Boreham Wood 2 – 4 Wealdstone
2 - 4
Wealdstone destroyed Boreham Wood giving the home side a lesson in finishing during a pulsating first half performance at Meadow Park on Saturday, roared on by 200 of their fans. Stones now move into the third qualifying round of the FA Cup and will be hoping for at least home advantage in Monday’s draw at Wembley Stadium.
In fine, sunny and hot conditions, Wealdstone ripped into Wood from the first whistle and displayed a high confidence level befitting their current lofty league position. In a 4-5-1 formation they were reliant on supporting runs from the midfield and back players and this they did in numbers early on, supplying a lone Greg Ngoyi up front.
Ngoyi had a vicious shot charged down after only one minute to signal their positive intentions. A great surging run from Kieron Forbes just 5 minutes later created the first goal. Forbes cut skilfully into the middle and Ryan Ashe got on the end of a pass and rolled the ball past a startled Tony Tucker for a remarkable opener.
But Wood were soon stung into action and showed that they can play some decent passing football, just as they had done in the league encounter in August. The problem then for Wood was end product and a cutting edge and it was to be the same story in this crucial Cup encounter. Stones were simply far, far more clinical in front of goal and they were to go two goals ahead before the home side had time to recover.
But before that there was a huge turning point in this match. Wood attacked and a strike seemed to have beaten Sean Thomas but the former QPR keeper showed his class with an outstanding pushed save onto the bar and the ball was cleared off the line by the Stones defence. Had Wood equalised at that point the game may well have turned in their favour but the chance was lost and Wealdstone immediately took full advantage.
With 10 minutes on the watch Stones broke swiftly from this near miss and when Alan Massey made serious ground he passed to an onrushing Lee Chappell who majestically stroked the ball past Tucker into the far corner of the net.
Stones kept up the pressure and looked to kill the game at an almost ridiculously early stage of the cup tie. Ngoyi went close but then Wood stabbed a good chance wide to remind the away side that there was no room for any loss of concentration. There was another let off for Stones as Sean Sonner volleyed back into the Stones box but the gilt edged chance was blasted past Thomas’s far post. But Stones continued to counter attack with speed and menace as Marvin McCoy combined brilliantly with Forbes on several occasions.
Wood were desperate to get a goal back but looked decided dodgy at the back as a cheap corner was conceded mid half as play became increasingly frantic from both sides. After the quietly very effective Rob Fitzgerald had gained possession in the middle, Chris O’Leary tried an audacious lob when he probably should have passed to Ryan Ashe out wide.
Stones then really put the heat on Wood with a wonderfully executed third goal just before the half time whistle.
Forbes was scythed down outside the area and up stepped the cheeky chappy that is Lee Chappell. The ebullient skipper curled a beautifully flighted kick into the top left hand corner which looked almost too good as the ball pinged out. It momentarily seemed as if it had hit the outside stanchion, but the Stones No 3 knew it had gone in and celebrated madly in his inimitable style to crown a superb first half for his team.
The second period was always going to be difficult for Stones as it was almost ‘job done’ but Wood to their credit never gave up and kept pressing forward in an effort to reduce the arrears.
Stones though kept their stranglehold on the tie and forced three early corners with Ngoyi again just heading over. O’Leary then headed over with Wood defenders screaming for offside – he wasn’t and the chance went begging to finally kill the game.
Chris Ellerbeck who had worked very hard in a withdrawn role was substituted by Ken During on 55 minutes as Stones looked to consolidate.
Boreham Wood gave themselves a lifeline two minutes later as Dean Green nipped in to put the ball past a stranded Sean Thomas for 3-1.
Stones went into their shells for a period as Wood frantically played the ball across the park seeking an opening to force their way back into contention, and for a while the away side struggled to retain possession. But Wealdstone weathered the storm and went further ahead on 72 minutes.
From a Ryan Ashe corner on the right Alan Massey found himself with time and space at the far post to smash the ball past an exposed Tucker for 4-1.
Ross Lafayette came on for a tiring Greg Ngoyi who had done his job well as the lone outlet up front.
There was late worry for Stones as Wood in refusing to let their heads drop managed to score a second goal as the away sides visibly began to tire in the humid conditions.
Defender Ryan Kirby grabbed his side’s second consolation following a desperate goal line scramble
Wealdstone played out a final few tense minutes and in the end were comfortable and worthy winners and can now look forward to the next round to be played on Saturday October 10th.
Wealdstone: Thomas, McCoy, Chappell, Fitzgerald, Massey, Ashe, Forbes, O’Leary, Ellerbeck, Ngoyi, E’Beyer. Subs used: During, Lafayette, Gray. N/u: Woods (GK)