No Celebration For Royals!
Boreham Wood 1 Reading X1 1
by John Mead
A twenty man strong Squad of Reading’s Elite Squad who finished Runners-up in last Season’s Premiership Division, provided another stern test for Wood.
Ian Allinson opted for a 3 – 5 – 2 formation pitching Liam Enver-Marum up front with recent signing Calum Willock. Had Willock not diverted Donovan Simmonds goal bound effort after just twenty-eight seconds from an offside position it would have been a dream start.
Reading soon showed that their football is of the highest quality, especially in their approach play. It did serve to show what a fine defence Ian Allinson has at his disposal.
The Royals Tarique Fosu-Henry hit a rising drive just over the bar before Greg Morgan blistered down the right hitting a shot that was just wide of the upright angle at the other end.
Mario Noto opened the scoring after nineteen minutes when his thirty-five yard shot was too hot for Stuart Moore, who was beaten by the pace and bounce of the effort.
With Charlie O’Loughlin offering no route to goal the ball was worked back to Nigel Nieta who provided James Russell’s sternest test until a minute later. The superb technique of Fosu-Henry saw him trap and curl a left footed effort that crashed against the underside of the crossbar before being cleared.
Russell remained alert to rush out and cancel out any final balls the defence had not tracked, leaving Wood’s half time lead a slender one.
Eight pairs of fresh legs introduced by the visitors at half time proved too much on a hot afternoon. O’Loughlin brought down De’Jaune Taylor-Crossdale on the penalty spot, and he got up to slot home with confidence beyond Russell for the equaliser.
A fine move involving Morgan and Simmonds allowed the recent signing from Chelmsford City to set up Enver-Marum who failed to pull the trigger and Wood’s best chance of the half was gone.
Luke Garrard thwarted Shepherd Murombedzi with a brilliantly timed challenge as the pressure mounted on the tiring Wood side. However the professionalism of the Wood defence led the visitors to somewhat run out of ideas leaving the few home fans who turned up a very familiar score line to ponder!
It was a superb result for Wood as Ian Allinson explained after the final whistle, “I have just spoken to their Manager who told me this was their sternest test to date this Season. They have beaten Basingstoke Town, thumped Dartford 4 – 0 and held Newport County to a 3 – 3 draw. It was deceptively hot out there with my players struggling for breath first half in the pre-storm atmosphere. Injuries and non availability gave me the option to try out a different formation today and my final analysis on that was in part it worked which is encouraging for the coming Season.”
Team: Russell, Morgan, Garrard, Bentley (Sub – Hunter 70 mins.), Reynolds, O’Loughlin (Sub – Doolan 65 mins.), Simmonds, Noto, Willock (Sub – Brown 85 mins.), Montgomery, Enver-Marum.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Noto 19. Reading: Taylor-Crossdale 52 pen.
Reading Highlights Below;