Boreham Wood's trip to Sutton United abandoned

First published in Sport

A localised rain cloud that hung just metres above the Gander Green Lane playing surface arrived around 90 minutes before kick-off and relentlessly dumped its contents rendering the playing surface “too dangerous to continue” according to referee Mr Cooper, who abandoned Boreham Wood’s trip to Sutton United with a score at 1-1.

It was a decision that nobody present could argue with, unlike the controversial two goals that left the sides even before the curtailment.

Ian Allinson recalled wide men David Hutton and Sam Lechmere, with Mark Jones returning to left-back after serving a one-match suspension.

Harry Beautyman delivered a decent free-kick which Romone McCrae headed over, before going close with another free-kick, this time on the left, which was allowed to flash dangerously across goal given the conditions.

Good build-up play from Wood from Lechmere allowed Daryl McMahon to deliver a fine cross for Michael Thalassitis, who headed wide.

A minute later, Thalassitis, on the right side of the penalty area, skipped past Simon Downer, yet the defender’s attempted recovery tackle was in tandem with Thalassitis slipping in the mire. Mr Cooper pointed to the spot and a fortunate Wood went ahead with a superbly struck shot high into the top left-hand corner from Hutton.

Five minutes later and it was 1-1.

A fine ball from Craig Dundas played McCrae through down the middle . He turned to supply Joel Ledgister, who fired home past a stranded Michael Jordan, albeit from an offside position.

Sam Cox was upended after 24 minutes as Beautyman slid in to challenge. His momentum was down to the surface water, which was the first clear sign that the continuing deluge may well be the only winner on the day.

Mr Cooper spoke to both captains after 29 minutes and when a through ball by Wood stopped dead in a puddle a minute later, the referee called off proceedings.

After the game the referee explained: “I asked the players how they found the surface throughout. Their mood changed as the game went on and the tackle on 24 minutes was a clear warning that the pitch was becoming unplayable.”

For Wood it was an untimely disturbance, with the suspensions mounting up now carrying over to a further game.

It was also Thalassitis' final game for Wood. He will return to Stevenage a better player and had a huge impact on his loan club’s season.

With Sam Cox and Luke Wilkinson also nearing the end of their loan spells, the January transfer window will be a busy time for Allinson, who will need to factor in a period of unrest, with new players needing to bed in as Wood look to push on up the table.

They are without a game now until January 14 when they travel to Farnborough, owing to Salisbury City's involvement in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.

It will be a tough game for Wood, who will not only miss Thalassitis, but the suspended David Bryant, Daryl McMahon, Sam Cox, Justin Cochrane and Luke Garrard.

Boreham Wood: Jordan, Sankofa, Jones, Cox, O'Loughlin, Wilkinson, Lechmere, McMahon, Thalassitis, Bryant, Hutton.

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