Boreham Wood produce stunning Blue Square Bet South display to thump Eastleigh

First published in Sport

Boreham Wood produced arguably their best Blue Square Bet South performance to take a very competent and expensively assembled Eastleigh side to the cleaners with a first class-display to run out impressive 6-1 victors.

Ian Allinson's self-proclaimed “great little squad” were irresistible, showing just what is achievable when a plan comes together.

Wood shaded the first half going in a goal to the good, before a blistering salvo of three goals within eight minutes of the start of the second half ended the game as a contest.

In some ways Eastleigh contributed to their own demise as Scott Rodgers gave away a cheap corner after eight minutes.

Graeme Montgomery, against his old club, delivered from the left and Callum Reynolds ghosted in to steer a perfectly cushioned header beyond Jack Dovey for his first goal in Wood's colours.

Montgomery almost supplied for a second when he found Omer Riza with a long ball forward. Riza's first touch with his back to goal was sublime, playing back out to Montgomery, whose ball from the left across goal found David Bryant, who slid in to shoot just wide.

Bryant then turned provider for Montgomery, playing the ex-Wealdstone player through and he stuck out a leg to send his shot wide of the right-hand post.

Eastleigh shot-stopper Dovey then made a hash of saving a low Sam Cox effort, which he carried behind for a corner. Montgomery picked out Charlie O'Loughin at the far post, who headed back across goal where Bryant knocked on for Riza, who headed straight into Dovey's arms Lee Peacock and Bradley Bubb combined after 25 minutes, with the Aldershot loan striker hitting a ferocious curling drive at Elvijs Putnins, thus recording the visitors’ first shot on target.

The returning Daryl McMahon tested Putnins further after 32 minutes, forcing a full stretch diving save to keep out his trademark curling free-kick from 25 yards out.

There were further scares for Wood before the interval when McMahon played Bubb through down the right. His low drive was well blocked at the near post by Putnins.

A minute later Montgomery charged down a clearance and raced through, only to shoot wide with the goal gaping. Had McMahon capitalised a minute later from a similar situation at the other end his side were still in the game, yet he also pulled his effort wide of the mark.

Wood however were rampant and retaliated in style as Bryant played Riza through and he drifted across a defender, only for his goalbound shot to be charged down by Ben Wilson's fine interception.

The second half was all Wood.

On 48 minutes, Montgomery's free-kick from 40 out was cleared as far as Riza, whose blunderbuss of a volley was cleared off the line by a defender, leaving Bryant to nip in and claim a pure poacher’s goal, his 11th of the league campaign.

Just a minute later the quite brilliant Riza's flick-on for Montgomery took Andy Forbes by surprise . He was left standing as Montgomery raced from inside the halfway circle to steer a shot wide of Dovey and into the net for his first goal for the club.

With 53 minutes played, Wood made it four.

Mauro Vilhete, whose close control and movement caused the Spifires trouble all afternoon, predicted a deflected ball into the penalty area from O'Loughlin. Substitute Tom Jordan clattered into the pint-sized Barnet loan player, leaving Riza the opportunity to blast home Wood's fourth from the spot.

With 63 minutes played, Rodgers delivered his second punishable late tackle of the game and the visitors were stunted in number, leaving their task one of damage limitation.

McMahon reduced the areas four minutes later when his free-kick destined for the head of Jordan rose above the giant substitute, before bouncing awkwardly, leaving the defence flat-footed and Putnins clawing at thin air as the ball finally ended up in the back of the Wood net.

Wood, led by midfield dynamo Luke Garrard, went straight up the other end to score within 60 seconds of the restart. The Eastleigh defence cleared to the edge of the area where Garrard himself hit a low drive under Dovey to make it 5-1.

Wood were still creating chances a plenty. Vilhete went close with a superb rising drive from an acute angle after wriggling free of his marker, which needed the fingertips of Dovey to prevent further embarrassment.

Osei Sankofa almost got on the scoresheet when a deflection to his ball in from the right needed a defender’s clearance off the line, before the single piece of stand out individual skill of the afternoon was supplied by Riza.

A clearance dropped vertically in front of him on the edge of the area and from a standing start, his dipping volley smashed against the underside of the crossbar before coming back into play with Dovey a mere spectator.

Cox wrapped up proceedings in the last minute, claiming a much-deserved goal. Riza's perfectly weighted ball allowed him two touches before finding his range just inside the area to wrap up a truly memorable team performance.

“That was the first time we have done that to a team” declared Wood boss Allinson after the game. “At half-time again we were faced with not putting our chances away and could have well missed out again, but I did emphasise if we stuck another two away they would crumble.

“This has done our confidence the world of good and we will go again next Saturday down at Dover.”

When asked if his team had ever played better he hesitated before replying: “ No, I don't think so.”

Boreham Wood: Putnins, Sankofa (Close 83), Beckles, Garrard, Reynolds, O'Loughlin, Vilhete, Cox, Bryant (Scott-Morris 83), Riza, Montgomery (Hutton 69). Not used: Jones and Jordan.

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