Blue Square Bet South
Boreham Wood 0 Chelmsford City 0
by John Mead
A draw was enough to hold onto second place after four games, yet the visitors would feel the more content with the result, given the opportunities that Wood created throughout the game.
Wood won a total of eight first half corners, yet could not make the advantage count and were given a further boost when The Clarets were reduced to ten men with eighteen minutes remaining. It was down to the Chelmsford City central defensive pairing of Kenny Clark and Mark Haines and a goal line clearance from Aiden Palmer to send the Essex side home the happier of the sides.
Yet Wood Boss Ian Allinson can take great comfort in another clean sheet and an extension to his side’s unbeaten run in the early stages of this Season’s competition.
City headed wide through Craig Parker early on, before Graeme Montgomery intercepted a poor clearance from ‘keeper Stuart Searle supplying Inih Effiong who saw his shot charged down. Wood’s first corner resulted in a blocked shot from Chez Isaac before Luke Garrard blasted over.
Mark Jones then lost possession for Wood, with Jamie Slabber advancing into a goal scoring position. It was Jones who atoned with a superb blocking tackle. Wood took control of the game after twenty minutes yet failed to make their advantage count wasting a number of chances from corners and free kicks.
The visitors retaliated when Ishmael Welsh’s cross from the left picked out Parker who placed his shot allowing James Russell to get behind the effort. Back came Wood and when Effiong held the ball up for David Hutton on the right he hit a cross field ball finding Montgomery whose effort on the volley was tipped to safety by Searle. Wood continued to threaten winning their seventh and eighth corners in quick succession which led to a frantic goalmouth scramble.
Slabber then headed over at the end of a fine City move after forty-one minutes, their first attack for some time at that stage in the game. A superb long ball by Callum Reynolds found Omer Riza in acres of space and with time on his side he picked out the run of Hutton who took too long and the superb Clark was allowed to yet again protect his ‘keeper.
Wood continued in the same vein after the interval with Effiong shooting just wide after good build up play involving Charlie O’Loughlin , Isaac and Riza. Wood looked capable of taking all three points with another Effiong shot saved by Searle, before the game briefly lulled into a war of attrition. Slabber tested Russell who saved low at his left hand post, before Jones and Anthony Cook came together on the ground after a tackle. Referee Mr. Muge did not hesitate in sending Cook to the dressing room for his part in the affair, which incensed the City striker.
Both Managers rang the changes with a quarter of an hour remaining, and Elliott Buchanan’s introduction almost had the desired effect. He burst forward down the right sending Ben Nunn through on goal against his old Club. Searle did well to parry the right back’s attempted chip.
It was almost 1 – 0 to the Wood when Montgomery’s corner form the right found the head of O’Loughlin. He had the beating of Searle but was denied by left back Palmer who came to his side’s rescue clearing off the line. Nunn who was outstanding on the afternoon hit a fierce low drive that was gobbled up by the well marshalled City defence as both sides tried in vein to force a result in a frantic closing spell to the game.
“I thought we did enough first half to be a couple of goals to the good and could honestly see us snatching it right up until the last minute,” declared Ian Allinson. “That said we should have put more pressure on their ‘keeper and we failed to do that. Even at this early stage we have made a name for ourselves and teams will look to stifle you and hit you on the break when they come here. City did that very well today. They only lost twice on the road all last Season and we were not good enough in the eighteen yard box today I felt. Every game is difficult in this League. We lost our concentration a little in the last twenty minutes, but we will work on that and look to keep picking up the points.”
Team: Russell, Nunn, Jones, Garrard, O’Loughlin, Reynolds, Hutton (Sub – Morgan 75 mins.), Isaac, Riza, Effiong (Sub – Buchanan 75 mins.), Montgomery.
Subs (Not used): Close, Scott-Morris, Hastings.
Bookings: Riza, Garrard.
Man of the Match: Ben Nunn.