Wood Get The Shakes!
The Skrill South.
Havant & Waterlooville 1 Boreham Wood 1,
by John Mead.
A superb team goal finished by Ricky Shakes earned Wood a well earned point against the play off chasing Hawks. The first half was a superb advert for the League with both sides producing high quality football in a very open game. The impetus left the home side after the interval and Wood, whom at half time would have taken the point with both hands, were left feeling a win was not out of their reach at the final whistle.
With Junior Morias recalled to the Wycombe Wanderers First Team squad after his effective tutelage saw him bag nine goals in fourteen starts during his loan spell, Kudus Oyenuga played in behind Lee Angol up front.
Wood started superbly and went close after just three minutes. Mark Jones started the move out of defence finding Angol. His shield allowed Oyenuga to pick out the run of Jones who drifted inside like a seasoned attacker finding space to curl a decent effort just wide of the right hand post.
Graeme Montgomery then shot wide, before Wood built another fine sweeping move, master minded by Shakes, who was a dominant force throughout the game. Breaking up play, intercepting passes and driving forward through the centre of the park, with his match fitness now up to speed, the close season signing from Kidderminster Harriers combined with Oyenuga and Ben Nunn in some style before Oyenuga’s end product was struck wide of the post.
Christian Nannetti looked threatening for The Hawks out on the right in open play, but it was their strength from set pieces that produced the real danger.
Winning their third corner after 21 minutes, the delivery was cleared by Mario Noto only as far as the edge of the area. Daniel Blanchett reacted quickest hitting a low drive that took a deflection that left James Russell flat footed, to give his side the lead.
Two minutes later from a soft free kick Nannetti curled in a ball from the right that was flicked on by Dennis Oli for Aristide Bassele but his effort was ruled out by an offside flag.
Wood to their credit fought back crucially and Jones’ free kick allowed Shakes a shot that was blocked. Oyenuga then jinked past three defenders before blasting an effort across the goal mouth.
The Hawks were buoyant going forward with Callum Reynolds as ever imperious as the last line of defence.
Wood then broke down the left and a fine interchange of passes between Angol and Montgomery bought the space for a low driven cross from Montgomery that Shakes ran onto crashing home a fine goal to level the game after 34 minutes.
Angol almost turned the game on its head a minute later. Playing a one two with Sam Cox he hit a superb rising drive with little back lift that sent Benjamin Buchel into an acrobatic save, tipping over the bar.
The Hawks best chance of a second goal came after 40 minutes. Wood found themselves outnumbered on the right allowing Nannetti to cross finding Bassele the AFC Bornemouth loanee. He opted to chest down instead of shooting and the ball spiralled out of his control from just eight yards out.
Another Shakes orchestrated move ended the half when Noto shot out of the ground.
Nannetti tried his luck from forty yards with Russell called upon, before Angol did well to control before shooting just over for Wood. Clear cut chances dried up somewhat. Russell picked a dangerous cross from Bassele out of the air ,before Wood were denied a penalty when Angol seemed to be upended from a challenge from behind.
Josh Hill headed at Buchel from a Montgomery free kick, before a string of bookings killed the game as a spectacle.
In the dying minutes, with the home side running on empty after playing thirteen games in March, a clear shout for a penalty was again ignored by Mr Venamore. Reynolds was clearly hauled to the ground preventing him from challenging, allowing the sides to share the points.
It was a superb all round performance that mathematically guarantees Skrill South football next season with Wood hitting the 50 point mark.
Team: Russell, Nunn, Jones, Cox, Hill, Reynolds, Noto, Shakes, Oyenuga ( Pires 79), Angol, Montgomery ( Whichelow 85).
Subs not used: Vasey, Brown, Courtnage.
Bookings: Jones, Angol.
Goals: Havant and Waterlooville: Blanchett 21.
Boreham Wood: Shakes 34
Man Of The Match: Ricky Shakes.