by Alan Evans
The Woods moved back up to seventh place
in the Division One North table and within touching distance of the
play-off places with this solid and workmanlike performance against
lowly strugglers Ilford.
Caretaker Manager Mark Barnham had to
shrug off the loss of two of his more senior players in the lead up to
this fixture, with leading goalscorer Sean Sonner joining Ryman
Premier side Boreham Wood and skipper Danny Murphy announcing that he
needed a new challenge and was going to look for a new club.
But the side was also strengthened by the
return of Brad Hewitt to the defence, with Otis Williams replacing
Sonner in an otherwise unchanged side from that which had beaten
high-flying Brentwood Town the previous Saturday.
The Woods started strongly with Michael
Gordon making immediate inroads down the right and forcing an early
corner. Ryan Tackley found Williams accurately but the young striker
steered his header inches over the crossbar.
The pressure continued with Hewitt
heading on a long throw from Danny Power, but again Williams was
unable to get over the ball and it sailed over the top.
It was a good move after 23 minutes that
saw the Woods take a deserved lead. A combination of challenges from
Hugo Figueiredo and John Christian saw the visitors lose possession in
a dangerous area and Christian played a ball into the box for Anthony
Page to knock across and Williams made no mistake, tucking the ball
inside the post.
Just five minutes later, the unlucky Joe
Cowen fell awkwardly when making a challenge and dislocated a
shoulder, being replaced by Dwane Williams. It led to a loss of rhythm
for a while but Ilford seemed unable to take advantage and half-time
arrived with no further incident.
Early in the second half, the visitors
began to threaten and some good work by the impressive Victor
Omogbehin set up Ian Cooper for a shot which flashed wide of the
target but it was only a brief flash of danger for the Woods who then
took control again.
After 71 minutes a Tackley cross was only
half-cleared and Figueiredo laid it off to Christian for a 25-yard
strike which flew only just over the bar. Just a minute later, the
Woods won a free-kick and, from the same distance, man-of-the-match
Figueiredo cleverly curled his effort just inside the goalkeeper's
near-post to score his first goal since promotion from the reserve
For the first time, Ilford began to look
a little more interested in attacking football and Mitch Swain was
suddenly in action to deny Chris Taylor who had latched onto a long
ball after 76 minutes.
Hewitt headed over from close-range
having met another accurate Tackley corner as the Woods utilised their
substitutes while the visitors again brought the best out of Swain as
the ‘keeper made another good save from Toby Ajala.
It was just into stoppage-time that
Northwood added a third goal to round things off and it came from
debutant sub Laurie Walters, who finished well from close range.
PHOTO GALLERY (Click thumbnail to enlarge)
Photos: James Brown