The Skrill South.
Gosport Borough 2 Boreham Wood 1,
by John Mead.
Both sides have enjoyed mini revivals in their form of late but only one outfit turned up on the afternoon. It was a carbon copy to the reverse tie back in September, with the home side gaining a relatively easy three points on the day.
On a bumpy surface that was finally drying out there was little scope for fancy football, which in truth did not suit Ian Allinson’s men.
It was difficult to fathom which side had played less then forty eight hours previous, with Gosport starting the match looking the most revived, even after their last minute winner at Maidenhead United Thursday night.
Wood’s pedestrian approach was punished as early as the 6th minute. A ball into the box from the right was poorly judged by Zach Fagan whose attempted clearance was a glancing header straight into the path of Justin Bennett who finished past James Russell at the far post. That goal from the recently recalled striker equalled the Club’s leading goal scoring record that had stood for 35 years.
The main threat from Gosport came from set pieces with the Wood defence looking under pressure on occasions. On a pitch where the ball acted like a balloon when hit at pace across the surface, the home side adopted the long ball game, which given their size and stature was an easy option.
Loick Pires was played as a holding player and was beaten regularly to the ball, whilst his strike partner Kudos Oyenuga made little impact on the game for Wood.
Russell made a good save on the line to deny Lee Molyneaux in a rare attempt on goal for either side. Wood lost Mark Jones to a recurring calf injury after twenty minutes, before a poor Graeme Montgomery clearance sat up nicely for Jamie Brown who saw his drive turned around the post by Russell. From the resultant corner more hesitant defending allowed the ball to ricochet around the box, falling for Tim Sills who somehow blasted over the bar from six yards out with the goal gaping.
With Wood second best they were further hampered losing Fagan to a hamstring injury before Mario Noto finally tested Nathan Ashmore with a fine thirty yard free kick that needed a flying save.
With the second half just eight minutes old Bennett claimed the all time scorers record with his 193rd goal for Boro. He passed a weak challenge from Luke Garrard before striking the ball from twenty yards past Russell. It looked all too easy for the F A Trophy finalists, with Wood offering no attacking threat whatsoever.
With just one tactical substitution at his mercy, Allinson sent on Junior Morias for Oyenuga with 24 minutes remaining. Wood improved slightly and Ashmore just beat Morias to the ball on the edge of the area after Montgomery played him through.
Morias helped himself to a late consolation heading past Ashmore from a Matty Whichelow cross from the byline on the right, but it was too little too late for a side that prior to the Wycombe Wanderers loan striker’s introduction never looked like scoring.
Speaking after the game Ian Allinson shared his disappointment. “ Four or five of them did not turn up today and we were second best. They were bigger and stronger and adapted to the conditions well. The two injuries did not help us, both players will be assessed after the game and could be out for two weeks or the rest of the season. We failed to settle into any passage of play and ended up playing the long ball game which does not suit our style. On the positive side I have Charlie O’Loughlin available again for Monday night’s game with Farnborough and Ricky Shakes is training well and may well feature before the end of the season.”
This result narrows the gap between safety and the dreaded drop back to six points, making the visit of Farnborough who are just one point better off then ourselves another six pointer!
Team: Russell, Nunn, Jones ( Morgan 20), Garrard, Fagan ( Noto 39), Reynolds, Whichelow, Cox, Pires, Oyenuga ( Morias 66), Montgomery.
Subs not used: Angol, Courtnage.
Goals: Gosport Borough: Bennett 6, 53.
Boreham Wood: Morias 90+1.
Wood Man Of The Match: Ben Nunn.