Blue Square Bet South.
Woking 3 Boreham Wood 0, by John Mead.
A nightmare start, conceding a goal after just 47 seconds, coupled with two acts of comedic defending explained the score line.
Yet the Surrey outfit lost their way completely in a game that they dominated for the opening half an hour, allowing Wood to regroup and play some of the best football of the game. Then came the two gift goals and another three points thrown away leaves Wood rooted at the foot of the table.
John Clements, back in the UK on a sabbatical from his American Scholarship made himself available and did not disappoint, especially after the enforced introduction of Simeon Akinola after 36 minutes, when the ex Wood under 18 Captain reverted to his more familiar wide role.
However it was the formidable Sam Hurrell who rediscovered himself on loan for Wood who opened the proceedings with the first attack of the game. Joe Keehan through the middle picked out the run of right wide man Richard Anane whose cross failed to alert the Wood defence with Hurrell’s movement perfect in slamming home The Cards opener from just ten yards.
Thereafter Wood looked shell shocked, whilst Woking were rampant through the surging runs of Aswad Thomas down the left flank. Craig Faulconbridge shot low forcing a save from Ashlee Jones, before Justin Cochrane played a fine ball forward for Mario Noto who was outdone by the pace of the ball.
Woking won a penalty when Lee Sawyer skipped past Luke Garrard, which led to a needless challenge by Noto with the player going nowhere. Fortunately for Wood Elvis Hammond’s spot kick was lacking both pace and direction allowing Jones to keep his side in the game, after 17 minutes.
Again the defence was left wanting from a right sided corner after 23 minutes, when Thomas was not picked up. His free header was cleared off the line by Noto, before a scrambled follow up was cleared off the line by Nicky Nicolau.
The turning point in the game came when youth product Simeon Akinola replaced the injured Cochrane. The 18 year old who recently hit seven goals in a reserve match injected a fearless flair that was hitherto lacking.
Noto went close with a rising drive after Adam Doyle gifted the Wood Captain possession, before Clements had a shot that fizzed across the goal mouth as Wood ended the half in control of the game.
The second half continued in the same vein, with the home side now frustrated. Akinola and Garrard combined picking out Gareth Risbridger whose header into danger was scrambled behind.
Nicolau then sent Danny Green clear down the left, with his cross almost falling for Ali Chaaban, who was foiled by a last ditch intervention from a defender. Akinola then played Chaaban through who released Green on the left. His first touch was poor, yet his resultant shot was forced a goal line clearance from Joe McNerney.
Totally against the run of play Wood capitulated at the back. An innocuous free kick down the right from McNerney resulted in Alan Inns and Bobby Aisien rising together inside the penalty area. The ball struck some part of their collective bodies falling at the feet of Faulconbridge, who was delighted to find himself just yards from goal and totally unmarked. Another positive for the regenerated ex Carshalton Athletic man was the fact that Jones was rooted to his post, making the task of scoring simple.
With nine minutes remaining and Wood still forcing the game, the misery was compounded for Ian Allinson’s men. A looped ball forward was met with a statuesque Luke Wilkinson who stood with an arm raised, seemingly giving his analysis of the rules of the game. This did not help Jones, nor did his hesitancy in reacting, allowing Woking to help themselves to gift number two. The recipient of the open goal on this occasion the substitute David Gilroy.
At three nil down Wood continued to threaten and Risbridger’s far post header was met by a point blank save from Andy Little, who somehow got down to his right when a goal looked obvious. Then Charlie Hunter regained his lost possession feeding Risbridger whose superb back heel sent Chaaban clean through, only for Little to deny Wood an addition to the goals scored column and a large slice of much needed confidence with another fine stop.
For Ian Allinson it was too much to bear. “ How can you concede in the first minute on the back of Saturday’s humdinger against St Albans, then come right back into the game only to give away two utterly stupid goals ? We also contrived to give away a needless penalty. I need sixteen to eighteen players who will cross the white line and give their all for this club. It is clear that some of the current squad would not go to war for me.”
The positives from the game were the steadfast performance of Bobby Aisien on his debut in defence and the gloves off approach of the talented Akinola. “ I though Bobby was very strong for us today and Simeon Akinola along with John Clements did not let me down ”.
Team: Jones, Garrard, Nicolau (Kamara 76). Aisien, Wilkinson, Risbridger, Noto, Cochrane (Akinola 36), Chaaban, Clements (Hunter 76), Green.
Subs not used: Close, Lewis.
Bookings: Clements, Noto, Garrard, Green.
Goals: Woking: Hurrell 1, Faulconbridge 63, Gilroy 81.
Wood Man Of The Match: Bobby Aisien.