29 August 2016


Monday 29th August 2016
Vanarama National League
Boreham Wood 0-1 Maidstone United
Meadow Park
Attendance: 637 (away support 314)
HOME defeats were the bane of a Boreham Wood supporter's life last season.  So the frustration felt on Bank Holiday Monday at Meadow Park was familiar, as visitors Maidstone United snatched victory with a scarcely-deserved winner in stoppage time.

With one minute of the scheduled three added, Kevin Lokko brought the ball under control on the corner of the six-yard box, before his chip towards the back post evaded a crowd of players, clipped the inside of the post and dropped over the line.

The goal came as a late blow to Wood, who had been well on top for most of the second half.  The closest they had come to scoring though was when Kenny Davis' header came back off the bar with 15 minutes remaining, Stones' keeper Sam Worgan blocking the rebound attempt from Aaron Kuhl.

With Meadow Park baking under the August Bank Holiday sunshine, Luke Garrard began with a 4-5-1 formation.  Jordan Chiedozie made his first start - as a loan striker - since rejoining the club this month.  There was also a first appearance in the starting XI for midfielder Aaron Kuhl, Wood's recent loan signing from Reading.  Neither Daniel Uchechi nor Anthony Jeffrey, both on their way back from injury, made the squad.

Sadly, injury would also force Chiedozie out of the game with little more than half an hour played - a worryingly similar story to the striker's original Wood debut against Cheltenham last January.

In what would be a first half of few notable chances, the visitors went close to opening the scoring inside 90 seconds, as Ben Greenalgh's floated cross towards the back post clipped Wood keeper Grant Smith's upright before deflecting to safety.

Wood were restricted to long range efforts, with Angelo Balanta - operating initially on the left flank - and Kuhl both sending shots well off target.  At the other end, Smith had to be alert to parry a fierce low drive from Alex Flisher six minutes before the break.

Both teams then came close to a breaking the deadlock shortly after half-time.  Stones' Tom Murphy should have done better after turning inside the penalty area and making room for a shot, but fired well over Smith's crossbar.  Just a minute later, Balanta forced a save low down from Worgan when making good contact with a Ben Nunn cross from the right.

Davis' header which struck the Stones' crossbar came shortly before the tiring Balanta was replaced by Morgan Ferrier as Wood pushed for a breakthrough.

There was a warning from the Stones with two minutes remaining, as Mark Sweeney rose above a crowd of players to head Flisher's typically dangerous long throw-in narrowly over the bar.

But it was Lokko's late strike which was to spark joyous celebrations from the substantial and vocal visiting support behind the Brook Road goal.

BOREHAM WOOD: Smith, Nunn, Ricketts, Paine, Davis, Moke, Ilesanmi, Balanta (Ferrier 83), Chiedozie (Clifford 33), Kuhl, Devera.  Subs not used: Woodards, Goodliffe, Boal.
MAIDSTONE UNITED: Worgan, Mills, Coyle, Lokko, Rogers, Flisher, Evans (Sweeney 73), Murphy, Acheampong (Taylor 59), Greenalgh (Dumaka 68), Hall-Johnson.  Subs not used: Karagiannis, Richards.
REFEREE: Mr S Barnes

Match preview: Boreham Wood v Maidstone United

BOREHAM WOOD manager Luke Garrard may welcome back two strikers from injury for this Bank Holiday Monday fixture at Meadow Park.

Summer signing Daniel Uchechi is yet to make his full debut for Wood after picking up a thigh injury in pre-season.  Meanwhile Anthony Jeffrey, back at Meadow Park on a season-long loan from his new parent club Forest Green Rovers, has also been absent after pulling out during the pre-match warm-up at York City 16 days ago.

Since starting their National League campaign with six points out of six, Wood have gone four games without a win, with 1-1 draws against York, Chester and Gateshead plus a single-goal home defeat against early pace-setters Tranmere Rovers.  But an overall return of eight points from the opening six fixtures represents a solid start to their second season at this level.

Visitors Maidstone United were a Football League club from 1989 to 1992, reaching the Division Four (now League Two) play-offs in their first season at that level.  But financial hardship was to force the club out of business just over three years later, before a reincarnation in the Kent County League.

Most recently, two successive promotions have brought the Kent side back to the top tier of non-league football.  Since an opening day draw against newly-relegated York City, mixed results have seen successive wins against Chester and Braintree Town, followed by two defeats against promotion-favourites Tranmere and Forest Green Rovers.

Top scorer for the Stones so far is Bobby-Joe Taylor, the former Cambridge United midfielder having found the net three times in the opening six games.

Boreham Wood v Maidstone United

Vanarama National League
Meadow Park, Borehamwood, Herts WD6 5AL
Monday 29th August 2016
Kick-off: 15:00 BST

27 August 2016

My Sun Shall Rise in the East

Saturday 27th August 2016
Sky Bet League 2
Leyton Orient 1-2 Mansfield Town
Matchroom Stadium, Brisbane Road
Attendance: 3996 (away support 217)

MANSFIELD TOWN striker Matt Green had reportedly been the subject of a £500 000 bid from Leyton Orient in the past week.  But, having pledged his future to Mansfield, Green fittingly clinched only the Stags fourth ever win at Brisbane Road with an 89th-minute winner on a sunny afternoon.

It had been a less happy story for Green earlier in the afternoon though. Stepping up to take a penalty – awarded for Yvan Erichot's push on Krystian Pearce - midway through the first half, the Stags front-man blazed his spot kick high into the Tommy Johnson Stand.

Two other strikers were also in the spotlight today. Mansfield's Darius Henderson, returning to one of his former clubs, made his first start of the season, and was frequently booed by the home fans before being substituted early in the second half.

For the O's, Ollie Palmer again earned the wrath of Mansfield's travelling support, who remember his undistinguished 18-month spell at the club and some uncomplimentary comments on social media after his departure.  Scorer of the only goal in this fixture last May, Palmer had no joy this time. He was unable to find the target with a header and a shot on the turn in the opening 15 minutes, and earned himself a yellow card for furiously protesting when his penalty appeals were turned down on the half-hour.

But it was Green, with a cool left-foot finish from Mitch Rose's knock-down, who was to have the last word.