Wealdstone 1 – 1 Boreham Wood
1 - 1
There can be no hiding from the fact that this was very definitely two points dropped rather than one gained and continued The Stones’ disappointing start to the new campaign.
All seemed well with the world for the first 8 minutes. The Stones, with the once again available David Hicks prominent in midfield, were looking lively, and it was the busy midfielder who had the first serious effort on goal on 5 minutes when he sent a free kick over Noel Imber’s crossbar.. And just a minute later Wealdstone took the lead. Gary Burrell’s dangerous run was halted illegally and Ryan Ashe placed the resulting free kick past the defensive wall and just inside Imber’s near post. Given that the shot was not hit with great pace Noel might have expected to have done better.
The lead was to last no more than a couple of minutes. The home defence was caught napping by a corner played to left back Danny Barber some 20 yards out who drilled a low shot through a crowd of players and past an unsighted Sean Thomas. Oddly for a team that had started so well with 2 wins and a draw,
The Wood were showing little appetite to mount any sustained attacks and it was the home side that was enjoying the lion’s share of possession, However, as has been the case in the previous matches so far this season, the opposition keeper was rarely troubled. The best on offer was on 15 minutes a Ben Alexander cross shot that the onrushing Derek Quaye just failed to connect with and, more seriously, a Lee Chappell snap shot from 20 yards that was excellently turned round the post by Imber. Carl Martin met David Hicks’ corner full on but placed his header against the foot of the post with Imber well beaten.
On 35 minutes the visitors’ Greg Morgan was booked for a late challenge on Sean Thomas. 2 minutes later a Stephen Hughes poke from the penalty spot was deflected wide for a corner. The run up to half time saw the game become rather scrappy. Alan Massy and Tawhid Juneja were booked for tangling in the box and continuing their argument as Massey retreated. Aand unfortunately for The Wood Greg Morgan’s previous indiscretion became more serious when he tangled on the ground briefly with Lee Chappell. Despite both players picking themselves up and shaking hands, referee Mr Kendall harshly issued a second yellow card to Morgan who, as a result, was sent off.
Once again, as was the case against Tonbridge, The Stones were facing 10 men; and once again they singularly failed to make the extra man count. Understandably the visitors were committing little to attack in the second half despite Leon Archer being brought on at half time in place of Luke Donnelly to add some experience to the attack. Indeed it was The Stones who so nearly took the lead 3 minutes after the restart when an outstanding cross from Ryan Ashe was met by Ben Alexander some 10 yards out with the goal at his mercy, but the burly striker’s volley struck a post and rebounded to safety. On 62 minutes Dean Papali came on for the limping Alexander and 7 minutes later Nick Salapatas replaced a tiring Derek Quaye. At the same time Boreham Wood brought on Eugene Ofori for ex-Northwood striker Elliott Buchanan. A minute later Stephen Hughes got to the near post to meet another Ashe cross but his toe poke steered the ball on to the post and away for a goal kick rather than between the posts.
The pattern of the game was now set with Wealdstone putting over numerous crosses and a plethora of Lee Chappell long throws, all of which were comfortably cleared by Noel Imber and his defenders. Worryingly all 3 points were almost sneaked by the visitors eight minutes from the end when centre half Tawhid Juneja got on the end of a corner but skewed the ball wide.
A difficult start to the season has yielded just 2 points from a possible 12. The management team must be concerned that, despite looking relatively secure at the back and at times dominating the midfield, the forwards have yet to find their groove in converting decent chances that have come their way thus far.
Sean Thomas, Marvin McCoy, Lee Chappell, Alan Massey, Carl Martin, Ryan Ashe, Derek Quaye (sub Nick Salapatas 69m), David Hicks, Ben Alexander (sub Dean Papali 62min), Stephen Hughes, Gary Burrell (sub Kieron Forbes 89 mins); subs not used Chris O’Leary, Luke Woods
Noel Imber, Mark Burgess, Danny Barber, Jon Wordsworth, Tawhid Juneja Luke Donnelly (sub Leon Archer 46 mins), Greg Morgan, Lee Allinson (sub Lewis Donovan 89 mins), Elliott Buchanan (sub Eugene Ofori 69mins), Mario Noto, Chris Watters. Subs not used Joel Mason Daniel Reidy