MATCH REPORT | Wealdstone 2-0 Boreham Wood
Wealdstone comfortably defeated play-off hopefuls Boreham Wood at Grosvenor Vale this afternoon with a dominant display, deservedly guaranteeing their place in the National League next season.
A first half wonder strike from Aaron Henry, along with a second half poacher’s finish from Josh Umerah secured all three points for Wealdstone against Luke Garrard’s side.
Stuart Maynard made three changes to the side that beat Southend United on Good Friday, with Jaydn Mundle-Smith, Nik Tavares and Rhys Browne returning to the starting line-up for the Stones.
Wealdstone nearly had the perfect start within 12 minutes of kick off as Umerah rifled a shot from the left hand side of the box, only to be denied by the post.
A minute later, the visitors were saved by the woodwork again when Nathan Ferguson smashed a fierce effort from 30 yards onto the crossbar.
The home side continued to dominate proceedings as Jack Cook and Tavares combined well on the right wing, before switching the ball to Mundle-Smith, who cut inside and shot, but Taye Ashby-Hammond collected well for the Wood in the 21st minute.
Medy Elito was the next Stones player to come close to scoring when Henry picked him out with a clever corner; however his strike flew just over the crossbar.
Boreham Wood’s first sight of goal came in the 26th minute when Gus Mafuta dispossessed Ferguson on the edge of the area and played through Scott Boden, but the imperious George Wickens produced a terrific double save to thwart the striker.
A moment later, the Stones broke quickly as Umerah and Cook combined, with the former generating a strike that was straight at Ashby-Hammond.
At the 29th minute mark, the Wood nearly took the lead when Jacob Mendy held off Cook to square to Dennon Lewis, but the former Stone’s effort skimmed off of the crossbar.
Wealdstone duly broke the deadlock nine minutes before the stroke of half time as Charlton Athletic loanee Henry hit a superb free kick from 35 yards which nestled straight into the bottom corner.
Boreham Wood nearly levelled through Tyrone Marsh a minute later, but the colossus Cook was well-positioned to clear off of the line, with Connor McAvoy following up with a heroic block from Mafuta.
The Wood galvanised another attack as Lewis cut inside and curled a shot towards goal, but the attacker’s effort flew wide.
Five minutes before the interval, the Stones outwitted the Wood with a quick free kick from Henry to Mundle-Smith, which was played inside to Umerah, however Jamal Fyfield was on hand to clear the striker’s shot.
The Stones returned from the break on the front foot, doubling their advantage within seven minutes of the restart as Elito’s cross found Mundle-Smith, whose headed attempt looped high; Ashby-Hammond, under pressure from Umerah, dropped the ball onto the top goal scorer’s head, enabling him to convert home his 13thgoal of the season.
Boreham Wood responded through Marsh, who beat two defenders, before squaring the ball to Adrian Clifton, however Wickens held his well.
In the 63rd minute, the Wood had a chance to equalise when Lewis’ cross found Danilo Orsi, but the substitute could onlydirect his free header wide.
Frankie Raymond then tried his luck from distance, firing just over Wickens’ goal. Two minutes later, the midfielder was shown a straight red for a high lunge on Cook; reducing his side to ten-men for the remainder of the match.
In the 83rd minute, the visitors nearly reduced the deficit when Fyfield’s cross was nearly diverted home by McAvoy, but fortunately the ball landed over the crossbar.
Two minutes from regulation time Mendy’s floated free kick found Marsh, with the forward flicking his effort just wide of the target.
As five minutes additional time was signalled, the Wood continued to press for a goal. Mafuta came close on two occasions: firstly testing Wickens with a free kick, then volleying an effort across the face of the goal.
Deep into stoppage time, Lewis was presented with a chance to score against his former club, but the attacker could only fire his shot wide of the far post.
The Stones return to action on Saturday 23rd April when they travel to the J. Davidson Stadium to face Altrincham, in a 3pm kick off.
WEALDSTONE: Wickens, Cook, McAvoy, Okimo (c), Tavares (Clayden 80), Henry, Ferguson (Dyer 77), Mundle-Smith, Elito (Jackson 87), Browne, Umerah.
Subs not used: Sesay, Mascoll.
Report by Nicole Cho-Yee