Blue Square Bet South
Welling United 4 Boreham Wood 0
by John Mead
The Wings issued Ian Allinson’s side a reality check with a ruthless performance to haul themselves to within three points of League leaders Salisbury City with games in hand. Approaching half time the match was very much still an open affair. Then Wood conceded a second goal from a left sided corner, a mistake that was to cost them dearly. They were further punished with two goals in as many minutes after the interval on a disappointing evening.
In truth Wood did not play badly, yet their reliance on the home side making mistakes from which to feed was a false dawn. I counted two stray passes from Jamie Day’s side in the entire game.
Michael Thalassitis fell awkwardly on an arm within the first five minutes, an injury he never fully recovered from.
The Wood defence looked in a confident mood, their first test after twenty minutes when Lee Clarke and Kiernan Hughes-Mason combined resulted in a fine save from James Russell. Minutes later Hughes-Mason burst through down the right channel, yet Russell read the move excellently rushing out to parry the attempted lob.
Charlie O’Loughlin then miscued a clearance behind for a corner. The delivery found the giant Ben Martin at the far post, his header excellently tipped onto the bar by Russell, who could not keep out Clarke’s follow up from close range at the near post. Thalassitis then blistered past a defender down the right cutting the ball back for Greg Morgan whose half shot was cleared to safety. Graeme Montgomery then set up Thalassitis whose header was tipped over the bar for a corner by Jamie Turner, deputising for Sam Mott who was on England duty.
The partnership of Thalassitis and Loick Pires, who was disappointing on the night, never reached fruition. Wood’s best effort of the rest of the half coming from a Montgomery blockbuster that Turner plucked out of the air. A lack of concentration at the back allowed Fraser Francis a totally free header in the last minute of stoppage time from another corner, a mistake that left Wood a mountain to climb.
Lewis Toomey replaced Thalassitis after forty nine minutes and the move improved Wood’s options going forward. Some over elaboration from Morgan allowed The Wings to break. Leading scorer Ross Lafayette brought the best out of Russell with a curling drive that was excellently pawed to safety.
Montgomery tested Turner before a superb run by left back Jack Obersteller took him past three Wood defenders. His dangerous cross from the left was set up for Hughes-Mason, yet it was Mark Jones’ desperate intervention that diverted the ball beyond Russell.
Two minutes later and Wood were again flat footed in defence. Clarke’s ball down the left sent Joe Healy dancing round O’Loughlin and with the Wood defence still stunned by the Obersteller run, Hughes-Mason accepted the cross side footing home. It was a humiliating two minutes for Wood, which ended the game as a contest. Piero Mingoia was introduced, followed by Cliff Akurang whose presence had the desired effect of beefing up the side, but it was too little too late.
All credit to Ian Allinson’s men, they did not give up and it was Toomey who went closest to further affecting the score line. His low drive looked to have the beating of the portly Turner, yet his deceptive agility gave The Wings the clean sheet they desired.
This was Wood’s heaviest defeat of the Season and one which Ian Allinson described as, “Never a four nil, but we did not do ourselves justice and made mistakes we have previously not made. I did get it slightly wrong tactically first half but that was not the main cause for giving away two goals from headers. I thought second half we were the better side for periods but we failed to punish their ‘keeper and we should have done better with the chances we created. We were guilty of giving the ball away cheaply and they punished us severely for that. We must not get carried away by this result however, bearing in mind we faced an excellent and very settled side. I feel we are approaching where we need to be with our Squad if you see how Welling United are performing.”
Moving on to Saturday’s game at home to Bath City Ian added, “We will take it on the chin and will need to regroup as I feel this is the first time this Season we have genuinely let ourselves down.”
Team: Russell, Nunn, Jones, Noto, O’Loughlin, Reynolds, Morgan, Isaac, Thalassitis (Sub – Toomey 49 mins.), Pires (Sub – Mingoia 64 mins.), Montgomery (Sub – Akurang 72 mins.).
Subs (Not used): Garrard, Hastings.
Goals: Welling United: Clarke 27, Franks 45+2. Jones (Own Goal) 63, Hughes-Mason 65.
Man of the Match: James Russell.