Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting BOREHAMWOOD to 80360, or email us
Boreham Wood defeat St Neots Town in FA Cup
Another away day and another red card but on this occasion Ian Allinson's side were just too good for St Neots Town as they picked up a 2-1 away win in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup.
The whole game centred around an incident involving James Russell, the Wood keeper, after 43 minutes.
At that stage Russell had made three good saves and Wood had gone ahead just five minutes earlier with an excellently worked goal.
The Wood shot stopper had rushed out to the edge of his area to gather a ball which he spilled when Callum Reynolds had knocked into him after a challenge from the Saints captain Stefan Moore.
Russell did handle outside the area when he reached out to gather the ball before retracting his arms after realising his error.
Referee Mr Hendley surprisingly rushed over to issue a straight red card, when there were clearly Wood players between the ball and the goal and it was difficult to see where the goal scoring opportunity that was denied had come from.
It left an already beleaguered Wood, missing six players a mountain to climb, yet climb the mountain they did.
Cliff Akurang was forced to play in the centre of defence given the three suspensions and the injury to Jerel Ifil, leaving Inih Effiong partnering Omer Riza up front.
Wood controlled the first 20 minutes of the game with a fantastic 30-yard drive from Graeme Montgomery forcing keeper Micheal Duggan into a full stretch diving save. Lewis Hillaird then hit a fierce shot from the right that found Russell in his usual imperious form.
Moore then rounded Akurang before Russell saved bravely at his feet as the home side started playing without fear. Russell again saved his side with a low diving save from a finely struck low shot from Callum Stewart.
Wood took the lead with a sharp and incisive move that showed them at their best. Chez Isaac won possession releasing Riza who cut a superb first time ball out to the left wing into space for David Hutton.
His cross was just too high for the arriving Effiong, who certainly distracted the defence who failed to pick up Greg Morgan who steered the ball home from the right to record his first goal since returning to the club he learnt his trade at.
The Saints were smarting and were nearly made to pay further just minutes later when a fine Mark Jones ball ran superbly into the path of Riza. He unselfishly squared for Effiong who allowed a defender to get a foot in.
The unfortunate Russell incident followed leaving Wood down to ten men, with Effiong sacrificed for Cameron Baker-Owers.
The second half was sure to be a long one for Allinson's men but if there was a player on the field who could win a game on his own then Riza, well known in the Huntingdon area for his spell at nearby Histon, was that man.
He headed just over from a Montgomery free kick, before increasing the lead thanks to individual brilliance and the telepathy that he and Montgomery seem to shackle. Montgomery's clearance down the left found Riza who fizzed past two defenders before finishing past Duggan from a tight angle.
He could have had another when a quick free kick found him again through on goal although this time his shot from the outside of the boot lacked control.
With Lee Close in superb form at right-back and Isaac full of running the Wood defence were superb. Baker-Owers commanded his area from set pieces, until Robert Hastings, just on the field of play gave away a cheap free kick 35 yards out. Hilliard drove home a well struck shot into the bottom right hand corner with 13 minutes remaining to set up a tense finish.
Substitute Kaine Felix was a hairs breadth away from latching onto a Declan Rogers cross for an equaliser but Wood held on to progress into the next round.
Boss Ian Allinson said:“We made it hard for ourselves conceding but we set up well in the second half to deny them space as we perceived their strengths lay in the counter attack. I am pleased with the overall performance and glad to be in the next round.“
On the talking point of the afternoon, he added: “ We will look at it and decide what to do. If we had played the whole match with 11 men which we quite possibly should have it would have been a totally different game.”