Boreham Wood 2 Sittingbourne 0

Wednesday 08th February 2006

On paper Sittingbourne shouldn't have had a chance against a team that has deservedly reached the last eight of the FA Trophy defeating Conference Sides Gravesednd & Northfleet and Crawley Town on the way and who are top of the league with three games in hand over their nearest rivals.

Boreham Wood fielded the same team that defeated Crawley Town, writes Peter Pitts.

Sittingbourne who caught the eye and who were desperately unlucky not to have come away from Hertfordshire with at least a point. 

Sittingbourne made it an uphill struggle for themselves from the start by conceding a goal inside two minutes when their defence was left stranded and an unmarked centrally placed Ian Cooper gave Steve Williams no chance with his shot.

Cooper bizarrely had no number on his shirt after throwing his usual shirt into the crowd at the end of Saturday's Trophy tie at Crawley.

Sittingbourne then went on to dominate the first half, just as they had done in the game earlier in the season at Bourne Park.
Bradley Spice and Mitchell Sherwood in particular were causing all sorts of problems to the Whites defence and it was this combination that almost levelled immediately but Spice didn't quite get hold of his shot and the ball flew wide.

However,  on 11 minutes Sittingbourne had a golden opportunity to level when Sherwood's speed was too much for veteran defender Mark Smith who brought him down in the area.

Up stepped Mark Lovell to take the penalty but his shot lacked pace and keeper Noel Imber saved with ease.
Sittingbourne responded well to the disappointment of the miss and continued coming forward. Lovell had a tremendous shot that Imber lost in flight but the ball just went wide of the right hand stanchion.

It was all Sittingbourne and a minute later a Spice free kick flew just wide,  then a now to be expected Kieran Marsh piledriver arced narrowly over the Whites bar.
Smith may have given away the penalty but on 16 minutes he was Wood's saviour as a great defence splitting ball from Marsh found Spice who dummied Imber and fired goalwards but from nowhere Smith ran back to hook the ball off the line.
Wood weren't getting a look in and on the half hour a Marsh - Lovell one-two ended in a terrific Marsh shot hitting the side netting.  Williams, who had just come back from holiday could have gone back to the beaches for all the threat from Wood.
Sittingbourne had to make an enforced substitution on 34 minutes with Lee Browning going off injured to be replaced by Ricky Spiller. Two minutes later Spice found himself clear with only Imber to beat but the angle was difficult and the effort went straight to the Wood's keeper.
Despite all the pressure you sensed that Boreham Wood's speedy forwards could still be a threat and on 39 minutes the Brickies lost the ball in midfield and a right hand cross found an unmarked Chris Watters who crashed the ball past Williams forcing him to touch the ball for a second time, both times to fish the ball out of the net.

A Boreham Wood supporter was heard to say shortly after the goal, "come on Whites start winning the ball" which had summed up how much possession Sittingbourne had had putting me in mind of the Liverpool Club championship game earlier in the season when they still lost after dominating the game.
The Whites finished the half on attack and on 40 minutes  Williams had his first real save of the match to make when he did well to divert an acute angled shot for a corner. From the corner Marvin Samuel headed wide.

On 43 minutes a well timed Joe Dowley last ditch challenge on Leon Archer forced the ball away for a corner. From the corner the ball glanced off the Brickies bar.
Sittingbourne were dealt a blow during half time when it was learnt that Marsh couldn't continue so that had to make a second enforced change with Clint Gooding coming on his place.
The second half was  something of a pedestrian affair and a huge
disappointment for Sittingbourne who couldn't continue their fine first half form possibly because injury had robbed of them of two influential midfield players.

The half was a lot more even but even so Sittingbourne almost
scored just seven minutes into the period when a Spiller corner was met perfectly by Lee Hockey but his header was kicked off the line by a well positioned Paul Burrows.
Tommy Williams for the Whites had a shot go wide on 60 minutes and that signalled a period of greater possession for Boreham Wood but they seldom troubled again and with Sittingbourne also unable to conjure up much the game petered out.
Despite the defeat the first half was an excellent half for the Brickies and the overall display augurs well for the future.
Sittingbourne: Williams, Ashmore (Knowles), Dowley, Tanner, Campbell, Marsh (Gooding 46), Browning (34), Hockey, Lovell, Spice, Sherwood. Sub: Taylor.