Boreham Wood succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to 10-man Maidstone United, following a gritty performance at Meadow Park.

An early goal from Jake Cassidy for the Stones gave them the lead, and despite dominating possession, the Wood were unable to get back into the game.

Dan Wishart was sent off for the away side in the second half, before Keiran Murtagh missed a late penalty.

Luke Garrard made three changes from the win over Barnet, as Connor Smith, Bradley Ash and Manny Parry all came into the side, in an altered 4-3-3 formation.

After a battling first few minutes, Maidstone United took an early lead. Jack Powell done superbly to win the ball in midfield and fed Michael Phillips, who switched it to George McLennan on the opposite flank. McLennan got down the wing and whipped the ball onto the head of Cassidy, who nodded home.

The Wood reacted with a chance of their own, as Smith got in down the right and lifted the ball onto the head of Parry, but the defender couldn’t aim his header on target, under pressure from Will De Havilland.

Murtagh forced a corner following a long-ball by David Stephens, and it was the centre-back who got onto the end of Murtagh’s corner. However, he could only head wide of the post.

Shakes thought that he had found the back of the net, when a cross-cum-shot from the right crashed against the crossbar, but went out of play.

The Wood began to take control of the game from there, and a long free-kick from Ryan Huddart was only cleared as far as the edge of the box, but Murtagh’s stinging shot was blocked.

The ball was then recycled back into the area, but Parry could only head past the post, from close-range.

Maidstone regained some control in the game down the right-hand side, as a cross from Jack Paxman fell to Dan Wishart, having missed Cassidy. However, he drove it wide.

There was an excellent chance for the Wood on the brink of half-time, when Shakes teased a ball through to Gozie Ugwu. The striker attempted to slide it past Worner, and the ‘keeper pushed the shot back out to Ash, who was then pulled back for a foul, having seen his shot cleared off the line.

Garrard made a double substitution at half-time, as he looked to change his team’s fortunes, and he thought that the side had their goal, five minutes into the second period.

Manny Parry towered above his marker to meet Shakes’ cross and head it past Worner, but he was pulled back for offside.

Tom Champion played a superb ball down the right to Justin Shaibu, who flashed it across the face of goal, but Ugwu was unable to get anything onto it,

Ollie Muldoon reacted with a long-range strike, but it sailed over the crossbar.

Maidstone United were reduced to ten men, when Dan Wishart was shown a red card, for an off-the-ball incident, involving Sorba Thomas.

The Wood continue to push everyone forward, but Maidstone were clinging on to their lead. Ugwu lost his marker at a corner, but headed past the post.

Wood were awarded a penalty with just ten minutes remaining, when Worner came out to punch clear a loose ball, and instead, caught Shaibu. However, the Stones’ stopper guessed correctly and saved Murtagh’s low penalty.

The home side were enjoying all of the possession, but just could not beat the Maidstone ‘keeper. Thomas span past his marker down the right with some slick footwork, but his cross was headed wide by Stephens.

The Wood: Huddart, Ilesanmi, Ricketts ©, Parry (Fyfield 63’), Stephens, Shakes, Champion, Murtagh, Ash (Thomas 46’), Ugwu, Smith (Shaibu 46’)

Subs not used: Burbidge, Woodards

Maidstone United: Worner, McLennan, De Havilland, Powell, Paxman (Romain 80’), Wishart, Muldoon, Phillips, Cassidy, Tajbakhsh (Edobor 46’), Wassmer

Subs not used: Strizovic, Robinson, Richards 

Goals: Cassidy 7’  

Red card: Wishart 73’

Att: 630

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