A pretty typical opener if you ask me with neither side wanting to start the season with defeat. BW edged the first half up until the 30 minute when Fyfield flew into Daku two footed and off the ground - a definite red in my opinion though the ref was missing all of the nasty off the ball stuff he could hardly have missed that one. Wood are a tough no nonsense side with plenty of ability Tashminga was a thorn of our back line and Thompson, who for some unkonwn reason was wearing full length winter tights, also looked very capable as expected while we were struggling to break them down. Our quick flowing football stunted by better quality opposition than we faced last term along with some first day nerves probably contributed to our scrappy play. No doubt a few choice words at half time from GJ lifted us a little but ten minutes into the second period Johnson a had seen enough ad introduce two quality players in Connor Evans and Opie Edwards who effectively turned the game on its head. Within ten minutes of their introduction we had scored two quality goals Edwards withe the easiest of tap ins after some great work down the left from Jamie Reid and then just two minutes later Reid seals the match with a 20 yard strike into the top right hand corner after some neat footwork to create the space for himself. Soon after we were ripping into them in the usual manner and it looked only a matter of time before we scored a third. Credit to BW though they never let their heads drop and continued to threaten on the break. We should probably been out of sight by the time they got their goal in the final minute of normal time when we suddenly looked vulnerable and six minutes of added time when it all got a little nervy. Niate was at fault for the goal after a hopeful punt into the corner and a chase down he won the ball and tried to be to clever instead of putting the ball out tried to turn and get it back to McDonald only to be robbedby their wide man who set up former Gull Tyrone Marsh to slot past McDonald. Hold on we did for the three points we just about deserved on the day thoug if they had reatained their eleven on the pitch for the full ninety minutes Im not so sure we would have come as victors. A very tough opener with room for improvement and already a selection headache for GJ. On that showing he has to start CLE and Opie Edwards. Theres going to be some firce fighting for places this season.
Marks out of ten. Team 7. MacDonald 8 - didn't put a foot wrong and no chance with the goal. Wynter 8- another assured and mature performance. Linked up well when Opie when he came on when we looked dangerous in that area. Cameron 8. quality and holds the back line together. Niate. 6. fine aerially but prone to look susceptible on the ground. Handed them a goal today. Vincent. 6 not his best game and struggled at time but grew into the game late on. Little. 7 there's more to come from him for sure plenty of energy but not quite on his game today. Hall. 8. Needed him there today and old head who does the simple things well and usually makes the right choices. Andrews 6. Wasn't firing on all cylinders he will improve an have better days. Kalala. 7. Did well in patches but struggled a little at times . BW had obviously done their homework. Reid. 8. Jamie had a pretty good game laid on the first and scored a screamer for the winner. Daku. 7. He will have better games. Worked hard and will improve with games under his belt. Took some hefty knocks first half but kept going.
Subs Evans. 8. Made a difference was more offensive and supported the front line well. Edwards. 9 Wow! this guy has pace to burn - looking super fit lets hope he can stay that way he will be a huge asset. Keating 7. does what he does best worked his socks off and attacked the wingback when he could. Ref 6.5 not the best missed to much first half. Great crowd ! 9...
Maybe a bit generous with my markings but you have to be positive that was a tricky one to open with. Room for improvement in some areas undoubtedly but we got through the first test and sure to get right up to warp speed in the coming months..
It wasn’t a vintage performance today from the men in yellow and it was very hard going at times against a big physical Boreham Wood side (particularly their central defenders) but at the end of the day you just want to start the season with a win as it keeps the club on a upward trajectory and continues the momentum from last season.
As it happened, none of the five signings this week actually made it into the starting XI with Johnson relying on those who have been together for most of the preseason. For the first time, Andrews started on the right before switching back to his normal left side late on in the half.
Within seconds of the kickoff Reid received the ball just outside the penalty area and his snapshot only just went slightly wide of the right-hand post. What a start that would’ve been! Unfortunately it turned into quite a dour half and a bit of a physical battle with Duku getting quite a bit of attention from Boreham and not while just on the ball. However the match changed when a two footed lunge on him saw the ref have no hesitation in dishing out a straight red forcing Boreham to change formation from a 3-5-2 to 4-4-1. However, we were unable to fashion any clear cut chances for the rest of the half with MacDonald having to be the more alert of the two keepers with the ever dangerous Tshimanga to deal with.
So on to the second half and for the first ten minutes it was as you were before Johnson brought on CLE and Edwards for the relatively quiet Andrews and the battered Duku. The changes certainly saw us start to play better and Wynter had a great chance after he was not closed down on the age of the area and his shot came back off the lower side of the cross bar. The goal was coming though and after Evans fed Reid through into his area his cross was met at the far post by Edwards with an easy tap in!
Goal 2 followed almost immediately, Reid was given too much space on the edge of the box and his super strike so typical from last year flew into the top of the goal. Little then got in on the act but his shot just went the wrong side of the post and into the side netting but it got most of Plainmoor pretty excited for a second or two!
Boreham then bought Marsh and Shaibu which gave us a bit to think about although maybe we should have scored again with their keeper making a number of good saves and a half decent penalty shout for handball. However, just before the 90 minute mark Niate was put under pressure and instead doing the safety first, knock the ball out into touch, tried the more difficult option of passing back to MacDonald and scuffed it letting in Shaibu whose cross found Marsh with his shot going in off the right hand post.
This made for a tense finale where it shouldn’t have been but we managed to hold on for the well deserved win.
A goal and an assist for Reid in front of 3138 supporters including 54 away who also collected MOTM. Edwards looked scintillating on the wing, I know he came on late but boy is he quick. Connor is the business but perhaps not his best position and maybe will start in the midfield on Tuesday. Cameron and Wynter were up to their usual standards in defence and Vincent was again full of running. However, the passing was a bit off in the side generally and maybe it was a bit of a nervy start. Anyway, very important to get off on the right foot in this intense and difficult start to the season.
The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.
Great to get off to a winning start in front of a impressive 3,138 crowd (54 from Borehamwood). The game was far from plain sailing and for the first 50 minutes Borehamwood bossed the match Only the heroics of MacDonald in goal saving a couple of one-on-ones and some excellent last ditch defending (including one great tackle from Little when Borehamwood were about to pull the trigger at close range). The turning point of the match was Torquay's double substitution Evans and Edwards replacing Andrews and Duku. Immediately there was pace and purpose in Torquay's play and 10 men Borehamwood were put on the back foot. Evans and Edwards were amazing with their dazzling runs and Torquay ended up as worthy winners. Sponsors MOTM going to Reid who set up Torquay's first goal and scored himself with a top corner screamer from outside the box.
Torquay never got going in the first half, there was no real movement or creativity. It was all blind alleys and balls hit in hope. Borehamwood played good possession football and often exploited Torquay's makeshift left back, Vincent. But Torquay stood resolute and MacDonald was flawless in goal. Niate was careless a couple of times gifting the ball to Borehamwood but luckily Torquay recovered. An ugly late challenge saw Borehamwood get a straight red. But Torquay did not capitalize and still were second best. The first half whistle could not come soon enough. Torquay should have been at least a goal down.
Duku had Torquay's best opening in the second half but his shot was tame and easily parried by their keeper. Wynter hit a tremendous shot outside the box that crashed against the cross bar as Torquay were improving. However we saw a team like last season after the double substitution. In truth Duku looked quite poor today and Andrews not much better. Evans and Edwards were at their top of their games and ran the show. I had forgotton how good Edwards is as he had a long injury last season. He definitely looks to be at his best again. Torquay hit two quick goals and their game was in full flow and a joy to watch, just like last season. Keating replaced Kalala on the left wing and showed his usual high energy game which gave the team another boost. Niate was careless again getting robbed of the ball by Borehamwood's danger man and they went on to score. It was a needless giveaway It was a nervy finish which included 6 minutes added time.
So a win on the opening day and it was a hard fought win. Torquay were outplayed in the first half and our 4-4-2 was not working at all. After our double substitution we switched to 4-4-1-1 with Evans behind Reid and it worked a treat. We had a very strong looking bench today and we needed it. Niate and Duku were weak links today but hopefully there will be better days for them. What impressed me today was when Torquay were struggling they dug in and managed to shut out Borehamwood with determination and good communication between the defence and keeper. MacDonald was one of our best players today and summed up his performance with a fine catch under pressure deep into added time. Our second choice keeper looked brilliant in the warm up as well.