Boreham Wood 2 Grays Athletic 1

First published in Sport

Wood picked up their first win of the pre season against a Conference side made up of triallists and youth, with a smattering of vast experience.

A first half penalty from Lee Allinson cancelled out Jamie Davis' opener, with a cleverly executed second half free kick by Joe Reynolds sealing the win.

Wood manager Ian Allinson unveiled his latest signing in the shape of 31 year old Dean Green, a versatile player who is at home in midfield as in attack. Green arrives from AFC Hornchurch, having previously played for Dulwich Hamlet, Waltham Forest, Staines Town and Farnborough, who paid a sizeable fee to secure his services, before joining Hendon.

With a host of Wood players unavailable through injury Bradley Fraser a success of the PASE scheme started in defence before also succumbing to injury.

Sean Sonner again proved the major threat for Wood bursting through the defence early on he lost out on a one on one to the vastly experienced Shane Gore in the Grays goal. Gore the former Barnet and Stevenage Borough shot stopper has more recently featured for East Thurrock United and Maidenhead United.

Sonner then embarked upon a speedy 50 yard run exchanging passes with Mario Noto before his eventual shot was charged down.

Leon Hunter in by far his best game thus far played a brilliantly weighted ball forward releasing Dee Okojie who shot just wide across goal. Minutes later Okojie again went close when a superb passing move involving six Wood players fell to the ex Billericay Town man. He scuffed his finish, which wrong footed Gore who did well to scoop the ball to safety from underneath the crossbar.

Somewhat against the run of play Davis opened the scoring for the visitors after 22 minutes. Played through by Danny Murphy he wrong footed Curtis Ujah before switching the ball to his left foot to expertly place the ball across Tony Tucker into the bottom left hand corner.

Wood soon regrouped and their perseverance paid off when Hunter, Allinson and Sonner attacked across the park from left to right. Sonner's ball into the area struck the arm of Dimitri, allowing Allinson to coolly strike home the equaliser from the spot after 36 minutes.

Joe Reynolds then provided a superb ball releasing Okojie who failed to lift the ball over the advancing Gore, missing a good chance to forge ahead before the break.

Long range efforts from shoot on sight Locum Cahill kept Tucker on his toes throughout the second half.

Hunter earned the free kick that led to Wood's second after 59 minutes. He blitzed through the defence only to be held back by Samson right on the edge of the area. With Noto seemingly the likelier to strike for goal, Reynolds obscured by the wall stepped up to curl a fine effort around the wall which stayed low and flew into the right hand side of the net beyond the reach of Joe Pudino.

Grays did create a good opportunity down the right when Davis supplied Mitchel Nelson, though his effort found the side netting, before a cheeky back heel from Denielson allowed Ben Bradbury a fine sight of goal, who also fired just wide.

The arrival of PASE player Lorenz Ferrari again produced some excitement. With his fearless forward play and a penchance for the stepover the teenager again found space to fire a decent shot at goal as in his previous short appearance three days earlier.

After the game Wood manager Ian Allinson summarised, “ We have got the all important win under our belts, albeit against a weaker Grays outfit than we had expected. We could have had four or five in the first half, where after I felt we relaxed a little too much. It has been a tough twelve days for the players, playing five games, during which we have only been able to train once.”

On the squad he added, “ It is great to have Dean Green at the club. He is a player I spoke about with the owner at the end of last season and I am thankful that the funds have been made available . Dean has a wealth of experience at both this level and the level above and joins us on the premise that he is only interested in winning things, which he feels we have the chance to do this year, which is a great omen for us!”

Team : Tucker, Fraser ( Christian 77), Kirby, Hunter, Ujah, Reynolds, Noto, Allinson, Sonner, Green (Clements 84), Okojie ( Ferrari 84).

JOHN MEAD

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