Blue Square Bet South
Staines Town 2 Boreham Wood 1
by John Mead
A lacklustre Wood performance gave Staines Town its first win in the League this
Season, leapfrogging Ian Allinson’s side in the process, who find themselves
third from bottom after six outings.
Two first half strikes of quality from David Wheeler showed up Wood’s defence for
its hesitancy to deal with the counter attack, before a more spirited second half showing led to Simeon Akinola scoring his first ever goal for the First Team, which coming in the second minute of stoppage time was too little too late. Wood were handsomely let down by Stephen O’Leary who failed to turn up after just one full appearance, on the day. It got worse even before a ball was kicked with Elvijs Putnins breaking down in the warm up, being hastily replaced by Michael Jordan and Sam Hurrell being unavailable due to illness.
Mark Jones made his debut for Wood at left back after playing nearly 500 games for Braintree Town in an eleven year Career at last Season’s Champions, yet he was clearly lacking match practice with an abject first half performance that improved five fold after the interval.
Inih Effiong ran at the Town defence, with his run ended by Danny Gordon who
immediately released his forwards on the offensive. A statuesque Wood defence allowed Richard Butler time and space eternal down the right, to lay up into the path of Wheeler on the edge of the area, who did not hesitate in cracking home a rising volley to the right of the diving Jordan.
Being behind after just six minutes was a feeling of deja-vu after Saturday’s win
Wood dusted themselves down with a passing move that ended with first Pelly Ruddock, then Effiong having shots blocked. However Town punished Wood much in the same way as ten minutes earlier, launching a counter attack that found the left side of defence offering little resistance.
The ball was worked to Adam Everitt on the Staines left whose cross destined for Butler was well blocked by Luke Wilkinson. Wood failed to close the move down and Marc Charles-Smith gathered the loose ball teeing up Wheeler who produced another clinical strike form the edge of the area, this time low and beyond the unsighted Jordan.
Wheeler almost grabbed his hat-trick with an attempted lob that was just too high,
before McMahon got away Wood’s first shot on target which was easy pickings for
Louis Wells. Jordan then saved well at his left hand post to deny Marien Ifura who helped himself to a free header from a corner. Everitt went for glory with an attempt from the half way line that Jordan just got back in time to repel. The half ended with Effiong clearing the ground with a skied effort.
Wood were a much better prospect second half yet their balls into danger led to very
few attacks of real quality. Mario Noto, still struggling with his ankle injury released McMahon on the right and he got beyond his marker to deliver a fine cross to the far post where Wilkinson headed just inches wide when well placed.
A treble Substitution after sixty-six minutes saw Allinson change to a 4 – 3 – 3
formation to try and put more pressure on the Town defence. Akinola soon made his presence felt with a rising shot that was deflected behind for a corner as Wood tried to salvage the game with a good period of possession.
Osei Sankofa’s cross was cut out at the near post by Ifura, before The Swans again
threatened on the break with Butler combining with Howard Newton whose effort
hit the base of the post. A brilliant cross from Jones after a fine ball from McMahon went wasted with no Wood player reading the cross. Hopeful efforts from Noto and McMahon were gobbled up by Wells before mistakes crept into the Wood game. Sankofa was not helped by the lack of call from his team mates when heading into the path of Wheeler whose shot from the left was dipping under the bar until the acrobatic Jordan tipped over.
Finally Noto and McMahon combined down the right with Akinola steering home at the near post, the only real positive from a frustrating afternoon at Wheatsheaf Park.
For Ian Allinson it was, “Another game of catch up after conceding two poor goals. We let them dominate first half by not closing play down, before improving after the interval. Our forward play was poor all afternoon as we are playing off the back foot all the time. Add to that the fact that some of the team are giving away possession in key areas continuously we need to evaluate where we are as quickly as possible.”
Team: Jordan, Sankofa, Jones, O’Loughlin, Wilkinson, Noto, Ruddock (Sub – Hunter 66 mins.), McMahon , Effiong (Sub – Palmer 66 mins.), Bryant, Currie (Sub – Akinola 66 mins.).
Subs (Not used): Smith, Hurrell.
Bookings: O’Loughlin, Jones, Noto, Wilkinson.
Goals: Staines Town: Wheeler 6,16. Boreham Wood: Akinola 90+2.
Wood Man of The Match: Luke Wilkinson.