Blue Square Bet South
Bromley 1 Boreham Wood 1
by John Mead
Mario Noto’s fifty-ninth minute dismissal ended Ian Allinson’s master plan causing the Wood Boss to change direction in his thinking. At the time the game was goal less, with Wood taking the lead through Graeme Montgomery after sixty-nine minutes, only for Substitute Mike Jones to grab a point for The Lillywhites with his eighty-fifth minute effort.
“Having played them twice already this Season we knew their strengths. They have two excellent attacking wide backs and play with three midfielders, so we set out our stall. Cliff Akurang did exceptionally well alone up front and the plan was to introduce the pace of Lewis Toomey and Jamal Lowe. Unfortunately with Mario’s sending off I had to call upon Luke to play a full ninety minutes in his first game for over five months thus sacrificing the attack.” Wood kicked off in a changed 4 – 5 – 1 formation, with nineteen year old forward and Barnet Youth product Lowe on a one month initial Youth Loan from Edgar Davids side on the bench.
James Russell was again in inspired form for Wood, called upon after just four minutes he rushed out to smother a Pierre Joseph-Dubois effort. Chez Isaac then set up Montgomery for a shot that spun wide of the mark. Montgomery looked the likeliest to score for Wood, a rising drive after fifteen minutes sailed just over the crossbar. Noto picked up his first booking as both sides probed. Callum Reynolds recorded a shot on target before Russell at the other end made a full stretch diving save to deny Marlon Patterson’s low drive that looked bound for the bottom corner of the net.
A sharp turn inside the area from Danny Waldren resulted in a shot that flew just over the crossbar before Montgomery snapped up a poor clearance shooting just the wrong side of the right hand post. The clearest chance of the half fell to Piero Mingoia. Montgomery provided the cross from the right and Mingoia struck a volley from just eight yards out that hit the underside of the crossbar. Immediately Bromley broke with Charlie O’Loughlin making an important interception with Waldren through on goal.
With the scores level at the interval, the Allinson master plan was well on track. Montgomery went close after the break with Sanchez Ming forced to clear. Bromley were fortuitously awarded a free kick which Solomon Taiwo hit sweetly. Russell responded with a two handed punch evading a real chance for The Lillywhites.
The turning point of the game then followed. Allinson signalled a substitution in the shape of Lewis Toomey feeling that Garrard had done enough after his long layoff. Garrard asked for another ten minutes, which proved to be a blessing in disguise, given that thirty seconds later Noto’s second yellow card for a foul on Waldren followed. Ming hit a low cross that Garrard deflected goalwards, finding Russell in impeccable form to block at his left hand post. Then against the odds Wood forged ahead. Mark Jones’ free kick from the left was headed back across goal by O’Loughlin where Montgomery angled a superb header wide of Joe Welch.
There followed a period of imperious defending from Wood, who frustrated the Bromley forward line who tried every which way to breach the rear guard. With Akurang adding his defensive prowess to the mix it looked likely that Wood had done enough for an ugly win three points. Then with five minutes remaining Isaac was fouled yet the Referee saw it differently. The free kick was cleared by Reynolds to the edge of the area where the ball was fed back into danger allowing Jones to drive a low shot home through a sea of players. With two minutes remaining Toomey replaced the heroic Akurang and his long wait was almost rewarded. The former St. Albans City forward has looked superb when coming off the bench and he immediately burst past two defenders, losing the ball at the last minute with just Welch to beat.
“I was disappointed with the sending off, yet the team did an excellent job for me today. A lot of decisions went the way of the home side which was frustrating at times and the sending off altered the game completely, from our perspective. For me Piero should have scored in the first half and with eleven men on the field I am convinced we would have gone on and won the game. We have two very difficult games coming up now and we are looking for six points being that we are at home.”
Team: Russell, Nunn, Jones, Noto, O’Loughlin, Reynolds, Mingoia, Isaac, Akurang (Sub – Toomey 88 mins.), Garrard, Montgomery (Sub – Morgan 82 mins.).
Subs (Not used): Pires, Lowe, Hastings.
Bookings: Noto (Sent off 59 second yellow), O’Loughlin, Garrard, Jones.
Goals: Bromley: Jones 85. Boreham Wood: Montgomery 69.
Man of the Match: Cliff Akurang.