Blue Square Bet South
Chelmsford City 0 Boreham Wood 0
by John Mead
A solid backs to the wall defensive performance earned a priceless point at Melbourne Park against the high flying Clarets. Forced to defend for the majority of the game, Wood continued their refound form ensuring that City, who have relied heavily on their away form to date, remain winless at home after six matches.
The back four of Luke Wilkinson, Charlie O’Loughlin, Charlie Hunter and Daniel Brathwaite worked in unison to protect Michael Jordan’s goal in one of the stand out defensive performances this League will see all Season. Ably supported by Captain Justin Cochrane and teenage Loan player Chez Isaac, who were outstanding in the centre of the park, the mighty front line of Cliff Akurang, Kezie Ibe and the dangerous Ricky Modeste were time and time again frustrated.
David Bryant ran all afternoon chasing forward balls causing concerns for the Clarets back pair of Justin Miller and Adam Tann. However the majority of the attacking came from City who went close after eleven minutes when Aiden Palmer found space to the left of goal, yet his choice of ball into danger was poor and O’Loughlin cleared. Jordan was then forced out of his area to clear the danger of Ibe’s forward run, before smothering a fine cross from Palmer.
Ibe and Modeste then combined with the latter’s cross almost finding the head of Akurang. With Wood playing the offside trap to good measure they were nearly outdone by a freak incident on the half hour. Hunter’s clearance hit Miller who found himself through on goal. Jordan hesitated giving the defender a fine opportunity that ran just wide of the right hand post.
Nathan Koranteng managed a shot on the turn that was Wood’s first effort on target, a welcome relief from constant attack from City. Modeste with his penetrating runs and a string of corners saw Jordan twice rescue Wood as they hung to parity going into the interval. Dave Rainford tried his luck from the edge of the area just clearing the bar before a fine move between Brathwaite and Darren Currie almost fell for Sam Lechmere.
However the relentless threat of conceding continued unabated with both Hunter and then Cochrane clearing off the line from yet another corner.
A frustrated Currie made way for Inih Effiong signalling Manager Ian Allinson’s intention to have a go for all three points. Effiong did take the pressure off the defence with City having to commit a further defender to stay in his own half, yet further was of little threat on the afternoon.
Another goal line clearance followed, this time from a long throw in, with Jordan’s
punched clearance falling for Modeste who was thwarted by Brathwaite. Max Cornhill then Substitute Anthony Cook both went close with headers, before Wood spurned their best chance of the game. Finally getting beyond the defensive line Lechmere went wide of ‘keeper Carl Pentney yet could not take advantage of the tight angle finding the side netting.
Then a diabolical refereeing decision penalised the excellent Wilkinson for a superb challenge on Modeste who had already pulled out of the tackle, just yards outside the penalty area. Justice was served when Jordan leapt to save the resultant free kick.
Koranteng came into the game for Wood in the final stages testing Pentney with a fierce shot across goal and as the final whistle blew it was blatantly apparent to the 1,042 spectators who the more relieved side were.
Speaking after the game Wood boss Ian Allinson summarised, “We had to set our stall out and turned in a fine defensive performance. Sam Lechmere had a golden opportunity to take all three points, but I am pleased with our overall performance. We need to take our confidence on to Slough Town next Saturday and thereafter we face another top of the League side, when Dartford come to Meadow Park.”
It was also announced that James Smith has been released by the Club and has joined Thurrock.
Team: Jordan, Hunter, Brathwaite, Cochrane, O’Loughlin, Wilkinson, Lechmere, Isaac, Bryant, Currie (Sub – Effiong 58 mins.), Koranteng (Sub – Akinola 90 mins.).
Subs (Not used): Sankofa, Beckford, Putnins.
Bookings: O’Loughlin, Brathwaite.
Man of The Match: Luke Wilkinson.