Blue Square Bet South
Sutton United 2 Boreham Wood 1
by John Mead
This was a familiar afternoon of not taking chances for Ian Allinson’s side, who picked up just four points out of a possible nine over the Easter period. However, it could have been such a different story. “We could easily have won today and also at Billericay Town last Wednesday.” bemoaned the Wood boss. “Had Jerome Anderson hit the target in the last minute we would have come back from Essex with three points, and today will haunt me for the rest of the week. We gave away two goals, got back into it and a minute after scoring Michael Thalassitis takes the ball round the ‘keeper and falls over it! Then we had one cleared off the line, before twice going close in the last minutes. I counted four decent chances in the first half that we failed to finish on an afternoon when Sutton United had three shots and two went in!”
The result leaves Wood just outside the Play-offs, with Eastleigh just a point behind and Weston-super-Mare one point above in the final Play-off spot. However the battle continues with Allinson, “Actually pleased as we did not play badly and we are still creating chances which gives me belief.”
The game featured a strong cross wind blowing in Wood’s favour for the opening half, yet it had an adverse effect on play, with both sides more comfortable in using the wind to hold up the ball. Wood started the brighter outfit until Sutton United took the lead after thirteen minutes. Marvin Williams cut inside out on the left and picked out Harry Beautyman who dropped a shoulder to round his marker. His tantalising low ball across the goal mouth forced James Russell into a dive but he failed to gather allowing James Folkes to tap in at the far post.
It could have been two just minutes later for the home side when Craig Dundas and Williams set up Dean Sinclair in a central position, but his low shot was gathered by Russell at the second attempt.
Graeme Montgomery then shot weakly at Tom Lovelock before a telling cross from Greg Morgan was deflected just over the bar for a corner. Luke Garrard got into a fine position when Callum Reynolds and Pires combined to set up Morgan for a cross, yet the Wood Captain headed wide of the target.
United caused some panic in the Wood defence with Charlie O’Loughlin in outstanding form when called upon. Garrard then played a fine ball into the channel for Moone who leant back and blasted his shot over with Jamie Stuart tracking him in close quarters. The Sutton United defence used the offside rule to good effect, but failed to pick out the run of Morgan who danced into the box before a defender cut across his run, which failed to impress Referee Mr. Harris.
Wood continued to frustrate after the interval often losing possession. Thalassitis replaced Pires after fifty-six minutes, but more defending was required when Williams burst past Reynolds setting up Dundas who was thwarted by a fine tackle from Ben Nunn. It looked like game over after sixty-two minutes when the home side moved the ball quickly on the edge of the area before Beautyman broke free stealing a yard before stroking home past Russell.
Yet just as the home side looked to run riot Morgan hit a fine individual goal. An over hit Montgomery corner from the right was gathered by the Wood winger who struck a fine shot from an acute angle into the roof of the net. The U’s suddenly looked vulnerable and just a minute later a sloppy back pass was picked up by Thalassitis who rounded the ‘keeper only to fall over the ball letting it run out of play when scoring looked a certainty.
Wood came again and Chez Isaac got to the goal line down the left cutting a cross back for Montgomery who tried to side foot home with the ‘keeper beaten, only for Stuart to clear off the line. It could so easily have been three goals in as many minutes for Wood, as suddenly the game looked far from over. Thalassitis then outpaced three defenders cutting in from the right setting up Morgan whose shot ran wide of the target.
Sutton United managed to rescue the momentum temporarily back with a couple of counter attacks before a string of substitutions broke up proceedings. Reynolds rescued Wood with a fine interception when they were four against three on the break, before Wood released their final salvo in stoppage time. Jerome Anderson crossed from the right picking out Moone who turned and shot just wide of the right hand post with ‘keeper Lovelock out of position. The final attack of the game saw Morgan pick out Cliff Akurang at the near post from a free kick but he headed just wide, leaving the home fans to breathe a sigh of relief at the final whistle.
Team: Russell, Nunn, Jones (Sub – Akurang 85 mins.), Garrard, O’Loughlin, Reynolds, Morgan, Isaac, Moone, Pires (Sub – Thalassitis 56 mins.), Montgomery (Sub – Anderson 82 mins.).
Subs (Not used): Noto, Courtnage.
Goals: Sutton United: Folkes 13, Beautyman 62. Boreham Wood: Morgan 67.
Wood Man of the Match: Charlie O’Loughlin.