On a hot summer’s day at Meadow Park, today’s game proved to be a valuable workout for Ian Allinsons men.
Allinson opted to start with much of last seasons players, including new signing Danny Woodards in the starting XI. With trialists getting their chance to impress the management team in the second half.
It was the lively Cox who sparked Wood’s first chance, he won the ball in Midfield and fed it wide right to Morias who got to the by-line and crossed, however there were no white shirts to tap in.
Scott Thomas then broke up play well, played out wide to Shakes, his deep cross found Montgomery who put the ball back into the box for Shakes who couldn’t quite get the contact needed.
Saints first real attack came through the lively Young who found space out wide, his cross in found Ngoyi who couldn’t generate enough power to trouble Russell.
Wood were back on the attack after Cox stole the ball from a poor Locke pass, he played in Whichelow who with plenty of time put his effort over the bar.
Then came a bizarre moment with the Saints keeper, who under no real challenge suffered an injury and had to go off. With no replacement keeper on the bench, Wood loaned sub keeper Ben McNamara who took his place between the sticks for the visitors.
Woodard who showed his class throughout fouled Young on the edge of the 18 yard box by the by-line. Chappell whipped it in, it was half cleared and Richens stung Russell’s palms with a powerful 25 yard drive.
The final chance before half time fell to the Wood. Shakes was pulled back just outside the area and Whichelow put the free kick into the wall.
In the second half there were changes for both sides, Mckain replaced Hill at the back, Gifford replaced Thomas in Midfield and Crawford replaced Shakes.
The Wood started the brighter and Whichelow had an effort from the edge of the box which just fizzed over the bar.
Whichelow was again on the attack only this time to be taken out by Kieran Bishop.
Montgomery placed a good ball into the box and after a few deflections it fell to Morias who blasted over.
The Wood defence received a warning when Young broke free and rounded Russell and tapped into an empty net only to be offside.
After several more changes for both sides Woodard tried his luck from distance after the ball only half cleared by the Saints defence.
Merson who replaced Morias was through after a ball over the top but under pressure put his effort narrowly wide.
Saints were starting to see more possession and a corner from the right found the unmarked Beckles who couldn’t find the target.
Gifford, Crawford and Brown combined well with the latter laying off the ball to Cox who shot wide from 18 yards.
Crawford found plenty of space down the right, he played in Montogmery who took a touch and on his trusted left foot stung the palms of Mcnamara who held on at the second attempt.
Woods last chance fell to Sam Merson. A short corner which Nunn took to Montgomery who put the ball into the danger area and Merson attacked the ball but couldn’t quite find the target.
Team: Russell, Nunn, Woodard, Cox, Hill (Mckain), Reynolds (Martin), Shakes (Crawford), Thomas (Gifford), Morias (Merson), Whichelow (Brown) Montgomery