Blue Square Bet South

Sutton United    2    Boreham Wood    1

 by John Mead

Wood Manager Ian Allinson hailed this display, “Our best away performance of the Season. We looked sharper, fitter and took the game to a side fifth in the Division.”    Yet Wood failed to win a game that they matched their opponents in first half, before playing all the football on show in the second half.

 The difference in the two sides was highlighted in the respective performances of goalkeepers Kevin Scriven and Michael Jordan, the latter whom Allinson felt, “Should not have conceded their opportunist first half goal which he got totally wrong.”    Scriven meanwhile was faultless at the other end with Wood creating the lion’s share of chances especially in the second half.

Wood had a chance cleared off the line after twelve minutes when Charlie O’Loughlin beat Scriven with his looping header from a David Hutton free kick which defender Michael Boateng managed to clear from underneath the crossbar.    Billy Lobjoit then tried his arm from long range after good work from Sam Cox, his effort just high.    The home side then spurned a clear cut chance to take the lead after a sluggish start.    Leroy Griffiths who was the stand out player for the U’s on the night crossed to the far post from the left and Harry Beautyman somehow headed wide across goal with the goal gaping at the far post.

Some fine defending from forward David Bryant then denied the forward foraging Boateng.    With Griffiths enjoying space in between Osei Sankofa and Mario Noto out on the left it was obvious where the threat of attack was coming from, until Wood took the lead in some fashion after twenty-nine minutes.    A miskick by Anwar Uddin was predated on the goal line by Bryant and he found Lobjoit just inside the area who fed Noto. who was back to his brilliant best on the night after a long spell on the sidelines.    The talismanic Wood Captain swiveled to send a quite sumptuous looping shot over Scriven which dropped into the top right hand corner of the net.

Yet for all the Wood endeavour the U’s equalised six minutes later when an opportunist low drive from twenty five yards out from Craig Dundas took a slight deflection outside the area.    Jordan failed to judge the flight of the ball which went through his body.    Lobjoit had an effort well saved when Wood broke incisively.    Mark Jones’ clearance found Noto who in turn fed Bryant whose understanding with the eighteen year old Orient work experience player continues to flourish.

Joel Ledgister then had Jordan floundering at the near post with his ball in from the right for Beautyman.     O’Loughlin’s interception saved a certain goal.    O’Loughlin was a rock in defence second half, which allowed Wood to go on and control the game.    Beautyman’s overhit cross which hit the roof of the net after seventy minutes was as close as the home side came to penetrating the Wood defence.

Some sloppy defending allowed Hutton to slip in beating Scriven to the ball, only for his shot to be cleared off the line by Sam Page.    Some fine flowing football from Wood followed with a period of sustained pressure in the Suttton United half.    Luke Garrard’s lob was perfect for Lobjoit, yet the superb Griffiths now playing in defence mopped up.    The killer blow came against the run of play from a Sutton corner after eighty-six minutes.    Sankofa cleared only as far as Beautyman who volleyed home a real firecracker from twelve yards out that Jordan failed to get a hand on.

Wood did not buckle however creating more chances late on.    Bryant and Lobjoit combined with Scriven in a perfect position to repel Lobjoit’s fierce drive.    Then late Substitute Sam Lechmere picked out Lobjoit with a cross, yet Scriven won the day with another fine save to repel the resultant header.    In summary Allinson concluded, “I am really happy with the performance yet mistakes let us down.    We have worked really hard during the frozen spell and we have the facilities to allow us to keep training.    Two off the line and some great work by their ‘keeper cost us the points.    I am looking to bolster the Squad to give competition in some areas for places.”

Team:    Jordan, Sankofa, Jones (Sub – Brathwaite 77 mins.), Cox, O’Loughlin, Beckles, Noto (Sub – Akinola 87 mins.), Garrard, Bryant, Lobjoit, Hutton (Sub – Lechmere 90 mins.).

Subs (Not used):    Hunter, Scott-Morris.

Bookings:    Cox.

Goals:    Sutton United:    Dundas 35, Beautyman 86.            Boreham Wood:    Noto 29.

Man of the Match :    Mario Noto.

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