18 September 2016

Getting On Board

Saturday 17th September 2016
Vanarama National League
Boreham Wood 2-0 Torquay United
Meadow Park

Attendance: 605 (away support 246)

"SURELY you've done this before?  Is this your first game?"

The match was just a few seconds old when Wood assistant manager Jason Goodliffe became irritated by the tardiness of the fourth official in getting a replacement ball onto the pitch, after a sliced clearance from Torquay's Lathaniel Rowe-Turner had sailed out of the ground.

It wasn't the best of starts to this match on a grey and suddenly chilly afternoon at Meadow Park.  With the temperature having plummeted since Tuesday night's draw here against Aldershot Town, autumn had finally arrived.

But Wood soon warmed to the task, as they went in search of their first home win since the opening day of the season.  Two goals inside the opening 12 minutes would prove enough to settle the game in favour of Luke Garrard's team.

In the 10th minute a long ball down the middle from Angelo Balanta was perfectly weighted for Anthony Jeffrey to seize his chance to prod the ball past the advancing Torquay keeper Brendan Moore.  Wood had an early lead to build on.

Within two minutes that lead was doubled, as Morgan Ferrier burst past two defenders before rolling the ball past Moore.

Another key moment in the game arrived six minutes before half-time, when Wood left-back Femi Ilesanmi was adjudged to have handled Luke Young's cross, the referee immediately awarding a penalty to the visitors.  Wood centre-back Matty Paine was booked for protesting the decision.

Thanks to keeper Grant Smith, who dived low to his right to parry Nathan Blissett's spot-kick, Wood were able to preserve their two-goal lead going into the interval.

Despite increased possession from the visitors in the second half, Wood managed to see out the game in relative comfort, recording only their fourth league win at Meadow Park in 2016.

There was also welcome additional vocal support in the main stand today from the family and close friends of Geoff WickensThe long-serving Wood fan passed away in the summer, aged just 57, after a long fight against cancer.

Before his death, Geoff's legacy to the club was to source, purchase and donate an electronic scoreboard, which now sits proudly on the roof of the club shop.  Prior to today's game, Wood chairman Danny Hunter had held a private opening ceremony, with Geoff's family and friends in attendance as special guests.

In Hunter's programme notes there was also a reminder that it's one year ago this week that the club switched to a daytime training regime.  It was a move which was to force the departure from Meadow Park of several long-serving staff, including manager Ian Allinson and first team coach Mario Noto.  

Despite last season's squad being - according to Hunter - "almost out on its feet" by September, having taken just seven points from the first 11 games, Wood went on to preserve their National League status.

Twelve months on, the opening 11 games of the current campaign have yielded 17 points for Luke Garrard's team, who are still the only side in this league to remain unbeaten away from home.

Sitting 11th in the table ahead of next Saturday's trip to newly-promoted Solihull Moors, Wood are no longer looking like novices at this level.

BOREHAM WOOD: Smith, Nunn, Ricketts, Paine, Davis, Ferrier (Murrell-Williamson 75), Jeffrey (Uchechi 65), Ilesanmi, Clifford, Balanta, Devera.  Subs not used: Woodards, Moke, Kuhl.

TORQUAY UNITED: Moore, Rowe-Turner, Galifuno, Young, Blissett, Richards (Williams 59), Sparkes, Verma, McGinty (Gerring 85), Reid, Ward (Chaney 51).  Subs not used: Lathrope, Scrivens.

REFEREE: Mr D Treleaven

16 September 2016

Match Preview: Boreham Wood v Torquay United

AFTER Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with Aldershot Town, Boreham Wood again go in search of their first home win since the opening day of the season on Saturday.

Despite being unable to secure three points in front of their own fans, Wood showed plenty of attacking potential against the Shots, with the pacey Morgan Ferrier up front, plus Angelo Balanta and Anthony Jeffrey operating in tandem on the wings.

It was Jeffrey's first start since rejoining the club on a season-long loan from Forest Green Rovers in the summer, as the former Arsenal winger eases his way back to full fitness following an early-season injury.

As reported by BBC Sport, visitors Torquay United's players will drive themselves to Hertfordshire, after agreeing the club's budget should be used for a pre-match hotel stay rather than coach hire.

The Gulls sit 16th in the National League table with 13 points from 10 games, leaving them four places - but just one point - worse off than Wood at this early stage.

Four of their five away games so far have ended in defeat, with a victory at Braintree Town the only success alongside defeats at Macclesfield, Sutton, North Ferriby and Woking.

Boreham Wood v Torquay United

Vanarama National League
Meadow Park, Borehamwood, Herts WD6 5AL
Saturday 17th September 2016
Kick-off: 15:00 BST

15 September 2016

Calling the Shots

Tuesday 13th September 2016
Vanarama National League
Boreham Wood 1-1 Aldershot Town
Meadow Park

Attendance: 544 (away support 274)

A LIVELY encounter between Boreham Wood and Aldershot Town ended in a 1-1 draw on this unseasonably warm evening under the Meadow Park floodlights.
Morgan Ferrier put Wood ahead shortly after the hour-mark, racing onto a long through ball and driving low past Shots’ keeper Jake Cole, just four minutes after wasting an identical chance.  The lead lasted only a couple of minutes, before Matt McClure’s neat side-footed finish levelled the scores.
Wood lined up with Morgan Ferrier in a central striker’s role, with Angelo Balanta and Anthony Jeffrey operating in tandem on the left and right flanks respectively.  The Shots were captained by Callum Reynolds, Wood’s promotion-winning skipper of two seasons ago, who left the club in the summer after four years’ distinguished service.
Making its debut tonight was Meadow Park’s new electronic scoreboard.  Standing proudly on the roof of the club shop, the scoreboard was sourced, purchased and donated by long-time Wood fan Geoff Wickens, who recently lost his long battle with cancer at the age of 57.
Despite the warm conditions, the game was played at a fast pace, with most of the first-half scoring chances falling to Wood.  Kenny Davis in particular had a great opportunity just past the quarter-hour mark, firing disappointingly over the bar from eight yards after Ferrier’s deep cross had been nodded down at the far post.
A tussle between Reynolds and Ferrier inside the box after half an hour’s play saw the Wood striker fall to the floor, the referee taking a close look before pointing for a goal-kick.
Ferrier went down again in the box five minutes before the break after skipping past the keeper.  This time the reaction from the referee was to book the Wood striker for an alleged dive.
McClure then wasted a golden chance for the visitors, sending a far-post header from Jake Gallagher’s cross tamely into Wood keeper Grant Smiths’ hands when unmarked.
At the other end, Ferrier was again frustrated when he fired just past Cole’s near upright after creating space for himself inside the box.
A bright start to the second half for the Shots saw them twice go close to opening the scoring in front of their substantial travelling support.
First, Dion Conroy’s 35-yard effort was parried low down by Smith.  McClure then saw his shot-on-the-turn fly just past the keeper’s right-hand post.
Ferrier wasted a golden chance to put Wood ahead on the hour-mark.  Latching onto a long through ball, the Wood striker had only the keeper to beat.  But with support arriving, he hesitated and allowed a defender to get back and deflect his shot wide with a last-ditch tackle.
It was from that corner, taken short, that Conor Clifford forced a brilliant tip-over from Cole with a 20-yard pile-driver which was heading towards the roof of the net
Ferrier’s joy and relief was evident in the 64th minute, as he made no mistake from an identical chance.  Again through one-on-one with Cole, the Wood striker this time drove low past the advancing keeper before running to celebrate with his management and team mates on the touchline.
But Wood’s lead was to last only two minutes.  Iffy Allen skipped into the box down the left side before his cross to the far post was pulled back by Josh Wakefield and skilfully flicked home by McClure.
As Wood looked to respond, Balanta fired wastefully high and wide from Ferrier’s lay-off on the edge of the penalty area.
Ferrier was also well off-target himself when shooting far over the bar from a tight angle after twisting past Reynolds near the byline.
But it was the visitors who almost snatched victory deep into stoppage time.  Rising above a crowd of players to meet Anthony Straker’s teasing cross from the left, Scott Rendell saw his close-range header clip a defender’s head and fly wide of Smith’s left-hand post.
Wood will again go in search of their first home win since the opening day of the season when Torquay United come to Meadow Park on Saturday.
BOREHAM WOOD: Smith, Woodards, Ricketts, Paine, Davis, Ferrier, Jeffrey (Uchechi 63), Ilesanmi, Clifford (Kuhl 90+6), Balanta, Devera.  Subs not used: Nunn, Boal, Murrell-Williamson.
ALDERSHOT TOWN: Cole, Staker, Evans, Fenelon (Rendell 39), McClure, Alexander, Allen, Wakefield (Walker 70), Gallagher, Conroy, Reynolds.  Subs not used: Arnold, Saville, Smith.
ATTENDANCE: 544 (away support 274)

Report originally published on Real Footy Talk.