Southend 1 – 0 Boreham Wood
Tuesday 26th April 2022
Roots Hall, Vanarama National League

WOOD DEFEATED AT ROOTS HALL

The Wood came away from Roots Hall empty handed as their late surge for the play-offs suffered a blow following a 1-0 loss at the hands of Southend United, thanks to a late goal from Jack Bridge.

Bridge arrived in the box on 77 minutes to head Jason Demetriou’s cross beyond Nathan Ashmore with 13 minutes to go, finally taking advantage of a display that brought numerous chances to take the lead.

Despite defeat in Essex the Wood remain in ninth, but face an even tougher test on Saturday with a visit to runaway leaders Stockport County on Saturday.

Luke Garrard named an unchanged team from their victory over Bromley on the weekend, but it was unable to match what was a massively improved performance last time out. A slow start to the game saw little in the way of chances, with both sides having to wait until the eighth minute for a shot on goal.

It would go Southend’s way with Harry Cardwell heading a tame effort into the palms of Ashmore, although the Wood would go straight up the other end with Jacob Mendy Mendy beating Leon Davies and delivering a cross that was just too high for Scott Boden. Cardwell would go close again three minutes later when he struck a dangerous free kick down the throat of Ashmore that he initially spilled, before pouncing on the loose ball.

It was the hosts who controlled proceedings in the first half, and they soon started to take advantage with a couple of much more promising chances. Shaun Hobson went agonisingly close to giving Southend the lead when he sent a volley inches wide after it bounced around in the box from a free kick, before they broke a couple of minutes later through Sam Dalby who’s drag back fell kindly in the path of the onrushing Cardwell, but his powerful drive well wide from distance.

Southend continued to grow into it as the clock ticked towards added time, and really should have taken the lead when Bridge went flying in the box looking to meet a cross from the right, with the ball going all the way to Demetriou at the far post who stooped low but couldn’t keep his header on target with the entire goal to aim at, while the initial penalty appeals were waved away. Cardwell continued to dominate the Wood’s backline though with another effort two minutes later, this time picking up the ball on the edge of the box and making room for a shot with his fierce drive flashing just wide of Ashmore’s near post.

The hosts were unable to make their opportunities count though, with the Wood perhaps luckily to go into the break goalless.

HT: Southend United 0 – 0 Boreham Wood 

The second half kicked off in a similar fashion to the first with Southend getting the better of things, and enjoyed a positive opening with Gus Mafuta forced to concede a free kick in a dangerous area. The subsequent set piece was delivered by Harrison Neal and was cleared as far as James Dunne, who volleyed into the heavens.

The visitors got in behind for the first time five minutes into the second half with Tyrone Marsh making his way into the box, being picked out by Boden after he linked up well with Adrian Clifton, but he passed up a glorious opportunity and was unable to keep his shot down. The Shrimpers responded with Dalby hitting a powerful strike from distance that whistled over the crossbar minutes later.

This preceded a dangerous attack from Southend with some good skill allowing Bridge to drive into the box and square it towards Cardwell, but Will Evans made an excellent sliding challenge to get there first with the subsequent corner falling to Neal in acres of space, who struck his shot into the side netting.

Substitute Danilo Orsi led a counter attack with just over 20 minutes to go with Mendy Mendy eventually being picked out on the edge of the box, but he took too long to pull the trigger and was robbed of possession, with what followed being a golden opportunity that Southend will have been bitterly disappointed to not break the deadlock from. Dalby broke with pace to go straight up the other end with a deflected shot catching Ashmore out, and as the Wood scrambled back to regain their shape Jamal Fyfield luckily positioned himself on the line to clear Bridge’s rebound and prevent a certain goal.

This preceded another good chance shortly after that saw Dalby find space once more to shoot from distance, but his effort went a fraction over the crossbar before some rare chances for the Wood as they looked to push for a winner themselves. Marsh laid it off for Boden who’s curling shot was deflected past the far post, before Stephens rose highest to meet the subsequent corner but his close range header was tame with Arnold able to gather.

The visitors paid the price, as Southend went straight up the other end to score a deserved opener with Bridge heading Demetriou’s centre back across goal before it nestled in the far bottom corner.

Cardwell had proved a menace for much of the game, and he would go close to securing his side’s second just minutes later as his well-struck shot cannoned off the post, with the striker’s luck in front of goal continuing to evade him.

This would prove to be the last action of the game though, with Bridge’s goal enough to secure a deserved victory. The Wood maintained their push for an equaliser as the clock entered three minutes of added time, but the Shrimpers held out to ensure their opponents were unable to build on their first win in 11 games against Bromley, instead making it eight defeats in 13 going into the business end of the season.

FT: Southend United 1 – 0 Boreham Wood 

Southend United: Arnold, Davies, Kensdale, Hobson, Gubbins, Demetriou, Neal, Dunne, Bridge (Gard 88’), Cardwell, Dalby.

Subs not used: Andeng-Ndi, Powell, Wood, Dennis.

Boreham Wood: Ashmore, Evans, Stephans, Fyfield, Lewis, Ricketts, Mafuta, Mendy Mendy, Marsh, Boden, Clifton (Orsi 62’).

Subs not used: Ashby-Hammond, Comley, Smith.

Star Man: Jamal Fyfield.

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