Blue Square Bet South
Boreham Wood 1 Welling United 1
by John Mead
Any doubts or hopes that either set of Supporters had prior to Kick Off were laid to rest with this result. WellingUnited needed a point for an all but mathematical Championship Title, whilst Wood required maximum points to have any outside hope of a Play-off place.
This was a fine performance by Ian Allinson’s side against the best side in the Division.
The first half was an even affair with both sides cancelling each other out. Two strong defences featured, with Mark Jones at left back for Wood turning in a faultless performance.
James Russell got the slightest of touches to a shot across goal from Joe Healy to save a certain goal at the expense of a corner. Wood played some attractive football until the final ball, when they repeatedly could not find a way beyond the superbly marshalled Wings defence.
Loick Pires managed a shot on the turn which was held by Sam Mott on what was a disappointing afternoon for the Woking Loan player.
Ben Nunn showed what the side had been missing for the last two games with a cavalier right back performance full of attacking and movement.
Neither side troubled the custodians well into the second half, with Jake Reid firing wide for the visitors just after the interval. Ross Lafayette then went close flicking on at the near post from a Loui Fazakerley cross, before Pires made way for Cliff Akurang after sixty-four minutes. A minute later The Wings fans went berzerk as they took the lead putting them in the Title position. Healy sent a ball forward down the left channel and hesitancy between Charlie O’Loughin and Russell allowed Lee Clarke to steal in and lob home a fine poacher’s goal.
Six minutes later and with Wood finally attacking with purpose the equaliser came. Nunn took a quick throw in on the right which was flicked on by the head of Akurang. Chez Isaac took full advantage of the high defensive line bursting through before finishing superbly beyond Mott.
Less than twenty seconds from the restart Wood almost fell behind again when Lafayette found himself through on goal. With Russell committed he chipped the ‘keeper which looked a certain goal until Callum Reynolds appeared from nowhere to amazingly hook the ball off the line.
High drama followed at last with Wood now causing some problems for the would be Champions. A fine run for Greg Morgan allowed Charlie Moone to strike a decent effort from distance which Mott was equal to. Moone then earned a free kick just outside the area which he struck well, the effort deflected just over for a corner.
The visitors dug deep to up their concentration levels and keep Wood at bay until stoppage time, by which time the visitors decided a point was enough bounty for the afternoon.
The final whistle brought jubilant scenes from the travelling fans as Wood wave goodbye to the Kent side. They can now look forward to trips to relegated Ebbsfleet United, and Whitehawk, the previously unvisited side who have cantered to the Ryman Football League Premier Division Title this Season.
Confirmation that Wood were now out of the promotion race led a dejected Ian Allinson to analyze his side’s efforts, “I felt it was a bit of an anti-climax today. We identified their strengths in midfield and did well to counter that. There was not a lot between the two sides on the day and they obviously decided a point was all they were going to get before the end. We got leggy at the end and it is all a bit disappointing when you look at our results over the last month. We do have the joint best defensive record in the League so let us make sure we finish the best with two solid performances to end the Season on a high.”
Wood require one more point to improve on last Season’s total, which will confirm this as our best Season ever.
Team: Russell, Nunn, Jones, Moone, O’Loughlin, Reynolds, Morgan (Sub – Hastings 81 mins.), Isaac, Pires (Sub – Akurang 64 mins.), Thalassitis, Montgomery.
Subs (Not used): Doolan, Brown, Knight.
Bookings: Nunn, Moone.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Isaac 71. Welling United: Clarke 65.
Man of the Match: Mark Jones.