Down but not out!!
The Skrill South
Weston Super Mare 3-0 Boreham Wood
By John Mead
With three new signings all playing their part in this fixture there was much a renewed expectation. However the controversial dismissal of Mark Bentley at the end of the first half gave the home side the onus and they duly took it.
Bentley was an influential figure in Wood’s first half performance, which led to them creating the better chances. His dismissal was down to referee Mr Powell’s interpretation of the rules of the game which Wood fans will feel was a tad unfair, given the leniency that the home side were afforded on occasions.
Two 19 year olds made their debuts for Ian Allinson’s side and both of the Luton Town youngsters had a positive impact on the game. Jerome Jibadu at right back showed he can cut the cheese at this level, whilst Jake Woolley ran the front line tirelessly all afternoon.
Mario Noto fired the first shot on target from range after just forty five seconds. Then the heavens opened leading to a period of possession for the the home side without troubling James Russell in the Wood goal.
Graeme Montgomery troubled Seagull’s keeper Luke Purnell, who was forced to punch his corner off the line with Luke Garrard applying pressure.
Then followed the first of the match changing incidents when play was halted to allow Mr Powell to issue a yellow card to Tristan Plummer for an off the ball incident spotted by his assistant.
Wood looked dangerous going forward when Greg Morgan and Matty Whichelow combined. Whichelow’s ball into danger was hacked to safety by Pete Monks.
Montgomery then opened up The Seagulls defence with a sublime cross that Bentley almost got to. Noto went close from a free kick whilst the home side were frustrated going forward with Jibodu executing a superb tackle to deny Plummer.
Bentley received his first booking when he was on the receiving end of a foul from Martin Slocome whom also saw yellow. Minutes later the already booked Plummer kicked out at Morgan whose reaction to the act drew the attention of Mr Powell, who failed to penalise the Seagulls centre forward.
Sam Cox whose penetrative forward run was ended by Jamie Laird whose tackle from behind upended the midfielder. He somehow escaped punishment before Montgomery executed a curling free kick that was wide of the target.
Then in stoppage time Bentley dragged back a defender with his arm, the offence was deemed bookable and the influential midfielder was harshly ordered off the field of play.
It was not so much the man advantage but the absence of Bentley that led to the home side going ahead in the 49th minute. A corner from the left, a product of a deflected shot from Plummer found the head of Laird who had drifted away from Charlie O’Loughlin to open the scoring.
Nabi Diallol failed to take advantage of his forward position shooting at Russell, before Woolley escaped the attention of the Seagulls defence at the other end although his final product was wide of the target.
Allinson replaced Whichelow and Montgomery with debutant Jake Hall and Calum Willock, but the change was ill timed, with the visitors extending their lead just a minute later.
It was a well worked goal, with an interchange of passes between Diallol and Plummer, who took advantage of his charmed life to place a sweetly struck shot from a central position beyond Russell.
Morgan who is growing into his unfamiliar enforced left back role executed a superb challenge on the impressive Diallol inside the penalty area. He then turned his hand to his established craft holding up play before releasing Woolley with a finely threaded ball who drew a fine save from Purnell.
Willock, who had scored twice against The Seagulls in his previous encounters with the Somerset side, failed to make an impact on this occasion.
Morgan was glad to see his only error in the game, a wayward ball that Kane Ingram pounced upon was well saved by Russell.
Ingram joined a side that had been reprieved from relegation in four out of five seasons prior the start of the 2010-2011 season along with current manager Craig Laird. He has been a massive influence in the growth of the club helping them to two mid table finishes before finishing seventh place in last seasons campaign.
It was therefore no surprise when Garrard’s scuffed clearance with two minutes remaining was dispatched with aplomb by Ingram, giving the score line a flattering feel.
Wood Boss Ian Allinson praised his side’s, “ Energy and organisation. We were the better side first half and a lack of consistency from the referee contributed to our downfall. We conceded the first at an awkward time, when our composure let us down at the back. When you are down to ten men and not in front you end up leaving yourself exposed going one down. You are forced to chase the game.”
On the new additions he added, “ Jake Woolley was given a big task at such a young age today and showed excellent commitment. All three will add a quality to our squad. We have not had the start we would have liked but there were a lot of positives today to take with us to the next game.”
Team: Russell, Jibodu, Morgan, Bentley, O’Loughlin, Garrard, Noto (Ball 78), Cox, Woolley, Whichelow (Hall 62), Montgomery ( Willock 62).
Subs not used: Hastings, Courtnage.
Bookings: Bentley 36, sent off 45+2. Cox.
Goals: Weston Super Mare: Laird 49, Plummer 63, Ingram 88.
Wood Man Of The Match: Greg Morgan.