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Boreham Wood out of FA Cup following defeat at home to League One Brentford
Boreham Wood’s hopes of reaching Round Two of the FA Cup for only the second time in their history are over after Brentford made their superior League One finishing quality tell to win 2-0 at Meadow Park.
Making their eighth appearance in the first round, the hosts had started brightly but Clayton Donaldson gave the visitors the upper hand when he fired an angled shot into the far corner.
Jonathan Douglas then struck the bar with a 25-yard free-kick but Wood more than contributed to an enjoyable first-half, as Omer Riza forced Richard Lee into a fine save before the Wood striker also hit the woodwork.
Crucially though, Brentford were to get a second before half-time when former Watford and Aston Villa youngster Harry Forrester finished well after some near interplay in and around the penalty area.
Thereafter, the visitors were comfortable and Wood rarely threatened to get back into the contest. Donaldson came the closest to scoring a third when he hit the post with a header, while James Russell also had to make a few good saves.
The defeat ended the hosts’ run of seven successive wins in all competitions but Ian Allinson’s men can take heart from the fact they were a match for a side who ply their trade three divisions higher in the first half, before they rather ran out of steam and attacking ideas after the break.
Wood boss Ian Allinson chose to leave well following the 4-2 victory at Weston-super-Mare that extended the club’s unbeaten run to seven games in all competitions, naming an unchanged starting XI.
The visitors had yet to win away in League One and Uwe Rosler made four changes from the side that was held to a 2-2 draw at home by Hartlepool United last time out.
Former Watford keeper Lee replaced Simon Moore in goal, while captain Kevin O’Connor, Leon Legge and Tom Adeyemi were also included. Harlee Dean and another Hornets old boy, Toumani Diagouraga, dropped to the bench but Shaleum Logan was not involved.
It was the hosts who had the first chance inside the opening minute when they broke quickly from a throw in their own half and Riza slipped in Graeme Montgomery to his left and the midfielder fired an angled effort over the bar.
Within two minutes, Mauro Vilhete had found space on the right side of the area but his cross was just too far ahead of the diving Cliff Akurang.
Wood continued to have the better of the early exchanges, with Montgomery forcing Lee into a smart stop in the seventh minute with a low left-footed drive.
The visitors had their first half chance when, following a Tony Craig shot, a game of pinball in the area ended with Donaldson’s half-volley on the turn being blocked.
Another half-chance came the Bees’ way when the home side’s defence failed to attack O’Connor’s cross from the right but Donaldson was unable to get the delivery properly under control.
However, the Brentford striker was to make no mistake with his next effort in the 16th minute.
Receiving the ball on the left side of the area, Donaldson held off a challenge as he drove back infield before striking a right-footed shot inside the far post to put the Football League club 1-0 in front.
Wood sought an instant response, with Riza firing into the side netting after the home side had kept the ball alive from a free-kick, only for Donaldson to have another opening when he struck the support behind the goal with a right-footed effort.
The visitors were to go even closer with their next attempt in the 25th minute, Douglas hitting a powerful 25-yard free-kick against Russell’s bar after Mark Jones had felled Donaldson.
That could have made it 2-0 but within two minutes Wood were almost level when David Hutton’s cross from the left was flicked goalwards by the head of Riza but Lee made a fine reaction save to keep the Bees a goal to the good.
Next, Riza played a lovely blind-side ball down the right side of the defence to set Montgomery free but his low cross was put behind for a corner. From that set piece though, the visitors threatened to launch a counter-attack and Callum Reynolds could have few complaints about the yellow card he picked up for a foul from behind on Adeyemi.
The home side didn’t deserve to be behind on the balance of chances created and they were within inches of pulling level after 33 minutes.
Chez Isaac set the move off with a superb 50-yard long pass that released Riza, who cut inside before striking a right-footed curler that was out of the reach of Lee, only to strike the bar.
Donaldson had another sight of goal four minutes before the break when he flicked Adam Forshaw’s cross towards the target but Russell was not seriously troubled by the header.
It looked like the hosts would be able to keep the deficit to one goal going into the interval but the Bees took a firm grasp on proceedings two minutes before half-time.
Some nice one-touch football in and around the Wood box ended with the ball being played into Forrester, who took a touch and worked some space before prodding a fine-right finish beyond Russell to make it 2-0.
There was still time for Donaldson to head a corner wide of the near post as Brentford went into the break in good shape to book their place in the next round.
Wood doubled their yellow card count in the first minute of the second half when Jones caught Douglas, before Forrester curled a free-kick wide of Russell’s near post.
The visitors went closer a couple of minutes later when, following a corner from the right, Craig’s header was parried by the keeper and Wood managed to scramble the ball away before Donaldson could react properly to the rebound.
Wood needed to Russell to be sharp to keep the gap to two goals nine minutes into the second half when he first blocked a Donaldson shot with his legs before diving to his right to push away Paul Hayes’ half-volley after the home side’s defence had been unable to clear their lines.
The home side found it difficult to get their attacking game going in the first third of the second period and Allinson decided to make a change after 63 minutes, bringing on Greg Morgan for Hutton.
Donaldson did have the ball in the back of the net again soon after but the whistle had already gone for offside. Russell then had to make another good save to keep out a Forshaw shot from the edge of the area before the woodwork again came to Wood’s rescue, this time preventing Donaldson scoring a second with a header following a cross from the left.
Another change for the hosts came in the 67th minute, with Inih Effiong replacing Riza, as the home side tried to wrestle some control back.
Goal scorer Forrester was replaced by Stuart Dallas with 15 minutes remaining as his side remained comfortably in command. Hayes then made way for Sam Saunders as Wood began to ask a few more attacking questions, but without seriously threatening Lee’s goal.
Rosler made his final change with six minutes remaining as Dean came on for Legge, who had picked up an injury, and the Bees were able to see out the remaining minutes of the contest without undue alarm as they duly booked their place in the second round.
Borehamwood: Russell; Nunn, Reynolds, Jefford, Jones; Vilhete, Isaac, Montgomery, Hutton (Morgan 63); Akurang, Riza (Effiong 67). Not used: Noto, Scott-Morris, Close, Hastings and Baker-Owers.
Brentford: Lee; O’Connor, Legge (Dean 84), Craig, Bidwell; Forshaw, Adeyemi, Douglas, Forrester (Dallas 75); Donaldson, Hayes (Saunders 83). Not used: Barron, Saunders, Diagouraga, Moore and German.
Bookings: Reynolds for a foul on Adeyemi (30); Jones for a foul on Douglas (46).
Referee: Rob Lewis.