Boreham Wood 1 – 0 Chesterfield
Saturday 4th February 2023
LV BET Stadium Meadow Park, Vanarama National League


A super sub appearance from Josh Rees saw him score the winner with his first touch of the game, securing a third victory in a row for the Wood just five minutes after entering the fray.

A whole host of Chesterfield pressure put the visitors in the ascendancy throughout, but a Man of the Match display from Nathan Ashmore kept the Spireites at bay before Rees struck shortly after the hour-mark, after visiting goalkeeper Lucas Covolan spilled Femi Ilesanmi’s initial effort straight into his path a couple of yards out.

The Wood remain in the play-off places after victory over the Spireites, jumping up to sixth in the National League table as a result and they will be looking to continue their positive streak with a trip to fellow promotion hopefuls Woking next Saturday.

Tyrone Marsh was rewarded for his matchwinner on Tuesday night with a first start in three outings, replacing the injured Lee Ndlovu while the recently recalled Danny Elliott dropped to the bench in place of Danny Newton. Additionally, David Agbontohoma celebrated his permanent signing during the week with a sixth successive start, and there was a place on the bench for Jamal Fyfield after recovering from a long-term injury.

A cagey opening to the game saw Chesterfield control possession, but there was little in the way of action during the first few minutes. It took a touch of fortune to produce the first chance, with Ryan Colclough driving forward before drilling a cross into the danger area that fizzed goalward after taking a major deflection off George Broadbent, forcing Ashmore into his first save outstretched save of the match.

A whirlwind couple of minutes then saw Ashmore called into action multiple times in quick succession, keeping the continuously threatening Spireites at bay. He first produced an outstanding triple save to deny Armando Dobra and then Liam Mandeville from the two resulting rebounds, before tipping Jamie Grimes’ header over the crossbar from the ensuing corner.

Chesterfield were in the ascendancy and really should have been a goal up, with Ashmore the only reason the score was still level after a furious spell. The Wood slowly grew into it and were able to settle, producing a couple of shots themselves which flew off target while Newton and Marsh both found themselves in behind with the offside flag saving the visitors.

Colclough proved to be the danger man for the Spireites and came inches away from breaking the deadlock as Chesterfield continued to dominate. He brilliantly spun past Agbontohoma to find space to drive forward, before unleashing a powerful low effort that fizzed past the post.

Will Evans then produced an important block to deny Darren Oldaker from distance moments later, with his powerful drive being destined to hit the back of the net if it weren’t for the former Chesterfield man getting in the way amidst a crowd of bodies.

Ollie Banks would be the next to have a chance as he fired over from a free kick, with the Wood subsequently enjoying a bit more control during the final few minutes of the first half. Zak Brunt would have a couple of chances on the stroke of the interval, seeing an effort blocked from distance before firing just wide in stoppage time, before going into the break goalless.

HT: Boreham Wood 0-0 Chesterfield

Momentum remained with the Spireites after the break and they immediately came close to an opener when an Oldaker-led counter attack ended with Dobra reaching the byline, who cut it back towards Joe Quigley who forced Jack Payne into an important block to deny the former Wood loanee from point blank range. The resulting corner then saw Mandeville let fly from distance after it was cleared as far as the edge of the box, but his effort flew over the crossbar.

Ashmore would be called into action once again with Banks having an effort saved by the Wood stopper, before a dramatic spell saw the hosts go ever so close to taking the lead.

A crucial intervention from Covolan saw Marsh denied from point blank range, but the ball fell to Ilesanmi who got it under control before picking out Newton, who forced Branden Horton into a crucial block to send his strike behind for a corner, much to the disappointment of the 31-year old.

Fortunately, it wouldn’t be long before the Wood made the breakthrough, and it proved to be an inspired decision from the gaffer which led to their opener. Marsh did well to play in Ilesanmi who’s low effort was saved by Covolan, but it fell perfectly into the path of the recently introduced Rees who was gifted the task of putting home a simple tap-in from a couple of yards out, something which he graciously accepted to make an instant impact.

The visitors reacted straight away with Grimes heading onto the post from a corner, before a golden opportunity fell to Quigley from close range, but he couldn’t keep his effort down.

This preceded a half-hearted penalty appeal from Dobra who was booked for simulation, before another brilliant opportunity fell to Mandeville when he found himself one on one with Ashmore in acres of space, but he was superbly denied by the Wood stopper once again.

The Wood were in control, but with the clock ticking towards 90 the Chesterfield pressure continued to mount and they certainly rode their luck at times. Five minutes of added time allowed Paul Cook’s men the opportunity to throw men forward and an expected onslaught of away attacks, including a last gasp chance for Ash Palmer who sent a header goalward that Ashmore was able to claim. Luckily, the Wood remained resilient, and held out for a valuable three points.

FT: Boreham Wood 1-0 Chesterfield

Boreham Wood: Nathan Ashmore; David Agbontohoma, Will Evans, Chris Bush; Érico Sousa, George Broadbent, Jack Payne, Femi Ilesanmi; Zak Brunt (Rees 58’); Tyrone Marsh (Lewis 74’), Danny Newton

Subs Not Used: Jamal Fyfield, Danny Elliott, Cameron Coxe

Goal: Josh Rees 63’

Chesterfield: Lucas Covolan; Ryheem Sheckleford (King 87’), Ash Palmer, Jamie Grimes, Branden Horton; Ollie Banks, Darren Oldaker (Akinola 83’); Liam Mandeville, Ryan Colclough (Uchegbulam 83’), Armando Dobra; Joe Quigley

Subs Not Used: Laurence Maguire, Mike Jones

Star Man: Nathan Ashmore




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