches, after only five minutes.    The visitors ex-Wood left back Danny Barber suffered a nasty head injury that needed lengthy treatment before he could continue.

Heybridge had a chance to take the lead when James Russell failed to catch a free kick and Michael Cheek headed the ball wide of the empty net, at the far post.    In the third minute of stoppage time, Greg Morgan had the ball in the Heybridge Swifts net, but the effort was ruled offside, and so the first half ended with the score 0 – 0.

Wood attacked from the restart, and a Greg Morgan cross was powerfully headed against the Heybridge Swifts crossbar by Charlie O’Loughlin, who had quickly moved forward.    Soon after David Moli had two efforts, but his first shot was blocked by a defender and the second shot went high and wide of goal.

On the hour a Ben Nunn cross found Morgan, but again his shot was blocked in front of goal.    Reece Morgan had a low ground shot saved by James Russell, whilst at the other end Graeme Montgomery had a similar shot saved by Nicky Eyre.    Wood kept the pressure on the visitors and forced several corner kicks in quick succession.

Ian Allinson changed his attacking options and introduced Raheem Sterling-Parker, Matty Whichelow and Matthew Ball as Substitutes.    It was Ball, in the eighty-third minute, who finally broke the deadlock, when he struck a magnificent left footed shot past Eyre and into the net.

Heybridge Swifts never gave up and battled for an equalizer, but the Wood defence, marshaled by Skipper Charlie O’Loughlin, kept them out.    Three minutes from time, left back Mark Jones unleashed a terrific shot that was tipped over the crossbar for a corner by Nicky Eyre, and then in stoppage time Matthew Ball almost added a second goal, but his shot struck the base of a goalpost.

Team:    Russell, Nunn, Jones, Cox, O’Loughlin, Reynolds, Morgan (Sub – Ball 80 mins.), Garrard, Moli (Sub – Sterling-Parker 66 mins.), Hastings, Montgomery (Sub – Whichelow 80 mins.).

Subs (Not used): Jibodu, Longden, Courtnage, Lobjoit.

Bookings:    Nunn, Moli.

Goal:    Boreham Wood:    Ball 83 mins.

Man of the match: Charlie O’Loughlin.

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