Blue Square Bet South
Boreham Wood 1 Eastbourne Borough 1
by John Mead
Wood failed to find the required ingredients to avenge this Season’s earlier 3 – 2 reverse against The Sports. At start of play the visitors, whom like Wood have suffered a dip in form of late, were sitting just three points above the drop zone, with Wood holding a five point advantage over their opponents.
Yet this was the first game in charge at Borough for Tommy Widdrington the ex-Salisbury City and more recently Hemel Hempstead Town Manager, which offered a psychological advantage from the Kick Off. However Wood had an antidote with the re-signing of QPR ‘keeper Elvijs Putnins on a short term Loan. Putnins was present for Wood’s best run of form earlier in the Season, playing a part in six of Wood’s eleven victories this Season, whilst playing in less than a third of all Wood’s games.
The game was a scrappy affair in poor conditions with heavy rain leading to a soft surface. Both goals were pieces of individual brilliance, with the visitors offering a physical presence throughout, combined with some first class defending to frustrate Ian Allinson’s side.
Wood went behind to a master strike after just six minutes. Ben Watson’s telling cross from the left was headed out of the penalty area by Omar Beckles where Matt Smart unleashed a quite brilliant dipping volley that sailed thirty yards and just under the crossbar.
Wood’s stuttering start continued save for some stand out muscle from Sam Cox, who controlled proceedings in the centre of the park.
Luke Garrard and Osei Sankofa combined with the latter’s cross perfect for David Bryant who headed straight onto the arms of Rikki Banks from just six yards out.
The Sports goal scorer then felled Billy Lobjoit some thirty five yards from goal out on the left wing. Mario Noto whipped in a low effort that bounced once before flashing past Banks into the bottom left hand corner of the net, making it two stunning goals in as many games for the Wood Captain.
Bryant spurned a superb opportunity after fifty-eight minutes to forge ahead. David Hutton’s cross from the left was headed back across goal by Charlie O’Loughlin finding Bryant at the near post. A volley looked on the cards but he took a touch before scuffing his shot wide of the post.
Four minutes later and a poor mistake by Beckles played in Watson and with only Putnins to beat he lashed his shot against the crossbar.
With Wood unable to break through the stubborn Sports, Sam Lechmere and Mauro Vilhete, a debutante eighteen year old Loan signing from Barnet were introduced, unfortunately to little effect.
Daniel Brathwaite delivered a pacy cross from the left which Luke Garrard headed just wide, before at the other end Watson capitalised upon more shaky defending, this time Putnins showing his quality with a great save.
Late on Noto did all the hard work keeping the ball in play only to shoot into the side netting, leaving the draw a fair result on the afternoon.
Team: Putnins, Sankofa, Brathwaite, Garrard, Beckles, O’Loughlin, Hutton (Sub – Lechmere 71 mins.), Cox, Bryant, Noto, Lobjoit (Sub – Vilhete 71 mins.).
Subs (Not used): Hunter, Akinola, Jordan.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Noto 34. Eastbourne Borough: Smart 6.
Man of the Match: Sam Cox.