The Wood have won an FA Trophy fixture for the first time in four years after beating Maidstone United at the Gallagher Stadium on Tuesday evening, setting up a second round tie against Alfreton Town from the National League North at Meadow Park.

Following Saturday’s draw with Maidstone Wood Gaffer Luke Garrard made a solitary change to the side with Matt Paine coming in to the side and Jamie Lucas dropping to the bench.

Wood looked very comfortable in the opening twenty minutes passing the ball around nicely on the slick artificial surface, but without really causing Maidstone any real problems. Though it was the home side who had the first chance of the game. Wood tried to overplay at the back, Joe Devera gave the ball away to Jamar Loza who burst into the box but saw his shot well blocked by Matt Paine.

Wood continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession but against the run of play Maidstone took the lead. Joe Devera took a quick throw in without allowing his defence to regain their shape. A misplaced pass allowed Jamar Loza to flick the ball onto Ben Greenhalgh who from 25 yards out struck the ball exquisitely into the bottom right hand corner of the net giving Grant Smith no chance.

Maidstone were buoyed from the goal which unsettled the Wood players who had previously looked very comfortable. A rare mistake from Angelo Balanta who lost the ball to Jamar Loza. The pacy winger got his cross into the box which was well defended by Matt Paine.

David Stephens then nearly gifted the home side a second, a poor clearance fell kindly to the feet of Alex Flisher, Flisher played the ball into Jamar Loza, Loza crossed deep to the back post to Bobby Joe-Taylor who from 2 yards put his header wide. The Maidstone winger should have scored and that could well have put the game to bed.

Despite controlling the possession it was the thirty five minute when Wood had their first shot on goal. A nice period of play from the visitors finished when Bruno Andrade on his left foot from 20 yards struck straight at Lee Worgan.

Jack Evans in quick succession had two long range efforts which Grant Smith had to be alert to. The first from 20 yards took a wicked deflection which the Wood stopper did well to get down to. Then from 25 yards he let rip stinging the palms of the Wood stopper who could only push the ball away for a corner.

Whatever Luke Garrard said at half time worked as going forward Wood looked a completely different side. It took just two minutes into the second half to draw level. A rasping drive just outside of the box from Bruno Andrade could only be pushed onto the post by Lee Worgan. Wood got the luck they deserved at the ball rebounded off the post into the path of Anthony Jeffrey who headed into an empty net.

From herein it was one way traffic and there only looked to be one side that would go on and win the game. It didn’t take long for the Wood to go in front. A goal kick from Lee Worgan was headed back into a great area by Kenny Davis. Bruno Andrade outpaced Kevin Lokko racing into the box to slide the ball past the on rushing keeper.

Wood could have had a third moments later, a Wood counter attack after Maidstone had thrown bodies forward. Andrade had the better of his man Kevin Lokko who with both arms around his waist pulled him to the ground. Amazingly Referee Rob Wotton didn’t brandish a card. From the resulting free kick, Andrade delivered a perfect cross to the back post which Matt Paine got on the end off but was well saved by Lee Worgan.

Anthony Jeffery did get Wood’s third after a poor bit of defending by the home side. A complete lack of communication between the Maidstone defence allowed the electric Anthony Jeffrey to steal possession centrally before advancing into the box to fire beyond Lee Worgan.

It could quite easily have been more for the Wood as the wave of attacks continued. Both Bruno Andrade and Angelo Balanta forced saves out of Lee Worgan.

Maidstone did pull a goal back through Jamal Loza right at the end of the three minutes of additional time, but as Wood kicked off the referee brought the game to a close and Wood deservedly booked their place in the second round.

Wood Line Up: Smith, Woodards (Lucas), Paine, Devera, Stephens, Ilesanmi, Ricketts (Nunn), Davis, Balanta, Jeffrey (Shakes), Andrade

Subs not used: Uchechi, Murrell-Williamson

ATT: 538



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