Boreham Wood 0 – 1 Dagenham & Redbridge
Friday 7th April 2023
LV BET Stadium Meadow Park, Vanarama National League
WOOD PUT TO THE SWORD BY DAGGERS
Inih Effiong returned to haunt his former club as his early header proved enough to seal a narrow victory over Boreham Wood.
An early lead fell to Dagenham & Redbridge when Josh Hare’s free kick was headed back across goal by David Longe-King towards Effiong, who was waiting to pounce and beat Nathan Ashmore from close range, and the former Wood man was gifted a golden opportunity to double their advantage on the brink of half time, with Ashmore this time making amends by diving to his left to keep out the striker.
The Wood saw an improvement into the second half as they looked to secure a point, but it was Ben Strevens’ men who perhaps had the better opportunities with Myles Weston and Angelo Balanta going close, while Dion Kelly-Evans was at the centre of the Wood’s best chances with a couple of goalmouth scrambles seeing him denied by a resolute Daggers defence, who were able to keep out their opponents for over 70 minutes.
Defeat against the Daggers sees the Wood unable to take advantage of Barnet dropping points earlier in the day, but they remain in sixth due to other previous results seeing Eastleigh lose and Bromley draw and they will be looking to return to winning ways with a trip to Hayes Lane on Monday, with a quick turnaround due to the Easter weekend giving them the chance to build momentum as they look to cement their place in the play-offs come May.
Two changes to the team which beat Maidstone United last time out saw Will Evans replace Jamal Fyfield in the back three after a nine-game absence, while Érico Sousa returned to the bench after recovering from a groin injury.
A slow opening to proceedings saw the visitors make a slightly brighter start, with Effiong heading well wide before Mo Sagaf volleyed a half chance into the midriff of George Broadbent from point blank range as they looked to take an early advantage.
It wouldn’t be long before they found a way through the Wood defence though, and took the lead when Longe-King picked out Effiong in the box who sent the ball beyond the grasp of Ashmore after just 13 minutes, giving the Wood stopper no chance from close range.
Clear chances were at a premium for much of the first half as the Daggers remained stubborn in their attempt to protect their lead, but a good opening did fall to the Wood when Femi Ilesanmi won a free kick in a dangerous area, with a move straight out of the training ground seeing Broadbent and Chris Bush lay the ball off to Zak Brunt who curled his effort a hair-length wide.
They almost paid the price for this miss though when a wonderful opportunity fell to Weston shortly after when he found himself through on goal and on his own, but Ashmore was on hand to make a crucial stop and deny the 35-year old from close range.
The Wood were unable to penetrate the Daggers’ backline, but a spell with more control saw them grow into it and they produced a half chance when Dennon Lewis picked up the ball just in front of the halfway line before driving forward and threading it through to the onrushing Broadbent, but he couldn’t make the most of the opening and miskicked his shot which bobbled wide.
The Daggers then instantly had the chance to make the Sheffield United loanee rue his miss when they were gifted a golden opportunity to double their lead on the stroke of the interval, with Weston going through on goal before a clash of legs saw him taken out by Ilesanmi and giving the referee no choice but to point to the spot. However, Ashmore added to his collection of heroic moment by diving to his left to deny Effiong, keeping his side in it as they trailed at the break.
HT: Boreham Wood 0-1 Dagenham & Redbridge
The Wood got back underway intent on finding the all-important leveller, and came ever so close just three minutes after the restart when Tyrone Marsh headed a Brunt corner inches wide of the near post.
This was followed by an early double change that saw Evans replaced by Sousa while an alteration up front saw Lee Ndlovu come on for Marsh, signalling this upturn in intent from Luke Garrard.
And there was almost an instant impact when Ndlovu was played through on goal with the Wood top scorer being tackled before he could get his shot away, although the ball fell perfectly into the path of Kelly-Evans who fired the ball into the North Bank as he couldn’t keep his effort down.
Kelly-Evans would then see another similar chance fall to him just after the hour-mark after Ilesanmi robbed Weston of possession and drove forward down the left flank before firing the ball into the path of Broadbent, who couldn’t get on the end of it. The ball travelled all the way through to the former Notts County man at the back post though, but he could only see his first attempt blocked by Ling before getting a second bite of the cherry which rolled behind.
Keen to ease some of the pressure, the visitors went up the other end and produced their first real chance of the second half with Weston finding himself in acres of space before firing a tame effort straight at Ashmore.
They would then have another chance to double their lead when former Wood man Balanta picked up the ball in plenty of space on the edge of the box, and although the hosts were able to recover their shape, he danced around a couple of defenders before getting his shot away which rolled just wide.
With the Daggers’ lead still slender, the Wood remained in the contest as they entered the final ten minutes, and went close to a leveller when Broadbent connected cleanly with a volley that Elliott Justham was behind.
Four minutes of added time gave the hosts a lifeline in their pursuit of an equaliser, but it was the visitors who went closest to a goal next when Sydney Ibie was denied by a strong hand from Ashmore who had to be alert to make a crucial stop from close range, and this would be all either side could muster as the Daggers’ resilience would pay off come the full time whistle.
FT: Boreham Wood 0-1 Dagenham & Redbridge
Boreham Wood: Ashmore; Agbontohoma, Evans (Sousa 52’), Bush; Kelly-Evans, Payne, Broadbent, Ilesanmi; Brunt (Rees 80’); Marsh (Ndlovu 52’), Lewis
Subs Not Used: Ricketts, Coxe
Dagenham & Redbridge: Justham; Hare, Longe-King, Onarise, Ling; Robinson, Phipps, Sagaf (Mussa 88’); Balanta (Saunders 79’), Effiong, Weston (Ibie 72’)
Subs Not Used: Strizovic, Bird
Goal: Effiong 13’
Star Man: Nathan Ashmore
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