Blue Square Bet South

Boreham Wood    1    Staines Town    2

by John Mead

This was a must win game for the visitors who duly delivered against a Wood side who were once again decimated by injuries to Goalkeeper Elvijs Putnins, Left Back Daniel Brathwaite, Skipper Mario Noto, Midfield schemer Sam Cox, Striker Omer Riza, while Mauro Vilhete was recalled early by Barnet from his loan period. This Staines Town win, enabled them to haul themselves from second bottom and out of the relegation zone.

The good news on the day was the return of Assistant Manager and Player Luke Garrard returned from suspension to bolster the midfield. Whilst Striker Inih Effiong was recalled from his Loan spell at Chesham to fill the void in front of goal left by the injured Omer Riza. Although Ian Allinson said “It has proven to be a very difficult last few weeks with all our injuries and suspensions and I’m delighted our youngsters have come in and done a great job for me in the interim but we should remember just how young some of these players are. They have enabled us to take 6 points against Dover and Hampton and I was pleased with the contributions of Inih Effiong, Simeon Akinola, Ruddock Yala and Charlie Hunter who worked hard over this period. Sometimes people only look at the result and not the performance and if we’d taken our chances at Thurrock on Good Friday and in the first half alone against Staines, where we hit the bar, had one cleared off the line, missed a header from 3 yards out and put away a one on one, we would have had 6 points and been within touching distance of the play-offs.”

Wood dominated the first 45 minutes with Graeme Montgomery going agonisingly close with a rasping drive from a free kick that crashed off the crossbar with Danny Potter beaten in the Staines Town goal. Marc Charles-Smith then attempted to take the ball around Michael Jordan in the Wood goal with the custodian doing just enough to avert the danger. A sweeping move involving Charlie Hunter and Garrard led to a fine cross from Montgomery for Akinola to predate but his marker did enough to ensure there was no end product.

Mark Jones then picked out Akinola with a fine cross field ball, but his shot found only the roof of the net. Staines Town opened their account in some style after twenty-seven minutes. From a throw in on the left Kyle Vassell threaded a ball through for Mark Nwokeji who hit a superb shot over Jordan who was stranded off his line from twenty yards out.

Wood should have levelled two minutes later when David Bryant embarked upon a central run at the defence with his ball forward not defended, allowing Effiong to steal in with only Potter to beat. His shot lacked pace and Potter gratefully smothered.

Montgomery continued to be the main outlet for Wood delivering from the right finding Charlie O’Loughlin who knocked on for Callum Reynolds whose shot was deflected for a corner. Osei Sankofa then did well to get a cross over from the right which Potter punched out weakly to Montgomery. His lobbed effort was cleared off the line by a defender.

After the break Staines Town offered the main threat in front of goal in what was a tired second half performance from Ian Allinson’s men. A cross from the left found Gordon totally unmarked who squared for Will Antwi-Agyei who saw his effort clawed off the line to safety by Jones. The visitors carried their impetus forward and were duly rewarded when Charles-Smith’s cross was headed down by David Wheeler for Vassell to blast home after fifty-one minutes. Wood suffered another blow when Jones picked up an ankle injury. Hunter reverted to left back with David Hutton providing the spark hitherto missing going forward as Jones’ replacement.

Wayward balls from midfield did little to help the Wood forward line, until the seventy-ninth minute when Hutton’s corner from the left was played into the path of Montgomery. His first shot struck Effiong before he collected the rebound hitting a low drive through a sea of players that found the back of the net. Finally Wood had the chance to play with some authority and looked the likelier to increase their tally in the frantic final stages. Staines Town Substitute Ali Chaaban fired weakly at Jordan when well placed, before Effiong skied a theatrical effort from a Montgomery corner.

Hutton’s free kick picked out the outstanding Reynolds whose back header was easily gathered by Potter before Wood were denied a certain late penalty. Hutton was again the provider with a telling ball from the left. It was perfect for O’Loughlin who was hauled down by two defenders who somehow got away with it leaving Wood beaten for the second time in three days.

Wood boss Ian Allinson concluded “The expectations from around the club has to be managed and put into perspective. We sit 9th in the League, we’re the worst supported club in the division and we were missing 6 players over the Easter period. Our senior players like Luke Garrard, Mark Jones and David Bryant have been asked to guide our youngsters through until the senior players return to full fitness. We are now looking seriously at next Season and will be targeting those who we want to remain with us, those who will be moving on and we will also be speaking to a number of players at clubs the moment the season is over. Allinson finished off by saying “We are also hopeful that Elvijs Putnins, Mario Noto, Sam Cox and Omer Riza will all be back in action for us next Saturday against Farnborough and we’ll be looking to finish the season off with 9 points.”

Team: Jordan, Sankofa, Jones (Sub – Hutton 65 mins.), Garrard, Reynolds, O’Loughlin, Akinola, Hunter, Bryant, Effiong, Montgomery.

Subs (Not used): Beckles, Scott-Morris, Yala, Putnins.

Goals: Boreham Wood: Montgomery 79. Staines Town: Nwokeji 27, Vassell 51.

Man of the Match: Callum Reynolds.

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