Boreham Wood edge past Histon in FA Trophy

First published in Sport

A late smash and grab raid by an out-of-sorts Boreham Wood earned the club £4,000 and a place in today’s FA Trophy draw at the expense of Conference North side Histon following a 2-1 win.

Graeme Montgomery plundered the kitty just two minutes from time after a tepid Wood display that had James Russell to thank for his side still being in the running at such a late stage in the game.

Stutes Defender Grant Roberts tested Russell after eight minutes, forcing the keeper into a smart save when he was well placed. Zak Mills worried the Wood defence with his colossal throw-ins, allowing Claudiu Hoban a fierce shot on the turn which Russell repelled superbly. From the same attack, Mills then used his feet to good effect, crossing for Shane Tolley who headed just wide.

Wood were rocking, managing just a weak Cliff Akurang effort on target and creating nothing in the home side’s half of note until the 31st minute.

Completely against the run of play, Omer Riza picked out Montgomery’s run down the right and his tantalising cross held up perfectly for Mauro Vilhete who ran through, stretching out a leg to steer the ball beyond Carl Pentney in the Histon goal.

For all their endeavour, Histon failed to put Wood under any further pressure until a minute after the interval when they equalised. Mark Jones was adjudged to have made contact with Tolley inside the box, with Jim Stevenson duly dispatching the penalty to give his side parity.

The pick of Russell’s catalogue of saves came after 59 minutes when from a corner, Tolley found himself in on goal and was foiled from around eight yards out by a superb reaction stop.

With half-an-hour remaining, Riza and David Hutton made way for Mario Noto and Greg Morgan, yet the next action of note of course involved Russell, saving low to his left to deny Ben Coker, before clearing a Tolley header off the line from the resultant corner.

With a replay looking a possibility, the stadium announcer rang out the death knoll for his side, informing that Val would be arranging a minibus for the replay.

Wood won two late corners and from the second Akurang was clearly held just inside the box. With no whistle, the ball was gathered by Chez Isaac on the right and he hit a powerful low drive that Pentney could not hold on to and Montgomery charging in to stab the lose ball home, leaving Val to ponder a free weekend and Wood to look forward to the draw, which includes the Conference Premier big guns.

Looking back over the game, Wood boss Ian Allinson declared: “We looked a bit leggy today against a full-time outfit. To be fair, they played some good football and made life difficult for us. We conceded a cheap goal early in the second half which gave us a lot to do. I introduced Mario as I felt they were flooding the midfield and winning all the battles there.

“We have no divine right to play well every game but what we do have is a superb group of players who do not give up and they showed a lot of character today.”

Boreham Wood: Russell, Nunn, Jones, Vilhete, O’Loughlin, Reynolds, Hutton (Morgan 60), Isaac, Akurang, Riza (Noto 60), Montgomery. Not used: Effiong, Close and Jefford.

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