Boreham Wood FC

Boreham Wood


Ashford Town (Middlesex)


Ryman League Premier Division,
Meadow Park, Borehamwood
5th December 2009

Two goals from Warren Harris and one from Scott Weight salvaged a point, in this hard fought encounter, and extended manager Jamie Lawrence’s unbeaten league run to five matches since he took charge last month.

Defensively, this was a very poor performance from Ashford who, seemingly, had trouble in grasping the concept of marking the opposition. The three Wood goals were down to poor marking without so much as a cursory challenge for any of them. With injuries to Vinnie O’Sullivan, Russ Canderton and broken leg victim Billy Jeffreys rendering them unavailable, the chances were there for the defenders coming in to make their own mark, but they did not impress against Wood whose lumbering strikers, who had found the net just 17 times prior to this game, were made to look good by the slack marking of the Ashford defence.

For the first 20 minutes Ashford were not in the game but, despite their dominance, Wood scored just the once leaving the door open for the visitors to claw their way back. A free kick for a foul on Ricardo Joseph was the sole chance that Ashford had in that time but Harris’ ball into the Wood penalty box was cleared.

The hosts, on the other hand, spurned early chances by Jamie Richards, Chris Watters and the lively Greg Morgan before, in the 9th minute, they were gifted a soft goal by a generous Ashford defence. A cross from Luke Garrard, on the right, was headed back across goal by the unmarked Richards for Leon Hunter, equally unencumbered, to pick his spot, though the ball did get a slight deflection from Charlie McCarthy on the way in.

Morgan saw a good effort flash past Craig Ross’ right hand post, then Richards headed over from Watters cross from the left before Ashford equalised. Paul Johnson sent Harris on a surging run down the right flank which ended with a low drive that Tony Tucker couldn’t hold. Byron Harrison looked to prosper but was pulled down by Ryan Kirby, referee Mr Muge had no hesitation in awarding the visitors the penalty and dismissing Kirby. Up stepped Harrison, normally so deadly from the penalty spot, to fire goal-wards, Tony Tucker got a hand to the ball but could only direct it up and into the path of the waiting Scott Weight who  nodded into the empty net.

The goal seemed to deflate the home side while Ashford’s confidence grew. Good work by Brian Haule gave Paul Johnson a chance but the Ashford skipper’s drive sailed just wide then the visitors survived a scare as a midfield mix up between Weight and Adam Logie enabled Watters to fire a powerful shot goal-wards that Ross parried over.

Ross was in action again, shortly after, bravely getting down to save a point-blank shot from Richards, then Morgan cut inside again from the right flank and shot low and hard but the greasy ball squirmed out of Ross’ grasp, hit the base of the post and back into the relieved keeper’s arms.

Watters had time to send a vicious shot from the edge of the Ashford penalty area over Ross’ bar before Mr Muge blew for half-time.

The second period started as the first left off with both sides attacking in an effort to gain the upper hand, Mario Noto carried the ball through the centre of midfield on a surging run before finding Richards who shot across the face of the goal and wide of the far post but it was Ashford who got their noses in front with their second of the game. In the 56th minute Haule managed to get in front of his marker and make his way to the goal line before crossing low and hard to the far post where Harris was waiting to fire home.

Another chance went begging for the visitors when Brett Cooper found Haule whose well weighted first time flick found Harrison but Ashford’s leading scorer only managed to shoot past Tucker’s far post.

In the 66th minute Richards had a golden opportunity to gain parity for his team when he escaped the attentions of Cooper, took the ball round Ross and, with the open goal at his mercy, fired wide then, minutes later, the Wood striker stumbled through three half-hearted challenges and, again, shot wide.

Boreham Wood eventually got the equaliser, in the 75th minute, when Hunter, again, found himself in front of goal with just the keeper to beat and, controlling a low cross from Morgan on the right, poked the ball past Ross for his second of the game.

A minute later a strangely out of sorts Byron Harrison was replaced by Scott Harris who joined his brother on the pitch in an effort to regain the lead but Wood had other ideas and, in the 80th minute, went in front themselves through Richards. As Ashford pushed up, a corner was quickly played out of defence with Noto and Hunter combining to find Richards who fired past Ross, cue the arrival of player manager Jamie Lawrence who replaced Logie in midfield.

Whether the manager’s appearance on the pitch served to inspire those around him only they would know but, in the third minute of time added on, a huge throw by Guy Hollis was helped on toward the back post by the head of Scott Harris where his younger sibling Warren popped up with the point gaining equaliser.