High Hopes in Limbo!
Staines Town 3 Boreham Wood 1
by John Mead
A second defeat in three days leaves Wood’s plans in limbo. Defensively the side are a shadow of their former self without the services of Callum Reynolds and Charlie O’Loughlin. Add to that right back Benn Nunn hobbling out of the game after just seven minutes, then the withdrawal of talismanic defender Luke Garrard after fifty-four minutes with hamstring problems, it’s hard to see how this side with high ambitions can form a threat given this lack lustre performance in front of goal against ten men.
Staines Town were two goals to the good in a bizarre fashion as both goals were “Own Goals” conceded by Wood shot stopper James Russell.
The first after nine minutes was courtesy of some good build up play on the left. Max Worsfold and Dan Brown combined allowing Louis-Rae Beadle a curling cross from the left. Louie Theophanous outjumped the Wood defence to send a header goal bound which came off the underside of the crossbar hitting Russell before going over the line.
Ian Allinson dropped Mario Noto into a back four after the early departure of Nunn and his side had a good spell resulting in Mark Jones going close with an effort from twenty-five yards before Greg Morgan also went close to reducing the deficit.
Staines Town were dangerous on the break and Theophanous struck the base of the post with a fine effort that had Russell beaten. There were chances for both sides until the home side increased their lead after thirty-nine minutes. Sam Cox conceded a free kick on the left from which Huw Johnson went for goal, the ball was deflected onto the crossbar by Russell only for it to strike the diving ‘keeper’s body and go over the line.
Mark Bentley went close with a header from a Morgan corner heading back across goal and just over, before the bandaged Dan Brown let his Gaffer Marcus Gayle down. Booked for leaving the field of play to get attention from the bench without Referee Mr. Lugg’s permission, he senselessly rugby tackled Morgan just two minutes later to end his part in the contest.
What was to be the decisive moment in Wood’s downfall came in first half stoppage time. Graeme Montgomery picked out Bentley from his right sided corner whose bullet header was deflected off target by the intervention of his own team mate Calum Willock, denying his side a certain goal.
There was much hope for Wood against ten man Staines Town second half, yet it was not until the sixty-fifth minute that a second forward was introduced. By then the damage was done. Jordaan Brown chased down a ball that the Wood defence decided was out of play and his fierce low drive from the left across the goal mouth was converted by Beadle from just a yard out.
That was a display of finishing that Wood could not replicate. They had the ball for the majority of the remainder of the game yet could not find a way past a well organised Town defence until with five minutes remaining the hitherto missing spark returned. A long ball from Noto out on the left was met by a finely timed run from Substitute Donovan Simmonds who slotted home past Jack Turner.
Matty Whichelow then tried to set up Willock who failed to supply a finishing touch when clear before a late flurry of blocked shots from Whichelow and Morgan followed by another header just wide from Bentley left the home side worthy winners against a side that in truth were second best on the day.
For Wood Boss Ian Allinson, “The nature of the third goal was particularly disappointing. We needed to be sharper and better at 2 – 0 down and got in behind their defence on occasions yet failed to provide a man in the box who could convert. We had chances to draw level but it was not to be.” In respect of the defensive problem he added, “Missing three of our back four is a concern. Ben Nunn has a back injury whilst Luke Garrard is troubled by a hamstring. Charlie O’Loughlin is bound by his response to antibiotics whilst Callum Reynolds is still sidelined with a deep bone foot injury. We need to get going again after a very disappointing weekend.”
Team: Russell, Nunn (Sub – Montgomery 7 mins. Sub – Simmonds 65 mins.), Jones, Garrard (Sub – Doolan 54 mins.), Bentley, Cox, Noto, Whichelow, Willock, Ball, Morgan.
Subs (Not used): Sterling-Parker, Hastings.
Bookings: Cox, Noto, Jones.
Goals: Staines Town: Russell 9,39 (Own Goals). Beadle 52. Boreham Wood: Simmonds 85.
Wood Man of the Match: Greg Morgan.