Herts F A Senior Cup Quarter Final.
Boreham Wood 2 Watford 0,
by John Mead.
This was an intriguing encounter with Ian Allinson fielding a full strength side full of confidence against a youthful Watford side that included 15 year old Michael Folivi. Both sides took the game seriously, making it a very watchable contest.
The visitors belied their age with a thoroughly professional performance. Commanding in possession and well organised, they kept their shape and discipline and played with a passion right to the final whistle. Wood were tested and needed to be at their best, with the first half in particular featuring some extremely attractive football from both sides.
For Wood the tie heralded the first opportunity for Ricky Shakes to pull on a Wood shirt, playing his first hour of competitive football after snapping an Achilles in pre season.
Wood created the majority of chances in the opening half, with the visitors kept in the game by keeper Dan Wilks on more than one occasion. Almen Adbi, one of only three Watford players with first team experience blocked a goal bound Matty Whichelow effort early on.
Wilks did well to keep out a deflected Graeme Montgomery effort that forced him to dive backwards to tip over the bar as Wood put real pressure on the visitors. Callum Reynolds brave header from a corner went just wide, before Ben Nunn’s sweetly struck effort looked destined for the top left hand corner of the net, until Wilks got a hand to it.
Shakes then went close with his head from a Montgomery corner, before Josh Hill played Montgomery through down the right. His cross was met by Junior Morias whose downward header went over the crossbar.
Having survived the onslaught Watford created themselves when Dennon Lewis got beyond Reynolds forcing a save from James Russell. Abdi then shot just over before Morias got involved in an altercation with Jazzi Barnham-Bobb. His frustration manifested itself just seconds later in the best possible way. The diminutive loan striker unleashed a superb strike from thirty yards out that fizzed into the back of the net leaving Wilks no chance. Morias has certainly made his mark since joining on loan, bagging his eighth goal in as many starts.
Abdi had a chance to equalise but Russell flung himself full stretch to preserve the lead going into the interval.
Whichelow shot straight at Wilks when well placed but on the hour got the goal his performance deserved against his former employers. Shakes was the provider with a cross from the right and the finish in space was a superb curling effort placed wide of Wilks.
Watford enjoyed the majority of possession thereafter but rarely threatened a well organised Wood side who go again on Thursday at Hitchin Town in the Semi Final, with out of sorts Bishops Stortford awaiting the winners.
Speaking after the game Ian Allinson explained his team selection. “ We have not won any silverware for some time and this particular Cup has eluded us in recent seasons. We are relatively safe in the League so we are going for this and having got this far I want to be in the Final. Watford were well organised and kept possession very well but we created enough chances first half to have made it easier for ourselves on the night. That said we defended our eighteen yard box extremely well second half. We have a few knocks and Sam Cox and Mark Jones are still ten days away from fitness. There are a few other sore players so I will need to be mindful of that going into Thursday.”
Team: Russell, Nunn, Morgan, Garrard, Hill, Reynolds, Shakes ( Pires 63), Whichelow, Morias ( Brown 77), Angol ( Oyenuga 77), Montgomery.
Subs not used: Noto, Courtnage.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Morias 36, Whichelow 60.
Man Of the Match: Matty Whichelow.