Boreham Wood    0    Cambridge United    1

(F.A. Carlsberg Trophy – First Round)

At Meadow Park, on Saturday 10 December 2011

by John D. Gill

The result of this F.A. Carlsberg Trophy First Round tie may have been disappointing for Boreham Wood, but the overall team performance was very competent throughout.

Wood Manager Ian Allinson fielded the strongest starting line-up available to him and for the first twenty minutes Wood were the better side.    Cambridge United, defeated only twice in their previous twenty-two competitive games, had not recorded a victory in their last six matches, played cautiously and created very little in front of goal.

Wood showed attacking intent as early as the seventh minute, when Chez Isaac covered a lot of the pitch before  passing the ball wide to Sam Lechmere.    Lechmere’s  cross was forced behind for a corner.

Mark Jones then moved forward for Wood, but fired a long range shot wide of the visitors goal.

Wood kept the pressure on their Blue Square Premier opponents, but failed to find the back of the net.    Cambridge did manage to break up field after twenty-seven minutes and force a free kick but Keiran Murtagh’s shot at the Wood goal was well saved by the diving Michael Jordan.

The first half ended with the score 0 – 0 as Cambridge United’s defence managed to keep out a Sam Lechmere free kick from wide on the right.

The game was evenly balanced as both teams went in search of the winning goal.    On the hour, Michael Thalassitis was fouled by Michael Wylde three yards outside the penalty area.    Sam Lechmere’s resulting free kick brought a desperate punched clearance from Danny Naisbitt.    Soon after Chez Isaac and Michael  Thalassitis combined to present Sam Lechmere with a shot at goal, but Danny Naisbitt once again saved well.

The deadlock was finally broken by Cambridge United after seventy-five minutes, with a wonder goal.    Ryan Charles, wide on the left ran onto a long clearance from James Jennings and cleverly avoided a challenge by Charlie O’Loughlin, before superbly lifting the ball over the Wood ‘keeper Michael Jordan, who was stranded on the edge of his penalty area.

Within one minute, Wood suffered a further setback when defender Mark Jones was shown a red card, following a second yellow, and they were down to ten men.

It got worse in the final minute of the game, when Wood Substitute Justin Cochrane committed a very bad two-footed tackle and was immediately shown a straight red card.

A disappointing end to what had been an otherwise very competitive Cup tie, between two Clubs who had never previously played each other.

Team:    Jordan, Sankofa, Jones, Garrard, O’Loughlin, Wilkinson, Lechmere (Sub – McMahon 81 mins.), Isaac (Sub – Cochrane 81 mins.), Thalassitis, Bryant, Hutton (Sub – Koranteng 65 mins.).

Subs (Not used):    Brathwaite, Scott-Morris.

Bookings:    Isaac, Jones (Sent off 76 mins.).

Sent off:    Cochrane (90 mins.).

Wood Man of the Match:    Sam Lechmere.

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