Boreham Wood 1 – 0 Wealdstone
Saturday 15th April 2023
LV BET Stadium Meadow Park, Vanarama National League
ONE STEP CLOSER
George Broadbent’s early goal was enough to seal a treble over Wealdstone, as Boreham Wood took one more step towards a play-off place after an end-to-end contest with Stuart Maynard’s men that saw them secure a third victory of the campaign over the Stones.
Broadbent fired the Wood into the lead when he sweetly caught a half volley that flew beyond Sam Howes in the Stones net after nine minutes, and they continued to dominate throughout the opening 45 minutes with a whole host of chances seeing the Wood perhaps disappointed to not go into the break more than a goal to the good.
The second period saw Howes once again called into action as former Stone Dennon Lewis went closest for the Wood after the break, and although they were generally unable to match the heights of their first half display in the second, they were able to hold on to a crucial three points at an electric LV BET Stadium Meadow Park.
Victory over the Stones sees the Wood remain in sixth, but extend their cushion to eighth place to four points with a game in hand after Eastleigh’s defeat at the hands of Chesterfield. Bromley’s win over Gateshead means competition remains strong as the season reaches a close though, and Luke Garrard’s men will be keen to cement their place in the play-offs with a testing trip to title contenders Wrexham on Saturday.
Garrard named an unchanged starting XI from the side that drew with Bromley last time out, looking to maintain form ahead of the final few games of the season.
It was the Wood who kicked things off the brighter of the two sides, with a couple of early offsides to Lee Ndlovu and Broadbent signalling their intent during the opening stages.
A golden chance saw the hosts go closest after six minutes as a Tyrone Marsh cutback found Femi Ilesanmi who’s goal-bound effort was blocked, with the resulting loose ball falling to Broadbent who drilled it back into the danger area where Jack Cook had to send the ball over the crossbar for a corner.
Zak Brunt would then see a speculative effort from distance fly into the gloves of Howes, but an early lead would soon be on the way through fellow Sheffield United loanee Broadbent soon after. The midfielder picked up the ball on the edge of the box where Wealdstone will have paid the price for affording him time and space to send a vicious strike in off the woodwork, that gave Howes no chance and break the deadlock early on.
Having gained momentum, they almost doubled their lead almost immediately when Ndlovu flicked a header goalward that beat Howes but couldn’t stay under the crossbar, before Broadbent was involved again after latching onto a loose pass that forced Charlie Barker to commit a late challenge in a dangerous area, with Marsh stepping up to curl a low effort into the gloves of Howe.
The Wood had made an excellent start to proceedings though and were yet to let the pressure ease, with Howes at the Stones’ rescue once more when Ndlovu found himself one on one with the visiting goalkeeper who denied the Wood’s top scorer from close range, shortly before Marsh sent a tame effort straight down his throat from distance.
This preceded another chance for the hosts, this time from a corner, as Brunt’s delivery met the head of Will Evans who’s effort flew well wide.
Despite a dominant first half thus far, the Wood were unable to extend their advantage and the Stones looked to make the most of the narrow margin with Charles Clayden producing the visitors’ first chance of the game, as Nathan Ashmore had to tip his effort over the crossbar.
The Stones began to gain a bit of confidence with Corie Andrews guiding his header from the resulting corner wide, shortly before a brilliant run from Olufela Olomola ended in another corner that forced Ashmore into a wonderful acrobatic save, as Sam Habergham saw a dangerous flick tipped away from the goal by the Wood stopper.
A late opportunity then saw Clayden go down in the box after a neat one-two with Andrews as the Stones looked to steal a leveller before the half was out, but the referee waved away the appeals to save the Wood from a late scare, sending them into the interval ahead.
HT: Boreham Wood 1-0 Wealdstone
The Wood had the ball in the back of the net mere seconds after the restart but the referee had already pulled play back for a foul on Cook, and this would be the closest either side would come during a fairly flat start to the second half.
Keen to ensure they remained in control though, it was the hosts who produced the first chance of the half as Brunt’s threaded through ball was left by Érico Sousa just before the hour-mark, allowing Broadbent to latch onto the pass before rolling it across the box, but nobody was there to get on the end of it which enabled Wealdstone to clear.
A rare Stones chance then saw Olomola strike an effort into the midriff of Evans, before the Wood almost doubled their lead at long last when a deep Brunt free kick met the head of Ilesanmi who sent a looping header that seemingly beat Howes, but sailed inches wide of the far post.
The second half proved to be very stop-start due to a number of stoppages where players required treatment, and the visitors almost took advantage of their opponents being unable to build momentum with a golden opportunity that fell to Olomola with 15 minutes to go. The Stones’ top scorer found himself in acres of space with just Ashmore to beat, but a crucial recovery from Evans saw the former Chesterfield man deny the striker with a brilliant last-ditch challenge, shortly before Cook picked up the ball in the box before firing an effort into the North Bank as another chance for the visitors went amiss.
This preceded the introductions of Josh Rees and Lewis to join the previously introduced Dion Kelly-Evans, and all three substitutes combined to produce another great chance for the Wood.
Rees picked up the ball on the halfway line and set Lewis away on a rapid break, with the former Stone reaching the byline with a brilliant run that came to an end as the visiting defence was able to recover. Ilesanmi took hold of possession though and showed some neat skill to evade Nathan Ferguson to reach the byline himself before drilling the ball towards the onrushing Kelly-Evans who couldn’t keep his effort from close range down.
Lewis almost came even closer to scoring against his former club when he found himself one on one with Howes, but he could only strike the ball straight at the Stones keeper who kept him at bay.
Tensions were high as the game reached its finale, with Sonny Blu Lo-Everton picking out Micah Obiero who struck the ball well over the crossbar before eight minutes of added time gave the visitors a lifeline in their pursuit of a late equaliser.
A barrage of pressure was unsurprisingly put on the Wood, and they almost conceded at the death when Lewis Simper sent a free kick into the danger area which hit Olomola and bouncing around in front of goal with Obiero lurking, but they were saved by the offside flag which gave them some breathing room.
And the victory was more or less secured when Barker fired well over the crossbar in a desperate attempt to nick a point, with the referee soon signalling a close to proceedings that saw the Wood return to winning ways after two games without victory.
FT: Boreham Wood 1-0 Wealdstone
Boreham Wood: Ashmore; Agbontohoma, Evans, Bush; Sousa (Kelly-Evans 73’), Payne, Broadbent, Ilesanmi; Brunt (Rees 77’); Ndlovu (Lewis 82’), Marsh
Subs Not Used: Newton, Coxe
Goal: Broadbent 9’
Wealdstone: Howes; Barrett (Obiero 55’), Cook, Barker, Habergham; Simper; Olomola, Kretzschmar (Dyer 58’), Ferguson, Clayden; Andrews (Lo-Everton 71’)
Subs Not Used: Charles, Allarakhia
Star Man: George Broadbent
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