Vanarama National League
Boreham Wood 2-0 Torquay United
Attendance: 605 (away support 246)
"SURELY you've done this before? Is this your first game?"
The match was just a few seconds old when Wood assistant manager Jason Goodliffe became irritated by the tardiness of the fourth official in getting a replacement ball onto the pitch, after a sliced clearance from Torquay's Lathaniel Rowe-Turner had sailed out of the ground.
It wasn't the best of starts to this match on a grey and suddenly chilly afternoon at Meadow Park. With the temperature having plummeted since Tuesday night's draw here against Aldershot Town, autumn had finally arrived.
But Wood soon warmed to the task, as they went in search of their first home win since the opening day of the season. Two goals inside the opening 12 minutes would prove enough to settle the game in favour of Luke Garrard's team.
In the 10th minute a long ball down the middle from Angelo Balanta was perfectly weighted for Anthony Jeffrey to seize his chance to prod the ball past the advancing Torquay keeper Brendan Moore. Wood had an early lead to build on.
Within two minutes that lead was doubled, as Morgan Ferrier burst past two defenders before rolling the ball past Moore.
Another key moment in the game arrived six minutes before half-time, when Wood left-back Femi Ilesanmi was adjudged to have handled Luke Young's cross, the referee immediately awarding a penalty to the visitors. Wood centre-back Matty Paine was booked for protesting the decision.
Thanks to keeper Grant Smith, who dived low to his right to parry Nathan Blissett's spot-kick, Wood were able to preserve their two-goal lead going into the interval.
Despite increased possession from the visitors in the second half, Wood managed to see out the game in relative comfort, recording only their fourth league win at Meadow Park in 2016.
There was also welcome additional vocal support in the main stand today from the family and close friends of Geoff Wickens. The long-serving Wood fan passed away in the summer, aged just 57, after a long fight against cancer.
Before his death, Geoff's legacy to the club was to source, purchase and donate an electronic scoreboard, which now sits proudly on the roof of the club shop. Prior to today's game, Wood chairman Danny Hunter had held a private opening ceremony, with Geoff's family and friends in attendance as special guests.
In Hunter's programme notes there was also a reminder that it's one year ago this week that the club switched to a daytime training regime. It was a move which was to force the departure from Meadow Park of several long-serving staff, including manager Ian Allinson and first team coach Mario Noto.
Despite last season's squad being - according to Hunter - "almost out on its feet" by September, having taken just seven points from the first 11 games, Wood went on to preserve their National League status.
Twelve months on, the opening 11 games of the current campaign have yielded 17 points for Luke Garrard's team, who are still the only side in this league to remain unbeaten away from home.
Sitting 11th in the table ahead of next Saturday's trip to newly-promoted Solihull Moors, Wood are no longer looking like novices at this level.
BOREHAM WOOD: Smith, Nunn, Ricketts, Paine, Davis, Ferrier (Murrell-Williamson 75), Jeffrey (Uchechi 65), Ilesanmi, Clifford, Balanta, Devera. Subs not used: Woodards, Moke, Kuhl.
TORQUAY UNITED: Moore, Rowe-Turner, Galifuno, Young, Blissett, Richards (Williams 59), Sparkes, Verma, McGinty (Gerring 85), Reid, Ward (Chaney 51). Subs not used: Lathrope, Scrivens.
REFEREE: Mr D Treleaven