Boreham Wood 1 – 2 Dover Athletic
Friday 15th April 2022
LV Bet Stadium Meadow Park, Vanarama National League


Boreham Wood’s fight for a play-off spot suffered a blow, as goals from Michael Gyasi and Koby Arthur either side of Scott Boden’s equaliser was enough to see the Wood kick off the Easter weekend with defeat at the hands of Dover Athletic, extending their winless run to ten games against the already-relegated side.

The visitors got off to a shock start when Gyasi converted a dubious early penalty, but it would be cancelled out by Boden just a few minutes later when Dennon Lewis picked him out in space to tap home from close range. The hosts failed to capitalise on their good work though, as an audacious chip from Arthur restored Dover’s lead on the half-hour mark.

A second home defeat in a row keeps the Wood in ninth, but a gap of seven points to Grimsby Town in seventh leaves them firmly in charge of their own destiny, with attention switching to a trip to Wealdstone on Easter Monday.

Luke Garrard made four changes to the side that lost to Aldershot Town last week, with the most notable of these seeing Danilo Orsi replace Josh Rees to set up with three strikers from the start, making it evident how the home side intended to approach this game

It so nearly went to waste due to some early controversy though, with an opener being gifted after just five minutes. Despite being relatively comfortable in the opening stages, Will Evans cheaply gave the ball away in a dangerous area with Gyasi driving into the box and forcing the defender to commit to a challenge, clumsily conceding a penalty as he looked to recover although on second viewing it seemed a phenomenal tackle. However the referee’s decision was made up much to the despair of the home support, with the German striker stepping up to slot home the spot-kick himself and send Taye Ashby-Hammond the wrong way.

Their lead lasted just three minutes though, as Orsi’s threaded through ball set Lewis on his way down the right-hand side, with the makeshift wing-back running half the pitch before playing an inch-perfect cross towards Boden who levelled with a good finish.

Lewis was clearly relishing the more offensive approach and enjoyed plenty of freedom out wide, causing plenty of carnage against a Dover defence who had conceded a league high 85 goals this season. He almost notched a wonderful goal to put the Wood in front when he drove at Myles Judd once more and jinked past him with a nice bit of skill, before sending a fierce strike that whistled just past the far top corner.

The Wood had gained full control over proceedings without really producing many clear goal-scoring opportunities, and paid the price for not taking advantage of their possession when the Whites hit back against the run of play when Arthur created a chance out of absolutely nothing to put the visitors back in front.

This seemed to knock the stuffing out of the hosts who had previously enjoyed their best spell in a while, and struggled to build on their momentum for the rest of the half with the Whites going in at the break with a precious lead.

HT: Boreham Wood 1-2 Dover Athletic

The second half was seemingly set up to begin in similar fashion to the first when Dover had the chance to add a third just ten minutes in, but Arjanit Krasniqi was unable to keep his close range free kick down.

The hosts soon began to grow into it and enjoyed a spell of sustained pressure that saw Mark Ricketts denied from the edge of the box when Henry Woods put his body on the line to make an important block, before some brilliant work from substitute Adrian Clifton as well as Jacob Mendy Mendy saw them both get to the byline, with the latter doing so twice in quick succession. Dover were able defend well against Mendy Mendy’s crosses and clear before a Wood player was able to meet either delivery, but it was Clifton’s cut-back that produced the pick of the bunch and a real golden chance, with Tyrone Marsh getting it under control before smacking his shot off the base of the post. It just wasn’t the Wood’s day.

They would need to be alert at the other end as well, with Ashby-Hammond heading a high ball as far as George Wilkinson who made his way into the box and sending a cross that required Evans to get there first, with Gyasi waiting to tap into an empty net.

Another promising chance ended with Boden eventually hooking a shot over the bar with his back to goal, with Dover evidently making it extremely difficult to break down. The hosts were limited to half chances at best, with Mendy Mendy twice going close when he was unable to keep Clifton’s lay-off down before floating a shot towards the top corner that Alexis Andre was able to claim. They were even fortunate at the other end when a slip from Lewis gave away possession in a dangerous area, with Arthur finding himself in acres of space on the edge of the box to curl his effort just on the wrong side of the post.

Dover held firm though, with their resilience allowing them to be rarely troubled during the latter stages of the game. Despite an additional six minutes met by a roar from the home crowd to urge the players on, the Whites were able to see out just their second win of the season, and one which took them out of minus points for the first time this season.

FT: Boreham Wood 1-2 Dover Athletic

Boreham Wood: Ashby-Hammond, Evans, Stephans, Fyfield, Lewis, Ricketts (Raymond 85’), Mafuta, Mendy Mendy, Marsh, Boden (Reckord 76’), Orsi (Clifton 53’)

Subs not used: Comley, Smith

Dover Athletic: Andre, Collinge, Ransom, Goodman, Judd, Krasniqi (Wratten 87’), Moses, Arthur (Parfitt-Williams 89’), Woods, Wilkinson, Gyasi (Nelson 79’)

Subs not used: Bexon, Byford

Star Man: Dennon Lewis



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