F A Cup 2nd Qualifying Round.
Slough Town 3 Boreham Wood 2, by John Mead.
Another poor away performance in an injury ravaged September signalled Wood’s poorest start on the road for thirteen seasons, this time at the hands of Evo Stick Division One Central side Slough Town.
The Rebels had reached the play offs in the last two consecutive seasons and according to Wood boss Ian Allinson, “ Were always going to be a threat to us today as I warned the players. It is a shame that they did not take heed but it was always going to be difficult with the absence of central defender Charlie O’Loughlin and with goalkeeper Elvijs Putnins arriving at the ground after the team sheet was put in on top of all the other walking wounded.”
The defeat was “ The worst F A Cup result in my career as a manager. We should be beating sides like Slough with or without injuries. We are a Conference side and today we totally failed to show our pedigree. In my opinion we were not good enough and it hurts. At present we are bringing in new faces due to our injury problems and today against lower opposition it was evident that some of the squad do not show the desire to play at this football club and they’ll be gone before Saturday. One or two of our senior players have become disruptive as individuals and we never defended from the front. Just how we can go out and defend like we did against Welling United and Chelmsford City and take 4 points, then turn in a shambolic performance like this defensively is unacceptable.”
The other conundrum as Wood look to pick themselves up lies in the lack of fire power. David Bryant poached both Wood goals and had a third equalising goal ruled out for offside, is often left to fend for himself. It is clear Wood are desperately short of a second striker who can deliver on a regular basis.
Slough started the game in superb fashion. Manager Steve Bateman had obviously done his homework as Wood were forced to give away six or seven free kicks in dangerous areas within the first ten minutes. The visitors fallibility to conceding an early goal returned after just 7 minutes. A poorly constructed wall and a slow response from Michael Jordan allowed Stuart Swift to curl a left footed free kick into the bottom right hand corner of Jordan’s net.
Nathan Bowden-Haase, the ex Yeading and Chesham defender bullied Bryant into submission, who was often hauled to the ground, goaded and threatened with little response from referee Mr Buonassisi.
Wood’s response was lightweight across the park. Sean Sonner the ex Wood striker also somehow managed to stay out of the referees book and had a truly outstanding game for the Rebels. He was as good in attack and defence later on in equal measures.
Another ex Woodite Steve Sinclair succumbed to injury after 26 minutes, which was to be a blessing in disguise for The Rebels. His replacement the gangly and super fast striker Charlie Mpi showed the peripheral Wood strikers just how to do it after 33 minutes. Young Charlie Hunter made a hash of controlling a cross field ball allowing the ex Wealdstone player to run from forty yards with no defenders in sight and power home a shot beyond Jordan, making it 2-0.
The second half began with the welcome return of Mark Jones replacing Osei Sankofa and suddenly Wood were alive. Nathan Korantang produced some dangerous runs and had a hand in both Wood goals.
After 53 minutes Justin Cochrane lofted a ball forward which was pounced upon by Koranteng who beat the Rebels custodian to the ball hooking across goal where Bryant was on hand to reduce the deficit.
Just a minute later however and Sonner was popping up at the far post to head home from a tight angle across goal from a free kick, a moment which compounded Wood’s miserable showing defensively.
Yet, just sixty seconds later Wood pulled it back to 3-2 with Koranteng again the play-maker running to the goal line down the left. His low cross was not dealt with by a Rebels defender and Bryant poached his second with a very good glancing finish beyond Warrington.
Inih Effiong and Simeon Akinola were brought on in quick succession to add fire power, replacing Sam Lechmere and the once again ineffectual Darren Currie. Yet although Wood knocked on the door they failed to effect a comeback against a side two divisions below the Conference South.
The showcase attacking still came from Slough. Sonner’s cross from the right was acrobatically turned against the crossbar by Mpi, before his follow up was quite brilliantly blocked by Jordan to avoid further embarrassment.
Wood failed to apply the late challenge required and with Sankofa again added to the injury list they limped weakly out of the F A Cup at the very first hurdle.
Team: Jordan, Hunter, Brathwaite, Cochrane, Sankofa ( Jones 45), Wilkinson, Lechmere ( Akinola 64), Isaac, Bryant, Currie ( Effiong 61), Koranteng.
Subs not used: Beckford, Putnins.
Bookings: Hunter, Effiong, Cochrane, Wilkinson.
Goals: Slough Town: Swift 7, Mpi 35, Sonner 54.
Boreham Wood: Bryant 53,55.
Wood Man Of The Match: David Bryant.