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MATCH REPORT: FOREST GREEN ROVERS VS BOREHAM WOOD
On a very cold afternoon in Gloucestershire, Boreham Wood once again came away from the New Lawn empty handed after two late goals gave Forest Green Rovers all three points, despite the three best chances of the game falling the way of the Wood.
Manager Luke Garrard made two changes from the side that convincingly beat Sutton in the week, Ricky Shakes and Jai Reason came in for Mark Ricketts, who dropped to the bench and on-loan Anthony Jeffrey who was unable to play against his parent club. Defenders David Stephens, Joe Devera and Danny Woodards were still injured and unavailable.
It was a shaky start for young centre half Ben Goodliffe who nearly gifted an opportunity to Christian Doidge early on as he looked to play the ball across goal.
Angelo Balanta then had a great chance to put the Wood ahead, a neat interchange with Morgan Ferrier saw the Colombian in front of goal shooting straight at Sam Russell. Either side of the keeper meant an early lead for the Wood.
Forest Green Rovers attacked with pace on the break but for the entire first half Wood restricted the home side to long range efforts, although Kaiyne Woolery down the left cut in onto his right foot and shot just wide of Grant Smith’s goal.
Balanta and Ferrier again combined well down the left and Ferrier, with his back to goal just outside the box, squared the ball for Kenny Davis. His first time shot looked to be heading inside the far post but for a great block by Daniel Wishart.
As the one additional minute shown at the end of the first half came to an end there was still time for a lightening quick attack by the hosts but Jake Gossling scuffed his shot wide.
Charlie Cooper who looked to control the home side’s midfield had seen two efforts in the first half go wide, but connected with one early on in the second half that Smith saved comfortably.
Some good work from Davis and Reason led to Balanta finding himself in space inside the Forest Green Rovers box. Despite having plenty of time his rushed shot was straight at Russell, when again either side would have seen Wood take the lead.
Doidge who had been fairly quiet so far forced a fine save from Smith who was at full stretch as he saved a flick on from an inswinging free kick.
Keanu Marsh-Brown was introduced by Mark Cooper in place of Cooper and almost made an immediate impact. Smith was unable to hold his shot from distance and as Doidge looked to have a tap in Matt Paine somehow managed to get his body in the way and block the forward’s shot.
Russell then kept his side in the game as Bruno Andrade drove at the home defence – he played a cute one two with substitute Tom Hitchcock and on his left foot forced a fine save from Russell.
That save proved crucial as just minutes later Doidge put the home side ahead. Rovers finally managed to get in between the Wood defence and Doidge made no mistake beating the onrushing Smith.
As Wood looked to somehow try and get back into the game Rovers doubled their lead. A fierce drive from Liam Noble from some 20 yards was spilled by Smith and left a tap in for substitute, debutant Omar Bugiel.
That’s just one win in 10 games now for Luke Garrard’s side as they look to bounce back next week at home to relegation threatened York City who make their first ever visit to Meadow Park.