Blue Square Bet South
Weston-super-Mare 2 Boreham Wood 4
by John Mead
For the second away day in succession Wood were forced to come from two goals behind to continue the stunning form showed by Ian Allinson’s side of late.
Omer Riza started in place of Inih Effiong, whilst the suspended Charlie O’Loughlin was replaced by Ben Jefford. Wood started the game in a positive frame of mind, yet The Seagull’s going for a sixth straight League victory threatened when their star man Ross Stearn broke down the left setting up Nat Pepperall at the far post. He failed to get the angle right firing just over. Immediately, Wood responded and Cliff Akurang from Wood’s first corner was guilty of blasting over from just six yards out.
Riza relished his return to the starting line-up picking out Mauro Vilhete who made ‘keeper Lloyd Irish work hard with a goal line block. Wood dominated possession yet failed to conjure up an end product which Chas Hemmings did with aplomb after twenty-two minutes for the home side. Playing into a swirling wind he unleashed a high curling effort from fully thirty yards that left James Russell scrambling back and across goal as the ball found the top right hand corner of the net. Akurang then headed just wide from a Ben Nunn cross, before a superb tackle from Nunn on Stearn set up a swift counter attack. Riza raced clear through the middle and with just Irish to beat he lashed his shot two feet wide of the post.
When Weston-super-Mare did have the ball they used it to good effect and Stearn left Nunn with egg on his face who was guilty of ball watching. The Seagull’s nemesis rounded him with ease only to be pulled back inside the area for a certain penalty. Stearn himself left Russell with no chance from the spot after forty minutes. Sensing a goal before the break would be Wood’s only real chance of getting back into the game, it duly arrived in stoppage time. Graeme Montgomery’s enticing ball into danger was contested by Akurang and two Seagull’s defenders, with the unfortunate Ben Kirk heading past his own ‘keeper to give Wood some hope. A brilliant interchange of passes between Riza and Vilhete showed Wood’s true pedigree, yet the Barnet Loan player blasted wide of the target when well placed. Effiong replaced Riza after sixty-one minutes and the giant forward showed intent from the outset, before Greg Morgan came on for David Hutton two minutes later.
With Wood’s corner count approaching double figures such was their dominance Montgomery fired over a fine cross from a short corner which Akurang met positively, forcing a full stretch save from Irish. A minute later it was Russell’s turn to show his prowess saving magnificently to deny Martin Slocombe, which earned the home side their first corner of the game with sixty-six minutes played. Montgomery continued to wreak havoc with his deliveries. Irish came and missed with Vilhete firing wide across what was an open goal. Just when you thought it was not going to be Wood’s day, Morgan delivered a corner from the left which Callum Reynolds headed home past Irish from just outside the far post to bring the match level. In the blink of an eye Morgan fired Wood ahead with a truly memorable individual effort. Cutting in from the left he hit a rising thirty-yard drive that sailed into the top right hand corner of the net.
A backlash from the home side never came and they seemingly donned their caps to Wood’s dominance. A fine passing move ended with Irish troubled by Vilhete’s near post effort before Effiong hit the crossbar as Wood took total control. Morgan contributed his second assist to add to his goal in the final minute. Playing Montgomery in along the goal line, the midfielder set up Effiong whose first time shot cannoned off the crossbar falling at the feet of Akurang who had the simple task of tapping home to seal what was eventually a resounding victory.
Wood boss Ian Alinson admitted, “I had to get into them at half time. We played in a comfort zone and the choice of delivery into danger was wrong at times. Yet what we have within this Squad is character and it showed second half. We were quicker and played higher up the pitch. Of course going two goals down is something that leaves you open to further punishment as you go out and chase the game. It has been a tough week with the gruelling game last Sunday, then another long journey today. Thankfully there was no backlash from the F.A. Challenge Cup distractions from a Squad of players who have a fantastic will to win. Inih looked sharp coming off the bench and Greg was superb for us today.”
Team: Russell, Nunn, Jones, Vilhete, Jefford, Reynolds, Hutton (Sub – Morgan 63 mins), Isaac, Akurang (Sub – Noto 90+2 mins.), Riza (Sub – Effiong 61 mins.), Montgomery.
Subs (Not used): Close, Scott-Morris.
Goals: Weston-super-Mare: Hemmings 22, Stearn 40 pen. Boreham Wood: 45 o.g., Reynolds 72, Morgan 73, Akurang 90.
Man of the Match: Greg Morgan.