Wood Vandalise Unbeaten Run!
Vanarama Conference South.
Gosport Borough 0 Boreham Wood 1,
by John Mead
This closely contested tie was decided by a Lee Angol strike, ending last years F A Trophy finalists unbeaten record. Starting the tie in sixth place and having conceded just one goal in five games, The Boro showed just how they have made such a fine start. There will be few sides to come away from Privett Park with much this season and those that do will have to be at their very best!
The game was a fine advertisement for the Non League on its special day and both sides played their part. Luke Garrard made a welcome return slotting in at left back, with Austin Lipman partnering Angol up front, whilst Ricky Shakes moved into the centre of the park.
A fine move involving Ben Nunn, Matthew Whichelow and Shakes allowed Angol to drift across the goal mouth before striking a shot just over. Whichelow whose counter attacking prowess was a threat all afternoon then gave away possession with Steve Ramsey’s cross met by Justin Bennett who headed over the bar.
The game was end to end with Lipman shooting straight at Nathan Ashmore. Wood then broke from a corner , a move that ended with a superb tackle by Andy Forbes on Shakes. That pattern was frequently repeated with Wood finding a quick route to the final third, only to be stopped in their tracks by a mean defence.
Dan Wooden saw his shot deflect wildly off of Josh Hill, but James Russell was focused and adjusted well to save. Sam Cox blasted over for Wood before Boro went close in spectacular fashion. A loose ball was played forward to Ramsey who took a touch before turning and volleying against the crossbar with Russell beaten.
Sam Pearce denied Angol, before Lipman shot the wrong side of a post. There was another scare for Wood as the half ended when they struggled to get the ball out of the area. It fell for Ramsey who beat Russell for a second time, only for Nunn to execute a fine goal line block. The danger continued when Wooden saw his effort from a tight angle met by a two fisted punch.
Wood were riding their luck at this stage and a quite brilliant saving header by Garrard cut out Bennett’s cross with players queueing to finish the move.
The half time break gave Wood a chance to regroup and they came out to take control of the game initially. Graeme Montgomery saw his shot from the left deflected onto the crossbar by Ashmore, with Whichelows’s follow up shot cleared off the line by a defender.
The pressure mounted for the home side and Angol broke the deadlock after 58 minutes. A quick release by Russell set Whichelow galloping free feeding Angol. His pass for Montgomery was short, but he found Whichelow who played the important ball for Angol who span away from his marker before cutting a shot back across goal beyond Ashmore.
Wood denied Boro an immediate response with Hill doing enough to deny Matt Patterson a shot on target, before Wooden blasted over when well placed. The pressure on the Wood defence began to mount when Forbes headed over after Russell misjudged the flight of the ball from a corner.
Wood stuck to playing passing football in an attempt to maintain possession but were almost undone in the 89th minute when Tom Dunford saw his rasping shot hit the inside of the left hand post before coming back into play. Mike Carter was some composure short of an equaliser. He shot wide of the target from eight yards out after being played in by Lee Wort.
It was a long six minutes of additional time, extended by an injury to Ben Nunn. Both Callum Reynolds and Greg Morgan put their bodies on the line to block shots.
Then, with keeper Ashmore up for a corner Wood broke through Whichelow but the superb Boro rearguard refused to buckle a second time, with Ashmore somehow getting back to make two saves , whilst a defensive block denied Angol, Cox and Whichelow in quick succession.
It was a hard earned three points but they came at a price with both Nunn and Garrard doubtful for Monday night, when the only other unbeaten side in the league Eastbourne Borough roll into Meadow Park.
Team: Russell, Nunn, Garrard ( Noto 89), Cox, Hill, Reynolds, Shakes, Whichelow, Angol, Lipman (Hope 90), Montgomery ( Morgan 82) .
Subs not used: Courtnage, Thomas.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Angol 58.
Man Of The Match: Lee Angol.