Woking 0 Boreham Wood 1
Saturday, 3rd February 2024, 3:00 pm
Laithwaite Community Stadium, Kingfield Road, Vanarama National League
In a tremendous rearguard performance, a fourteenth minute goal by Angelo Balanta was enough to give Boreham Wood their first Vanarama National League win in five games and their first clean sheet in the league since early October. This was despite the fact, Wood had to play for most of the match with ten men due to Lee Ndlovu’s sending off just before the break.
Luke Garrard made four changes from last Saturday’s disappointing defeat against Dorking Wanderers. The suspended Tyrone Marsh and the ineligible Matt Robinson missed out all together with Cameron Coxe and Kwesi Appiah dropping to the bench. In place of them was Mo Sagaf, on his return from the African Cup of Nations as well as Angelo Balanta, Lee Ndlovu and a second debut for Kabongo Tshimanga, whose loan signing has really captured the imagination of Boreham Wood supporters this week.
It was a quiet opening although Boreham Wood had most of the early possession. On ten minutes, Mo Sagaf had a shot deflected by Kabs Tshimanga onto the arms of Alexis Andrew Jr in the Cards goal. Four minutes later, Wood took the lead with a Erico Sousa cross was headed across goal by Chris Bush into the path of Angelo Balanta who finished well on the half volley. On twenty-one minutes a good move from Woking ended with Charley Kendall firing over went well placed.
Wood might have added to their lead on thirty-seven when Sousa’s cross was spilt by Andre Jr and in the melee that followed, Lee Ndlovu couldn’t quite put it away. Wood were up against it when Ndlovu was sent off for an off the ball incident on forty-one minutes, a decision that shocked Wood and Woking supporters alike. Jayden Luker nearly scored for the hosts on forty-four minutes when he saw Nathan Ashmore off his line, but Ashmore managed to get back in time to make the save. Referee Aji Ajibala finished the half handing out yellow card like confetti including to personnel on both benches
HALF TIME: WOKING 0-1 BOREHAM WOOD
Wood had it all to do in the second half to hold on to their lead and for the first period of the half. Woking didn’t really threaten. They had a lot of possession but were up against a Boreham Wood defence who were defending like they did last season rather than this season. In their first real attack of the half, David Agbontohoma headed straight at Andre Jr on fifty-eight minutes. Eight minutes later Lewis Walker fired into the side netting for the hosts. Walker was off target again on sixty-eight minutes. A minute later, Max Dyche couldn’t keep his long range shot down.
Nathan Ashmore was called into action on seventy-four minutes and did well to deny Ricky Korboa from distance. Walker fire straight at Ashmore four minutes later. Soon Wood nearly doubled their lead with a good move involving Sousa, Tshimanga and Mo Sagaf, ended with Sagaf testing the palm of Andre Jr in the Cards goal.
It was a vital three points for Boreham Wood against one of their rivals at the wrong end of the table. Luke Garrard’s men had to dig deep following the sending off to Ndlovu which based on the reaction from players and supporters on both side, must surely be overturned on appeal.
FULL TIME: WOKING 0-1 BOREHAM WOOD
By Brett Lewis
Boreham Wood: Ashmore, Sousa, Ilesamni, Bush, Sass-Davies, Agbontohoma, Payne, Sagaf, Balanta (Fyfield 88), Ndlovu, Tshimanga (Appiah 89)
Subs not used: Cullum, Coxe, Clayden
Woking: Andrew Jr, Casey, Cuthbert, Walker, Lewis, Akinola (Edwards 46), Anderson, Kelly-Evan, Luker, Kendall (Grego-Cox 57. Korbao 71), Dyche
Subs not used: Moss, Ince
Man of the Match: Chris Bush
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