Boreham Wood 1 – 0 Dorking Wanderers
Tuesday 28th February 2023
LV BET Stadium Meadow Park, Vanarama National League


Femi Ilesanmi’s early goal was enough to secure all three points over Dorking Wanderers, with the Wood commanding a dominant second half performance from Marc White’s men to see out a narrow victory.

The Wood came out the blocks quickly and broke the deadlock after just seven minutes when Ilesanmi rose highest to head Zak Brunt’s corner past Daniel Lincoln, but an improved display from the visitors after the break saw them threaten an equaliser throughout with the back three needing to remain resilient in order to seal a second win on the bounce.

Victory over Wanderers sees the Wood close the gap on the top seven further with results elsewhere preventing them from jumping back into the play-off places, but they will be looking to stretch their unbeaten league run to 13 games when they visit Oldham Athletic on Saturday.

Luke Garrard made just one change to the side which finally ended their string of draws last time out against Scunthorpe United, with Cameron Coxe returning from illness to replace Érico Sousa.

The hosts made a positive start with David Agbontohoma heading a Brunt corner into the gloves of Lincoln after just three minutes, but it wouldn’t be long before they made the early pressure count as they took the lead moments later. Set pieces would prove to be a weak spot for the visitors throughout, and another corner found Ilesanmi who gave Lincoln no chance with a powerful header into the top corner.

The defender almost had another in as many minutes with the Wood quickly breaking away, and Lee Ndlovu managed to pick out Ilesanmi who found space to shoot but his effort was blocked by Jimmy Muitt who sent it behind for another corner. They wouldn’t let the pressure ease though, and some excellent strength and trickery from Ndlovu soon after saw him make his way into the Wanderers penalty area before teeing up Tyrone Marsh, who tried to make room for a shot which allowed the visitors to recover, and the chance broke down. Marsh almost made amends in spectacular fashion though, as he blasted a hopeful volley into the North Bank on the quarter-hour mark.

A first real venture into the Wood half followed for Dorking, with Muitt’s low cross forcing Coxe to make a crucial intervention with Ryan Seager lurking and ready to pounce, with a penalty appeal being waved away shortly after as they looked to level the score. This began a period that lacked much action as the game calmed down after a furious opening to proceedings, although Ilesanmi would complete a hat-trick of chances when he sent a tame effort down the throat of Lincoln during a quiet passage of play.

Ndlovu was forced off after picking up a knock and was replaced by Danny Newton soon after, with Wanderers almost taking advantage of the departure of the Wood’s top scorer, producing perhaps their best chance of the half when Jason Prior released Seager away down the right channel, before sending a low drive into the gloves of Nathan Ashmore.

Some late pressure saw Isaac Philpot glance a header off target in a last ditch attempt to equalise before the half was out, but they were unable to find a way through with the Wood going into the break with a narrow lead.

HT: Boreham Wood 1-0 Dorking Wanderers

There was an evident improvement to Dorking’s display after the interval, with Sebastian Bowerman sending a cross towards Prior who sent a header straight at Ashmore within seconds of the restart. Seager then met a free kick from Callum Kennedy and nodded the ball inches over the crossbar moments later, with the visitors going close to a leveller almost immediately.

Wanderers continued to threaten at the start of the second half with Josh Taylor sending a long throw-in into the danger area which was half cleared as far as James McShane, who lashed a volley goalward that took a deflection that allowed Ashmore to safely gather, shortly before Prior headed over once again. Their positive start to the second half wouldn’t let up though, with Seager having a volley shut down before McShane had a go from the edge of the box with his effort flying over the crossbar.

A fiery spell followed with a couple of hefty challenges from both sides seeing Newton and Dan Gallagher go into the book respectively, while Chris Bush saw a yellow card for dissent in the aftermath, and this was preceded by a couple of golden opportunities for both the Wood and Wanderers.

Newton broke away down the left-hand side after wriggling away from Philpot and with just Lincoln to beat, looked to slide the ball across to the onrushing George Broadbent despite arguably being better placed to shoot, with Bobby-Joe Taylor able to clear. The resulting corner saw Jamal Fyfield lose possession allowing the visitors to start a rapid counter attack, with Muitt picking up the ball in acres of space before driving forward and dragging a low effort just wide of the far post.

Some patient build-up play followed from the visitors with Taylor sending a strike from range that McShane was able to intercept, but he couldn’t fashion a strong enough contact as looked to divert the ball towards goal with Ashmore able to make a comfortable save.

This preceded another excellent chance for the Wood as Broadbent laid the ball off to Newton following a counter attack, with the striker sending an effort from the edge of the area straight at Lincoln before Taylor curled an effort inches wide of the far post at the other end.

Four minutes of stoppage time unsurprisingly brought a barrage of late pressure as Dorking looked to steal a point from the grasp of their opponents, but with the visitors committing men forward, a long ball over the top caught out their high line allowing Marsh to latch onto it and drive into the penalty area with just Lincoln to beat. He perhaps had too much time to think about his effort though as he was unable to put the game to bed with a skied attempt, but the Wood were able to avoid déjà vu and make it two wins in a row nonetheless.

FT: Boreham Wood 1-0 Dorking Wanderers

Boreham Wood: Ashmore; Agbontohoma, Fyfield, Bush; Coxe, Payne, Broadbent, Ilesanmi; Brunt (Rees 60’); Marsh, Ndlovu (Newton 36’ (Ricketts 90+2’))

Subs Not Used: Kelly-Evans, Lewis

Goal: Ilesanmi 7’

Dorking Wanderers: Lincoln; Philpot, Craig, Kennedy; Bowerman (Taylor 53’), Taylor, Gallagher, McShane, Muitt; McShane (Egan 84’); Prior, Seager

Subs Not Used: El-Abd, Moore, Jebb

Star Man: Chris Bush




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