Wood Blow City Away.
The Skrill South.
Chelmsford City 0 Boreham Wood 6,
by John Mead.
Wood breezed through this fixture played at a windy Melbourne Stadium delivering a statement of intent prior to their clash with Carlisle United. Manager Ian Allinson demanded a performance and he certainly got one.
Arsenal’s eighteen year old Austin Lipman had a memorable debut playing along side another teenager David Moli, currently on the books of Wolverhampton Wanderers. Having previously played in the same England Under 17 side they quickly forged a partnership that was the catalyst for this incredible victory.
It was Wood playing into the driving wind that adapted to the conditions better, David Moli found the side netting within 23 seconds of the kick off, before James Russell needed to be alert as a long ball forward almost blew right over his head.
There was some superb team defensive play early on from Wood as The Clarets pushed the ball around with intent on the edge of the Wood penalty area.
Lipman went close from a free kick hitting just over from thirty yards out. Moli and Lipman then combined allowing Graeme Montgomery a decent low drive that tested Carl Pentney in The Clarets goal.
He was however picking the ball out of the net from the same player just two minutes later.
Greg Morgan, returning to his old club burst forward down the left. A step over sent him past the first defender , a switch of feet and direction the second, before supplying a curling low cross that ran for Montgomery out on the right. His first time left footed effort a perfectly placed shot that left Pentney no chance after 24 minutes.
Four minutes later the Moli and Lipman partnership provided the second. The Gunners youngster played the Wolves youngster through down the middle who needed two touches before finishing low past the advancing Pentney.
A spate of handbags broke up any ideals the home side had of a quick change in fortunes. Lipman could have put the game completely to bed after 35 minutes. Dispossessing Joshua Warren he drove forward rounding Pentney only to be undone by a bobble blasting his effort wide of the empty net.
Rob Hastings on as a first half substitute for the injured Greg Morgan, jump-started his best performance for the first eleven almost skewing the ball beyond Pentney from a tight angle after 50 minutes.
Any question that the conditions advantaged the side kicking against the wind were blown away with two quick fire goals inside three minutes.
Lipman’s inspired debut heralded the goal it deserved. He ran at Mark Haines who could only parry the ball back to the forward who ran through down the middle to place his shot under Pentney.
Hastings then set Moli free with a huge downfield ball which was held up at the left corner flag with keeper Pentney rushing out to assume the role of defender. The ex Liverpool Academy player rounded Pentney and spotted the arrival of Hastings who burst into the penalty area. He finished with his second attempt after Leon Redwood did his best to block the first.
Matthew Ball then missed an easy chance soon after coming on, when he shot wide from eight yards after being set up by a right sided Montgomery cross.
Such was Wood’s dominance an on target shot from substitute Bagasan Graham was met with a chorus of ironic cheers from the City faithful with twenty minutes remaining.
The glue that held this memorable performance together was supplied by Luke Garrard. Those present will be reminded of his superb contribution by a stunning fifty yard ball ( think Ruud Gullit!) that picked out Montgomery on the right. He drove in accelerating past two challenges to finish exquisitely making it 0-5.
With both Lipman and Moli withdrawn, it was the turn of Raheem Sterling-Parker and Ball to take up the mantle. The pair combined with Sterling-Parker forcing a fine save before guiding the rebound into the path of Ball who placed Wood’s sixth into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Garrard blocked a certain consolation goal after Russell spilled a long range bullet shot before Sterling-Parker was denied a goal of his own right at the end of the game. With options right and left he decided to go it alone, foiled only by the save of the match.
Around a hundred City fans stayed on after the final whistle, sportingly clapping every member of the jubilant Wood side from the field before venting their anger at both the Management and Directors of their well beaten side.
Team: Russell, Nunn, Jones, Cox, O’Loughlin, Reynolds, Montgomery, Garrard, Moli (Sterling-Parker 73), Lipman (Ball 64), Morgan (Hastings 38).
Subs not used: Whichelow, Courtnage.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Montgomery 24, 72. Moli 28. Lipman 52. Hastings 55. Ball 78.
Man Of The Match: Luke Garrard.