Ruthless Wood Rise To The Top.
Vanarama Conference South.
Hemel Hempstead Town 0 Boreham Wood 6,
by John Mead.
Two goals and two assists from Lee Angol, plus two more very special finishes from Graeme Montgomery sent Wood emphatically to the top of the table, whilst issuing a reality check to last season’s runaway Calor Premier League Champions.
It has taken patient building over four seasons at this level to get to where Boreham Wood Football Club are at present. The memories of our first Conference South home League defeat at the hands of Bromley came flooding back, along with the reoccurring mantra of Gaffer Ian Allinson, “If you make mistakes at this level you will get punished”.
That was precisely The Tudors undoing, after dominating the opening half an hour of the game, they were comprehensively dismantled by a rampant and focused Wood.
With just 7 minutes played James Russell was forced into a flying save to turn a thirty yarder from Daniel Talbot over the bar with the home side very much in the ascendancy.
Montgomery picked out Reynolds with a deep cross from the left, but the unmarked defender could only find the side netting.
Wood settled after riding out the early storm from the Tudors, whom akin to the leaden skies above promised much but delivered nothing, thanks to some superb team defending, with Reynolds and central partner Josh Hill impassable for the second game in succession.
Russell had to be alert to keep out a Talbot free kick that was sent goalwards by the head of Luke Garrard whilst under pressure. Scott Thomas then produced a fine intervention to stop Dennis Oli whilst at the other end the free running Angol began wearing down the Tudors defence .
Another Russell stop denied Jordan Parkes at his left hand post, before Wood took the lead against the run of play. A Garrard clearance was flicked on down the left by Thomas for Angol. He outpaced his marker leaving hitherto redundant keeper Laurie Walker hesitant, allowing Angol to finish over the stranded keeper into an empty net.
A minute from the break Montgomery scored the first of his two beauties. Playing a one two with Ben Nunn down the right he squeezed past Parkes on the goal line before unleashing a rising drive from an impossible angle that found its way into the top left hand corner of the net.
There was no let up for the Tudors after the break. With the half just thirty seconds old, the napping defence was caught out . Angol provided the perfect ball for Austin Lipman to run onto, the Arsenal youngster coolly finishing past Walker.
Wood were irresistible going forward now, with Walker saving to deny Lipman, his defence so hard working and impregnable now suddenly vulnerable.
Montgomery then saw his telling cross bound for the head of Angol clawed to safety by Walker, before sheer perseverance from Angol led to his second and Wood’s fourth. His closing down led to panic in the defence, forcing a mix up between defender and keeper, leaving the talented Luton Town loanee to grab his third goal in two games.
It was the first of three goals in a nine minute spell as The Tudors night unravelled. Number five was the highlight of the evening. Greg Morgan’s throw in down the left found Matty Whichelow who set up Montgomery for a Cantonaesque lofted shot that found its way into the top right hand corner of the net with pinpoint precision.
Whichelow and Angol then combined, Angol’s fierce drive was only parried by Walker allowing our impact substitute to help himself to Wood’s sixth smashing home the rebound.
Speaking after the game Ian Allinson felt, “ The score did not give the credit to Hemel Hempstead that they deserved. They are suffering with injuries, much like we did at the start of last season. I thought we could easily have gone behind as they were a real handful for the first twenty five minutes. I said to the players at half time that the next goal was important and thankfully we got it very quickly. Thereafter we defended our clean sheet very well, whilst remaining on the lookout for more goals. “
Team: Russell, Nunn, Garrard (Morgan 60), Cox (Hope 80), Hill, Reynolds, Shakes, Thomas, Angol, Lipman (Whichelow 74), Montgomery.
Subs not used: Noto, Courtnage.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Angol 34, 70. Montgomery 45, 75. Lipman 46. Whichelow 79.
Man Of the match: Lee Angol.