F.A. Carlsberg Trophy – Third Qualifying Round

Histon    1    Boreham Wood    2

by John Mead

A late smash and grab raid by an out of sorts Wood earned the Club £4,000 and a place in Monday’s draw at the expense of the Blue Square Bet North side.

Graeme Montgomery plundered the kitty just two minutes from time after a tepid Wood display that had James Russell to thank for still being in the running at such a late stage in the game.

Stutes defender Grant Roberts tested Russell after eight minutes forcing the ‘keeper into a smart save when he was well placed.    Zak Mills worried the Wood defence with his colossal throw ins, allowing Claudiu Hoban a fierce shot on the turn which Russell repelled superbly. From the same attack Mills then used his feet to good effect crossing for Shane Tolley who headed just wide.    Wood were rocking, managing just a weak Cliff Akurang effort on target and creating nothing in the opponents half of note until the thirty-first minute. Completely against the run of play Omer Riza picked out Montgomery’s run down the right and his tantalising cross held up perfectly for Mauro Vilhete who ran through stretching out a leg to steer the ball beyond Carl Pentney in the Histon goal.

For all their endeavour Histon failed to put Wood under any further pressure until a minute after the interval. Mark Jones was adjudged to have made contact with Tolley inside the box, with Jim Stevenson, on penalty duty, duly dispatching to give his side parity.

Russell’s catalogue of saves featured the best of them all after fifty-nine minutes when from a corner Tolley found himself in on goal and was foiled from around eight yards out by a superb reaction save.

With half an hour remaining Riza and David Hutton made way for Mario Noto and Greg Morgan, yet the next action of note of course involved Russell, saving low to his left to deny Ben Coker, before clearing a Tolley header off the line from the resultant corner.

With a Replay looking a possibility the Stadium announcer rang out the death knoll for his side informing that “Val” would be arranging a minibus for the Replay.    Wood won two late corners, from the second of which Akurang was clearly held just inside the box.    With no whistle the ball was gathered by Chez Isaac on the right who hit a powerful low drive that Pentney could not hold onto, with Montgomery charging in to stab the loose ball home, leaving “Val” to ponder a free weekend and Wood to look forward to Monday’s draw, which includes the Blue Square Bet Premier big guns.

Looking back over the game Wood boss Ian Allinson declared, “We looked a bit leggy today against a full time outfit.    To be fair they played some good football and made life difficult for us.    We conceded a cheap goal early in the second half which gave us a lot to do.    I introduced Mario as I felt they were flooding the midfield and winning all the battles there.    We have no divine right to play well every game but what we do have is a superb group of players who do not give up and they showed a lot of character today.”

Team:    Russell, Nunn, Jones, Vilhete, O’Loughlin, Reynolds, Hutton (Sub – Morgan 60 mins.), Isaac, Akurang, Riza (Sub – Noto 60 mins.), Montgomery.

Subs (Not used):    Effiong, Close, Jefford.

Goals:    Histon:    Stevenson 47 pen.            Boreham Wood:    Vilhete 31, Mongomery 88.

Man of the Match:    James Russell.

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