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Boreham Wood beaten by late Woking goal
12:48pm Monday 30th January 2012 in Sport
A gutsy Boreham Wood display was not enough to prevent runaway league leaders Woking from maintaining their 11-point cushion at the top of the table following a 2-1 win at Meadow Park.
In truth, Woking were by far the more dangerous outfit going forward, yet Wood were never out of the game, giving Gary Hill's men a stern test on the afternoon.
With Daryl McMahon's midweek departure to Eastleigh, there was a berth for young Charlie Hunter to fill in the centre of the park and the 18 year old enjoyed possibly his best performance for the senior side to date.
There was no place in the starting line-up for Luke Wilkinson, who may have played his last game for Ian Allinson, with his loan spell now over. His replacement on the day, Omar Beckles, did not disappoint alongside the ever-reliable Charlie O'Loughlin in the centre of defence.
Mario Noto created the first test for either goalkeeper as The Cards gave away numerous free-kicks in danger areas. His curling effort on the left from 20 yards out was destined for the top right-hand corner, tipped magnificently over the bar by Aaron Howe after 12 minutes.
The resultant corner, played short by Hunter, allowed the free Noto a first-time effort which went just wide.
Billy Lobjoit who was a real threat on occasions for Wood and shot just wide before the visitors threatened, with Elvis Hammond finding space to turn and shoot only for the resolute Wood defence to block.
There was a call for a penalty when David Bryant went over Alan Inns' leg, but referee Mr Coggins waved play on.
Mike Cestor, the second ex-Wood player on show, then almost got lucky with an overhit cross from the left which had the beating of Michael Jordan before hitting the underside of the bar.
A moment of hesitancy by Jordan led to The Cards opener after 23 minutes, allowing Hammond to take a touch around the keeper before stroking home into an empty net.
Wood however, never gave the league leaders a chance to build upon their lead and an even contest ensued.
Cestor ran past four Wood players, finding Hammond, who scuffed his shot. Beckles then made a superb challenge to deny the goal scorer further plaudits.
Woking came out after the interval in commanding form and mounted a period of extreme pressure on the Wood defence.
Moses Ademola should have done better, hitting a loose ball out of the ground, before Jordan’s spill fell kindly for Wayne Gray, who again frustrated the large visiting support with another errant shot.
The antidote to the pressure was delivered when Wood stunned The Cards with a quite brilliant equaliser after 55 minutes.
Hunter picked up play, playing a short ball for Bryant. His threaded pass down the right was perfect for Lobjoit, who showed pace in bursting past a defender before delivering a superb cross along the touch line at pace. It was perfect for Noto, who arrived at the far post to fire home.
Keiran Murtagh tried his luck from distance for the visitors before the referee made a poor decision after Noto's brilliant tackle was handled by the falling Woking player. The free-kick went to the visitors which Murtagh delivered into danger, finding Joe McNerney, whose shot cannoned back across the goalmouth via a post.
O'Loughlin then caused concern in The Cards defence, with his looping header just cleared behind by Jack King.
However, the sucker punch came after 83 minutes when substitute Luke Medley got in behind the defence on the left, cutting a fine ball across goal, which Ademola reacted to quickest, firing home beyond the reach of Jordan, leaving the visitors to see out proceedings to claim the narrow victory.
“[It was] disappointing that we switched off in key areas which as we know against the big sides like Woking, and previously Cambridge United, you cannot afford to do,” said Wood boss Allinson.
“I cannot fault any of the side today. They all put in a shift, yet if our delivery from set pieces had been a little better and we had maintained concentration throughout, it may have been a different outcome.
“We have had a very tough run of games of late, including this one, where it was obvious to see why Woking are top of the table.”
Turning to the players, Allinson said he was “very pleased to have secured the services of Sam Cox until the end of the season.
“Luke Wilkinson is keen to play at a higher level and with his current loan spell now over, I stayed loyal to Charlie O'Loughlin and Omar Beckles, who along with Luke Garrard did a fine job in central defence.
“I would love to strengthen this week as the transfer window comes to a close but there is no need for a knee jerk reaction. We must ensure that whoever comes in is of a high standard to better ourselves as a unit.”
Boreham Wood: Jordan, Sankofa, Jones, Garrard, O'Loughlin, Beckles, Hunter (Lechmere 75), Cox, Bryant, Noto, Lobjoit. Not used: Hutton, Wilkinson, Brathwaite and Akinola.