Blue Square Bet South
Boreham Wood 2 Dorchester Town 2
by John Mead
Visiting ‘keeper Alan Walker-Harris had a fine afternoon preserving his side’s fantastic unbeaten away record that stretches back to October against a rampant Wood side.
In attack Wood were classy, intricate and sumptious at times. Mauro Vilhete was the stand out in the first half, whilst David Bryant showed tenacity, grit and flair in a brilliant second half performance, yet the visitors showed character, spirit and self confidence in what was a fine game of football played to a high standard.
Callum Reynolds replaced the suspended Charlie O’Loughlin at centre back and the twenty-two year old Loan signing from Tamworth looked a classy addition with an effortless style and a faultless performance on his debut.
Vilhete created an opportunity with quick feet and quick thinking, winning a throw in high up the ground. Bryant set the pacy pint sized striker away and he danced through two challenges before blazing his shot just over the bar. Four minutes later Graeme Montgomery’s short measured pass released Vilhete again. His pace took him through to a one-on-one situation with Walker-Harris who was given sufficient time to spread himself and make a fine save.
With twenty minutes played Wood were in the driving seat, yet two minutes later they fell behind. Tom Nichols was not picked up at the near post from a corner. His deft flick across the goal mouth left Elvijs Putnins wrong footed allowing defender Nathan Walker to finish at the far post.
Walker-Harris was immediately back in action at the other end saving well from an Omer Riza effort, before scooping a speculative looping ball from Daniel Brathwaite out from under the crossbar. Wood broke the resolve of the Magpies defence and Walker-Harris after 37 minutes. Osei Sankofa who had been as much a defensive rock as an attacking force with his foraging runs and intricate passing, possibly mis-hit his cross from the right which dropped dangerously towards the goal. Walker-Harris punched clear as far as Montgomery whose touch found Bryant who in turn knocked on for Riza to lash home the equaliser with aplomb.
Wood went ahead before the break when Mario Noto and Vilhete combined down the right. Noto scooped the ball over a defender for Vilhete who got his first touch in before being knocked over by a defender inside the area. Noto made no mistake from the spot, his fifth goal in nine games since returning from injury.
Bryant could have made it three just before the break, expertly played in by Vilhete, he skied his effort from ten yards out. However he returned after the break fired up and ran the Town defence ragged. He forced a fine save from Walker-Harris after some interchange play with Noto, Then came the save of the game, when the Town custodian somehow got down quick enough to parry a Riza power volley that on another day would have been simply unstoppable.
Montgomery then tried a cute left footed effort with the outside of his boot that went just wide of the upright, before the game went a little flat. Wood lost their concentration in places and the defence found themselves busier than in the first half, with Reynolds calmly going through the gears protecting Putnins’ goal.
A poor mistake from Omar Beckles led to the equaliser after 77 minutes. With Nichols on the right hand edge of the penalty area and going nowhere, Beckles attempt to shield the ball went wrong when the pair twisted and fell. Nichols gave Putnins no chance with his inch perfect execution and two points were dropped.
A late chance of a winner for Wood came when Sankofa’s cross from the right was met by Substitute David Hutton at the far post. His header was pushed onto the post by Walker-Harris falling for Bryant who could not gain sufficient power from the dropping ball leaving Walker-Harris to collect and show just why his side find it difficult to lose on the road.
Ian Allinson explained the mood in the dressing room after the game, “It felt like a defeat. It is easy to point a finger at the mistake that led to the penalty but I see it differently. We had ample opportunities in good positions to hit the target and put the game beyond their reach throughout the game and that downfall is what has led us to only picking up a point. The overall performance was good and a continuation of our form over the last four or five games. We are now focused on the trip to Truro City where I would like to think we can bring something back with us!”
Team: Putnins, Sankofa, Brathwaite, Garrard, Reynolds, Beckles, Noto (Sub – Hutton 90(+1) mins.), Vilhete (Sub – Cox 73 mins.), Bryant, Riza, Montgomery.
Subs (Not used): Lobjoit, Hunter, Jordan.
Bookings: Garrard, Noto.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Riza 37, Noto 42 (pen). Dorchester Town: Walker 22, Nichols 77 (pen).
Man of the Match: Osei Sankofa.