07:13PM, Saturday 06 February 2021
Josh Coley fires at goal. Photo by Darren Woolley.
Maidenhead United 0, Boreham Wood 1
Maidenhead United’s four game unbeaten run was brought to an end as Tyrone Marsh scored the game’s only goal to help Boreham Wood leapfrog the Magpies and move into the play-off places.
Marsh re-signed for The Wood this week and escaped the clutches of the Magpies defence to side-foot home Zaine Francis-Angol’s left-wing cross in the 50th minute, despite the best efforts of Taye Ashby-Hammond who could only palm the ball into the roof of the net.
The visitors, who shaded proceedings throughout and created the game’s better chances, could have put the result to bed in the 69th minute when Kabonga Tshimanga was felled by Ashby-Hammond in the box. But the Maidenhead custodian redeemed himself when he saved Tshimanga’s spot-kick with his legs.
The closest the Magpies came to an equaliser arrived five minutes later when substitute Nathan Blissett failed to turn the ball home from close range after being closed down by the Wood defence and Dan Sparkes swept the rebound wide of the post.
Boreham Wood signalled their intentions early on at York Road when Francis-Angol headed a cross from the right over the bar in the first minute. They then missed a gilt-edged chance to take the lead when Junior Morias collected Ashby-Hammond’s loose clearance and skipped past his marker before chipping the ball well over the bar.
Maidenhead belatedly warmed to their task and created the game’s better chances in the latter stages of the first half. Danilo Orsi-Dadomo, who scored four goals in the side’s recent victories over Yeovil Town and Halifax Town, rolled the ball across the face of Nathan Ashmore’s goal and wide of the post after chasing down Josh Coley’s hopeful ball in the 25th minute.
Coley, back in the starting line-up for the first time since recovering from tonsilitis, then wasted a golden opportunity five minutes before the break. Instead of rolling in strike partner Orsi-Dadomo he opted to shoot and blazed the ball just over the crossbar.
The home side made a bright start to the second half, with George Wells firing wide off his weaker right foot after being teed up by Coley.
Wood then seized the advantage when Marsh found space at the far post to hammer the ball past Ashby-Hammond, who unsuccessfully tried to claw the ball out from on the goal line.
United almost responded immediately, with another of their substitutes, Josh Kelly, steering a left-footed strike just over the bar. Tshimanga missed the chance to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot, when Ashby-Hammond stuck out a leg to keep out his poor penalty which was placed straight down the middle.
But the Wood defence, marshalled by the commanding Jamal Fyfield, held firm, with Blissett’s chance in the 75th minute the only time Ashmore’s goal was really tested in the second half.
Victory lifted Wood above the Magpies to seventh place, with both sides now on 30 points.
Reflecting on the side’s second 1-0 win in succession, Wood boss Luke Garrard, said: “I feel that we had large shares of the game. We had the better chances, we missed a pen, we flashed a few balls across the goal. They’ll probably feel aggrieved their ricochet (Blissett chance) didn’t go into the goal. I believe they’ve got the third best defensive record at home and were second in the form guide last six games. So, for me, massive win, but we park that now and go to Weymouth on Tuesday with the mentality that we need three points.”
Magpies boss Alan Devonshire was understandably disappointed his side wasn’t able to claim a third straight win. He said: “I thought it was a poor, bitty game. I don’t think the referee helped with his decisions sometimes. We’ve had a few chances, I don’t think we’ve played particularly well, but we’ve had the better chances. We just failed to make the right decisions. We’ve got a few players out, but there’s no excuses for that. I’m looking forward to playing them when I’ve got my full side out.
“We’ve come back five times from losing positions. We had four or five players who haven’t been at the level they’ve been at for the last four or five games. If we want to push and get after these teams, we’ve got to play better than we did today. They’re a decent team, they’re a team that were in the play-offs last year, they’re going to be in the play-offs again this year. They’re a good team with good players, but I don’t think there was much in the game today. They’ve scored a poor goal against us, but we’ve had four or five players who didn’t play well today.”