Vanarama Conference South.

St Albans City 0 Boreham Wood 2,

by John Mead.

IMG_2122Wood extended their lead at the top of the table in a remarkably low key affair given the local derby billing in front of City’s second biggest gate of the season.

It was a case of win ugly at Clarence Park in a game of few chances. Wood took theirs, in front of nearly two hundred travelling fans who had waited for 87 minutes after Ricky Shakes’ early opener for Junior Morias to seal victory in stoppage time.

Both sides were missing key players, with James Comley and keeper Joe Welch out for City, whilst Matty Whichelow failed a pre match fitness test, joining the unwell Austin Lipman as a non starter.

Wood were anything but non starters and hit the jackpot after just three minutes. A quickly taken free kick on the right saw Graeme IMG_2123Montgomery and Junior Morias play a quick one two, with the latter sending a ball into the path of Shakes who finished Frank Lampard style inside the area, with a finely placed shot beyond Tom Coulton.

Lee Angol’s forward run was stopped by Howard Hall, before a dangerous cross back into the box from Steve Wales at the other end was sent behind by Callum Reynolds.

There was little to speak of in the way of goal mouth action, with Wood seemingly not out of second gear and City offering no real spark going forward.

Angol had a rare opportunity to increase the lead before the break. A ball out of defence by Reynolds saw the striker break beyond the last defender, with his attempted lob of the now stranded Coulton running just wide of the target.

IMG_2124Wood relaxed even more after the break, creating little and giving the ball away cheaply. The Saints were then revitalised somewhat with the introduction of John Frendo and Cameron Lancaster.

Frendo and Ian Gayle combined finding Wales whose shot troubled Russell who was glad to see the rebounded effort fly wide after his half clearance.

Both Lancaster and Omar Beckles went close from two successive corners for the home side, before another substitute Charlie Smith forced a save with his fiercely struck long range effort.IMG_2128

Wood awoke with twenty minutes remaining and Angol was unfortunate to see his cross fly just wide of a post, taking a very slight deflection en route. Morias then showed a burst of pace passing two defenders before deciding to go it alone. He got into the box sending a shot into the side netting.

There was still some defending to do, with Sam Cox picking up a booking for a desperate clearance, whilst Martin excelled on his old
stomping ground, alongside the unflappable Reynolds.

Wood showed just why they have had such a successful season to date in the closing stages. Angol and Morias found themselves IMG_2127outnumbered by five to two on the break, but won a corner with ease.

Reynolds slid in and almost converted from the resultant set piece.

Wood were finishing the stronger with Angol coasting past Gayle before squaring for Shakes whose shot was deflected for yet another corner.

Morias made the pressure count with a piece of individual skill, followed by an example of the keen understanding that he and Angol have carried over from their Wycombe Wanderers days. From a standing start out on the right he jinked past two defenders seeking out Angol before running on to accept a return ball which was crashed home with venom from twelve yards out. It was what the Wood fans had been waiting for and they certainly enjoyed the moment with the players.IMG_2129

Speaking after the game Wood Gaffer Ian Allinson concluded, “ It was tough again today and we have played much better and lost this season. That said we learnt after the Bath City game you have to pick your moments to bomb on to protect the result. That part of things we got spot on. We managed to subdue their fans from the off and after looking comfortable their double substitution gave us some problems. We finished strongly and to be frank I do not really care how the points come at this stage in the season. We are still top but the chasing pack have the chance to close the gap with their games in hand. We have fourteen more games to go and our target of 80 points means we need to win ten of them!”

Team: Russell, Garrard, Brown, Cox, Martin, Reynolds, Thomas, Shakes, Angol, Morias, Montgomery.

Subs not used: Toomey, Hill, Whichelow, Noto, Courtnage.

Bookings: Angol ,Cox, Garrard.

Goals: Boreham Wood: Shakes 3, Morias 91.

Wood Fans Man Of The Match: Ben Martin.

 

 

 

 

 

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