Missed chances cost Boreham Wood in Thurrock defeat

First published in Sport

Injury-ravaged Boreham Wood had a poor day in front of goal and served up a performance to forget at basement side Thurrock as they were beaten 1-0.

The team that beat Hampton the previous Monday was depleted enough, with no recognised midfielder available. Add to that the fact that Mauro Vilhete was recalled by Barnet and Omer Riza was missing through injury, putting paid to the strike force that has so ably supported David Bryant, left Ian Allinson down to the bare bones.

Of the 28 goals that Wood have scored in their last 13 games, just five have come from players that were available for this match - and it showed.

Had Wood taken their opportunities against a side who, until their goal in the 53rd minute, played like they had already thrown in the towel, they would have continued their spirited end of season run with another victory. However, it was not to be.

The first half ended a stalemate after Wood had totally controlled the game thanks to some non-existent defending.

Bryant skied an effort after being put through by Graeme Montgomery.

Callum Reynolds played a sublime forward ball for David Hutton, who found David Hughes off his line, lobbing both the keeper and the crossbar.

John O'Donnell recorded a shot on target that Elvijs Putnins easily gathered, before Bryant beat two defenders, feeding Simeon Akinola. With a clear sight on goal, he opted for a square ball and the chance went begging.

Montgomery shot just wide of a post as Wood stayed camped out on the edge of the Thurrock area but could not capitalise on the slack defending on offer. Reynolds then broke down the left, picking out Bryant at the near post but Wood’s leading scorer could not punish his former club, skewing his effort wide of the post.

The Fleet gave away free-kicks for fun around the box, with Hutton’s whipped ball in finding Reynolds, who knocked on for Charlie O’Loughlin but he failed to pick his spot, firing straight into the arms of Hughes from three yards out.

After the interval, Luke I’Anson gifted Akinola a fine opportunity yet he lacked the composure required to beat Hughes.

Fleet substitute Nathan Ashton then took the bull by the horns with a darting run down the left wing. His cross was perfect for veteran striker Lee Boylan, who turned home the effort at the near post, which gave Wood something to think about for the remainder of the match.

Hutton rode several challenges, playing Akinola through but he skied an effort from six yards as it became apparent it was not to be Wood’s day.

The home side looked more comfortable after their goal and slowly wore down any further hopes that Wood may have had of adding to their points tally.

Allinson rang the changes, finishing with a staggering five PASE players on the field by the end, by which time the absence of Riza, Vilhete, Noto, Garrard, Cox and Brathwaite had proven a bridge too far, leaving Fleet to record just their fifth win of the season, the first time in ten years they have beaten a Wood side.

The defeat left Allinson “highly disappointed” and he said: “We worked very hard and created enough chances to have won the game by half-time. We did not take them and our decision making was poor around the box.

“We were beaten by one mistake in a game we controlled for long periods. Missing half a dozen key players has taken its toll yet even with whom we had available we could have won this game.”

Boreham Wood: Putnins, Sankofa, Jones (Yala 79), Beckles, Reynolds, O’Loughlin, Hutton, Hunter, Bryant (Rubinia 72), Akinola, Montgomery (Scott-Morris 79). Not used: Close and Jordan.

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