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MATCH REPORT: BOREHAM WOOD VS NOTTS COUNTY
The 68 year wait goes on for Boreham Wood FC to beat a pro club in a competitive game, but not before Notts County were given the fright of their lives.
It was in truth the perfect weather for an FA Cup shock, as by half time, a sunny day had turned into a wet and windy afternoon at a rain soaked Meadow Park.
Wood gaffer Luke Garrard will though be disappointed, that his side didn’t progress at the first time of asking. As they deservedly led 2-0, but he will certainly not be disappointed with his side’s effort and performance, in what turned out to be a fantastic Cup tie, with two very honest teams going at it.
Garrard made two changes from the side that beat Woking last Saturday, starting with our new talisman, the fit again Morgan Ferrier and the recalled defensive linchpin Joe Devera. It meant the experienced Danny Woodards and Conor Clifford, who had picked up a bug just 48 hours earlier, both dropping to the bench.
Wood started the game the brightest and were on the front foot from the off, setting the tone for the whole afternoon. Though at times they did surrender possession, but that just meant when they broke they did so, with a game plan, with an intelligence and with both pace and intent.
The fit again Morgan Ferrier, was proving to be too strong at times for the Notts County back line. He was winning more than his fair share of free kicks in and around the County box. However Wood couldn’t turn any of these into anything that remotely troubled the County keeper, and with the wind swirling, and on a greasy surface, the home side may ultimately see this as a trick missed?
Wood though did take the lead and deservedly so. A great interchange between Kenny Davis and Angelo Balanta, resulted in the former setting Morgan Ferrier free. He out paced the Notts County defender, picked his spot and fired first time past the on rushing Adam Collin. The Wood Army went into raptures, it was 1-0 and the shock was on…
Grant Smith the Wood keeper, at this point had been a spectator for the first 30 minutes. But he had to stay alert and he did, as he got down well to his left, after a powerful strike from just outside the box was arrowing into the bottom corner of the Wood net.
Wood wide man Anthony Jeffrey, was beginning to use his pace as the half wore on, as he slipped the ball through for Femi Ilesanmi on the overlap. The leftback played a ball into the box, but it proved just too deep for the on rushing Kenny Davis, who got his head on it, but failed to get his effort on target. The first half ended shortly after with Wood relatively comfortable and in control.
Wood came out the blocks second half in even more determined mood, and they got their just rewards within five minutes with a well worked goal. Bruno Andrade who gave his fullback a torrid second half at times, combined well with Ben Nunn down the right, Andrade teased the full back before playing the ball into the feet of Angelo Balanta. He took one touch on the turn, before firing past superbly past Collin and at 2-0 the Wood Army were in full voice and the whole club and town were in football heaven.
Notts County though showed their professionalism and resilience. Knowing they had to take chances, County manager John Sheridan went quickly to a 4-3-3 and more route one at times.
From a routine ball played into the Wood box, centre half Matt Paine did not get the purchase on his clearance he was looking for. The ball fell to the Notts County substitute Collin, who fed the ball back into the Wood box and almost in slow motion, it eluded everyone to nestle in the bottom corner, It was now 2-1 and most certainly game on.
Even at 2-1 though, Wood looked the more comfortable and should of perhaps put the game to bed.
A Notts County corner was cleared to the edge of the Wood box, and Angelo Balanta got his head to a ball to put it past his Notts County marker. The counter attack was on, as Balanta carried the ball at pace fully 60 yards and the Wood found themselves four on two. With the County defence in disarray,Balanta played a swift one two with Ferrier and with the goal at his mercy and with the next round beckoning, he scuffed his effort wide and it was to prove decisive
Notts County knew they had been given a lifeline, and they were now knocking on the door. As the minutes ticked down and weather deteriorated even further the pressure was building.
From a cheap corner given away down the Wood right, a routine ball was played into the Wood box, it travelled to the back post and found the unmarked Adam Campbell, who from just a yard out headed home. It gave the visitors what looked likely to be an unlikely draw and replay just 25 minutes earlier.
However more drama was to follow in the remaining five minutes, when in injury time, the visitors thought they had snatched a win from the clutches of defeat.
A ball fizzed into the box from wide left found Vadine Oliver, his mishit effort made its way to a County attacker, who expertly put the ball past Grant Smith, as the Notts County hoards went into ecstasy. But to the relief of the home faithful, County’s joy was to be short lived, as the forward had strayed into an offside position and the linesman’s flag, signified the goal had been disallowed..
Wood will quite rightly live to fight another day, and with the replay up at Notts County on Tuesday 15th November to look forward to, another night of epic Cup football for the underdog club beckons.
Boreham Wood: Smith, Nunn, Paine, Devera, Ilesanmi, Ricketts, Davis (Clifford), Jeffrey, Balanta, Andrade (Woodards), Ferrier (Lucas).
Subs not used: Stephens, Goodliffe, Uchechi, Kuhl