Notts County 1-0 Boreham Wood
Tuesday 22nd March 2022
Meadow Lane, Vanarama National League

WOOD LOSE AT MEADOW LANE

An early goal from Matt Palmer was enough to secure the three points in a crucial clash that saw sixth vs seventh in the Vanarama National League, with the Wood’s winless run stretching to six games in all competitions.

The County midfielder, Palmer, got on the end of a loose ball to put his side in front after 13 minutes, allowing them to see out a narrow victory with the Magpies leapfrogging their opponents into sixth themselves.

Defeat in Nottingham means the Wood drop to seventh in the table, with a late winner from Solihull Moors at Grimsby Town being all that prevented us from dropping out of the play-off places for the first time this season.

Luke Garrard settled on an unchanged team from Saturday’s goalless draw with Grimsby, but it was unable to see a significant improvement, with the hosts dominating much of the opening proceedings. Notts enjoyed most of the early possession despite little actually happening, with a half chance for Connell Rawlinson after seven minutes being shortly followed by a speculative effort from Frankie Raymond at the other end of the pitch which was easily gathered by Sam Slocombe.

County really should have taken the lead when Ruben Rodrigues got involved for the first time, threading a ball through to Jayden Richardson who rounded Taye Ashby-Hammond, but he was forced wide with the chance breaking down and David Stephens cleared. The Magpies frustration would last just two minutes however, as Palmer opened the scoring after Richardson’s dangerous low cross caused havoc in the area, with Dion Kelly-Evans having an attempt himself before the ball eventually fell to Palmer to give his side the lead.

This would begin a spell that saw County dominate an extended period. Ashby-Hammond was largely the reason the score line wasn’t more at the interval as he pulled off two wonderful saves in quick succession, first to deny Rodrigues who was in acres of space to convert a Frank Vincent cross before tipping over a vicious effort from Kelly-Evans which was destined for the top corner.

The Wood started to grow into it towards the end of the half and finally began to test Slocombe, who had to push Danilo Orsi’s shot over the bar before doing the same to deny Tyrone Marsh three minutes later. County remained firm though and eventually went into the break with a deserved lead.

HT – Notts County 1-0 Boreham Wood

Garrard will have has a few choice words for his players going into the second half after a below par display in the first 45 minutes. Wood though went close to finding an equaliser in fortuitous circumstances when Slocombe spilt a Dennon Lewis cross that required it to be cleared before it trickled over the line, but opportunities were still very much at a premium with County continuing to see more of the ball.

Opportunities for Arter, Vincent and Alex Lacey all went amiss before Jamal Fyfield put a volley over the bar, with Ashby-Hammond being called into action later on after Wootton spread a ball out to Rodrigues whose drive required a low save. The Wood pushed for an equaliser with Josh Rees meeting Fyfield’s floated cross with a tame header when positioned to really work Slocombe in the Notts goal, and this was perhaps the closest the went throughout the evening.

Ashby-Hammond would be forced into a couple of saves in quick succession to prevent Richardson and Palmer from finding a second goal with Rodrigues having a couple of half chances late on himself. Despite being unable to double their tally, County were able to maintain their advantage, with there being just enough time at the end of the game for Lewis to get the ball under control and fire well over the bar after it came out to him from a corner, cementing County’s victory.

FT – Notts County 1-0 Boreham Wood

Notts County: Slocombe, Kelly-Evans, Rawlinson, Lacey, Chicksen, Richardson, Arter (Francis 65’), Palmer, Vincent, Rodrigues, Wootton

Subs Not Used: Taylor, Nemane, Sam, Brunt

Boreham Wood: Ashby-Hammond, Evans, Stephans, Fyfield, Lewis, Mafuta, Raymond (Clifton 84’), Rees, Mendy Mendy, Orsi (Boden 60’), Marsh

Subs Not Used: Reckord, Comley, Stevens

Star Man: Taye Ashby-Hammond.

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