Oct 6 2012 By Jon Batham
Gary Meakin Image 2
FA CUP THIRD QUALIFYING ROUND
Boreham Wood 4
A NIGHTMARE start ended Northwood’s romance with the FA Cup for another season today.
Any dreams of a giant-killing against Boreham Wood were ruthlessly dashed as defensive errors in the first 12 minutes gave the Conference South visitors a 2-0 lead they never looked likely to surrender.
Gary Meakin's side made chances of their own with Spencer Bellotti hitting a post and both Scott Raper and John Christian went close, but only poor finishing and some excellent saves by Jack Middleton prevented a heavier defeat for the hosts.
Gary Meakin rang the changes with Jack Middleton replacing James Reading in goal and James McCluskey and Spencer Belotti also promoted to the starting XI, while Romaine Walker and Adamson Ajayi were relegated to the bench as woods attempted to be harder to break down.
However, the game-plan was out of the window inside five minutes.
Cliff Akurang turned his marker on the halfway line and charged forward before feeding Inih Effiong on the left of the area.
The striker’s shot produced a smart stop from Middleton, but Akurang continued his run and forced the ball home despite the desperate attempts of two defenders on the line.
Woods almost hit back immediately with a snap shot by Bellotti turned over by visiting keeper James Russell.
However, the flow of the game was all towards the hosts’ goal and Boreham Wood doubled the lead on 12 minutes.
Mauro Vilhete did the hard work past some flimsy challenges on the right-side of the Woods’ box and when he pulled the ball back David Hutton shot low passed Middleton.
Northwood should have pulled one back on 14 minutes when a decent ball in from the left broke to McCluskey, but he drove the shot off target.
Middleton produced good saves from both Effiong and Hutton to keep the score down. However, the young keeper was fortunate when Akurang robbed him outside the box only for Effiong to shoot wide of an open goal.
However, despite being under the cosh Woods twice came close to cutting the deficit late in the half.
First, Scott Raper played a superb ball into the run of John Christian at the near post and though the Woods’ skipper made excellent contact Russell got down brilliantly to turn the ball behind.
Then three minutes into stoppage time, Raper again led the charge, exchanging passes with McCluskey to storm into the Boreham Wood box, but having done the hard bit he shot across the goal and wide.
The misses proved crucial because despite a bold substitution at half time with Adamson Ajayi replacing Danny McDonnell, the hosts cup dreams were totally extinguished by a third goal for Borehamwood on 63 minutes.
Again Effiong was the tormentor as he shrugged off all attempts to stop his raid down the right-side of the area before firing high passéd Middleton’s left hand.
To their credit Northwood never gave up and were close to a consolation with eight minutes left.
Ajayi skipped past several challenges down the right, Hawkins got a touch on the cross at the near post, but Belotti arriving at the far post hit the woodwork from an acute angle.
Just to rub salt in the wounds Boreham Wood immediately switched the ball to the other end and Effiong played the ball across for Robert Hastings to score with his first touch.