Beaten But Not Disgraced.
The Skrill South.
Boreham Wood 1 Sutton United 3,
by John Mead.
This was a bitterly disappointing result given a superb first half performance against one of the best sides in the division. Wood hit the woodwork twice early on, then again in the second half and were left ruing some key refereeing decisions that all went against them.
Billy Lobjoit led the line superbly allowing the pace of Anthony Jeffrey and Austin Lipman to wreak havoc on the Sutton defence. So much so that the U’s manager Paul Doswell was forced into a tactical change before half time, a wise decision that went some way to tempering the waves of attacks.
The opening forty five minutes were of the highest quality. Blistering pace and swift passing moves from Wood were tempered by some dangerous counter attacking play from the visitors.
With eight minutes played Lobjoit won a strong challenge sending Jeffrey through. Charlie Clough’s intervention was picked up by Lipman who found himself in a great position. Tom Lovelock raced off his line but could not stop Lipman lifting a shot over him that agonisingly struck the post.
Matthew Ball in a central position picked out Jeffrey on the left who got a low shot off that beat Lovelock but for the second time inside two minutes Wood were a posts width away from taking the lead.
Sam Cox then got back to make a superb challenge after Craig Dundas accepted a ball over his shoulder that had the beating of Luke Garrard to deny the visitors.
Wood went close again when a quickly taken throw in on the right was crossed into danger by Graeme Montgomery finding Ball whose shot was gathered at the far post.
A defining moment of the game came when Lipman wriggled past Mitchell Nelson and powered towards goal. With the Arsenal youngster poised to shoot he was untidily upended on the edge of the area by Nelson whom, had the referee Mr Harris followed the letter of the law would have watched the rest of the game from the stands.
Sutton counter attacked from the resultant free kick with Garrard blocking Damien Scannell’s effort. There followed another scare when Nelson headed a corner back across goal, which was cleared off the line by a defender via the post.
Back came Wood with Charlie O’Loughlin’s shot blocked allowing Jeffrey to turn and shoot just wide. Ben Nunn had an inspired half linking up with Lobjoit to earn another corner. Wood played the high line superbly restricting Sutton in getting numbers forward, but were undone by a controversial opener after 44 minutes. Nelson advanced inside his own half playing a central ball that was flicked on to Scannell. The Wood defence to a man stayed high, but the assistant linesman disagreed with their unanimous judgement, allowing Scannell to slide in and send the ball over the advancing James Russell.
Feeling hard done by on the evening there was more bad luck to come and it did not take long. Just two minutes after the restart Jamie Slabber was going across the box from right to left when Cox challenged. Slabber lowered his head , Cox won the ball, but Mr Harris adjudged the tackle too dangerous and awarded a penalty which Dundas belted home.
Ball went close at the other end skewing a shot just wide, before Clough brought the save of the game out of Russell. His towering header from a right sided corner was majestically palmed away.
Sutton used all their experience to take control of the half, with Wood unable to recover from the string of misfortunes that befell them.
Dale Binns was rewarded for his performance after 70 minutes when he caught Nunn out on the left before cutting inside and shooting low at Russell who could only parry the effort to Slabber who claimed a fine poachers goal.
Raheem Sterling-Parker was introduced and there were embers of a late revival with Lobjoit still working tirelessly. Lipman struck a superb free kick that Lovelock got the faintest of touches to guiding it onto the post, which summed up Wood’s evening. Sutton did go to sleep with some defensive dallying allowing Montgomery to hit a superb twenty five yard volley beyond Lovelock who was undone by the perfect contact made, but it was too little too late.
Wood stay in the bottom three whilst Sutton enter the top three leaving Ian Allinson to summarise, “ We deserved much more after our first half performance and the referee got key decisions wrong in my book which has cost us. I feel the challenge on Austin Lipman warranted a red card, which would have completely changed the game. All my players were adamant that their opener was offside and the penalty for me was soft. However I accept those decisions. That left us two goals down and it knocked the stuffing out of what was a very young side tonight. Sutton showed their experience and are a very good side who were excellent in protecting their lead. There were a lot of positives tonight and we will take that forward to Saturday.”
Team: Russell, Nunn, Jones (Morgan 86), Cox, O’Loughlin, Garrard, Lobjoit, Ball (Sterling-Parker 72), Lipman, Jeffrey, Montgomery.
Subs not used: Noto, Brown, Courtnage.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Montgomery 87.
Sutton United: Scannell 44, Dundas 47 pen, Slabber 70.
Man Of The Match: Billy Lobjoit.