Blue Square Bet South

Welling United    2    Boreham Wood    0

By John Mead

 The high flying Wings exacted revenge for their earlier defeat at Meadow Park to end
Wood’s impressive run of eight games unbeaten in the League.

The Kent side are unbeaten at home this Season and remain very much a Championship chasing side thanks to two first half goals inside the space of six minutes.

Yet, had Michael Thalassitis got a little more on his shot inside the opening five minutes, when he intercepted a back pass, the story may have been different.    His marginal contact allowed ‘keeper Dan Thomas to get a touch on the effort allowing Anthony Acheampong to clear off the line.

This was an industrial type game lacking in goalmouth action with the home side
quick to close Wood down who were left frustrated on the afternoon.    When the dangerous forward trio of Luis Cumbers, Andy Pugh and Loick Pires did combine it was to great effect.    The gangly Pires was a real threat all afternoon and when he sent a looping cross over from the left he found Cumbers wide on the right. His header back across goal fell for Lee Clarke in a central position who swivelled to hit a superb half volley beyond the despairing reach of Elvijs Putnins after twenty-three minutes.

This gave The Wings confidence and with Player / Manager Jamie Day pulling the  strings in midfield, Wood conceded a second six minutes later.    Pugh advanced down the left finding Jack Obersteller who sent Pires into the penalty area.    Sam Lechmere’s attempted interception was clumsy with Pires happily going to ground.    Clarke, the main penalty taker, shot straight down the middle to deceive Putnins, leaving Wood a mountain to climb.

To their credit Wood refused to buckle and restricted Welling to one more decent
chance in the half with Pugh and Pires combining to supply Cumbers at the far post, only for the centre forward to shoot wide of the right hand post.

Thalassitis had a chance to reduce the deficit when Lechmere played the teenage striker through.    He outfoxed Acheampong hitting the base of the post with his effort.

Justin Cochrane back from playing his part in Antigua and Barbuda’s monumental win against Haiti, knocking them out of the World Cup Qualifiers, was introduced after the interval.

His presence in the middle of the park did level things up somewhat, yet goal scoring opportunities were at a premium.

David Bryant had a quiet afternoon by his standards yet produced a fine cross field
run setting up Thalassitis who drew a full stretch save from Thomas.

The Wings worked tremendously hard to stifle Wood throughout the half, yet were
extremely lucky when Referee Mr. George was left unimpressed when Bryant went
to ground in the penalty area, under a rash challenge from the giant Ben Martin.    The contact was high and Bryant was forced to limp off as a result, making a mockery of the decision to wave play on.    Pires forced a fine save out of Putnins before Mark Jones lashed a shot wide of the target, which was about as exciting as the rest of the afternoon got.

For Ian Allinson, the Wood Manager, it was, “A tremendous learning curve.    Welling are a quality side, they are not second in the League for nothing.    That said I feel we have come a long way since we nicked a win at home against them in a game we could have lost by three or four goals.    They started sharper and going two down did not phase us.    We are a very young side and that means we cannot expect consistency week in and week out.    I cannot fault the commitment we showed today in a game of few chances.    We were beaten by a side that retained the ball better and were sharper but we are not so far away now.    We need to continue picking up a few points against the top sides, and make sure we are beating the teams around us in the League, to continue heading in the right direction.”

Wood are currently sitting tenth in a very tight mid-table, just five points outside
the Play-off positions, a tremendous achievement given the slow start to the Season.

Team:    Putnins, Sankofa, Jones, Cox, Garrard, Wilkinson, Lechmere (Sub – Akinola 69 mins.), Isaac, Thalassitis, Bryant (Sub – Johnson 76 mins.), Hutton (Sub – Cochrane 45 mins.).

Subs (Not used):    Beckles, Baker-Owers.

Bookings:    Lechmere, Bryant, Wilkinson.

Goals:    Welling United:    Clarke 23, 29 pen.

Wood Man of the Match:    Luke Garrard.

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