First Team
National League Tue 28 February Meadow Park
Boreham Wood
  • Ilesanmi (7')
Dorking Wanderers

Femi Illesanmi’s early header in the game ultimately proved enough for the Hertfordshire side to take victory; Wanderers dominating the second half possession and attacking play but unable to find that moment of quality in the final third to take any points from the game.

Marc White made six changes to the side which started against Wrexham on Saturday, the manager’s hand forced by injuries and knocks suffered to Ed Harris, Joe Cook and Matt Briggs during that match in addition to the continuing absences of Barry Fuller (knock), George Francomb (hamstring), Niall McManus (leg injury) and Nicky Wheeler (knee).

Tonight’s line up would see Isaac Philpot and Calum Kennedy join Tony Craig in a back three, Dan Gallagher operating just ahead of the trio in the deep lying position in midfield. After combining for Wanderers consolation goal on Saturday, Jimmy Muitt and Seb Bowerman came into the starting line up, and Jason Prior also returned to partner Ryan Seager up top.

The home side made a fast start to the contest; pinning Wanderers back early and loading balls into the box, a couple of long throws causing bother before Zak Brunt’s cross to the back post was met in the air by David Agbontohoma, his header saved by Lincoln.

It served as warning shot, however, and on 7 minutes Brunt’s delivery from a corner ball was well directed into the top left corner of goal by the head of Femi Ilesanmi to open the scoring. The left wing back almost doubled his tally within sixty seconds as The Wood got forward quickly again following the restart of play, Muitt managing to block his shot coming in off the wing.

Approaching the midway point in the half the contest evened up as play was absorbed in the middle of the park, the pace of the game slowed up by a couple of injury stoppages, including striker Lee Ndlovu being replaced by Danny Newton for the home side.

Ilesanmi again got forward into a central position looking to bag another goal, receiving the ball via the left from Tyrone Marsh after good link up play down that side, Wanderers then applying pressure towards the end of the half; Bowerman’s consecutive crosses caught in the air by Nathan Ashmore before Philpot glanced a header wide with virtually the last action of the opening forty-five.

Half-Time: Boreham Wood 1 Dorking Wanderers 0

Straight after the restart Wanderers began taking the game to Boreham; pushing Luke Garrard’s side back as urgency in getting the ball forward was led by Josh Taylor, Jimmy Muitt and Seb Bowerman. A couple of great opportunities in front of goal went begging inside the early minutes; Bowerman’s cross headed towards goal by Prior swivelling in the box, caught by Ashmore, moments before Seager met a knock down from a Kennedy free kick floated back across the six yard box, the Wanderers No9 not getting over the top of the ball and heading it over the crossbar.

Wanderers injury woes were compounded yet again this season as Bowerman pulled up after dispatching a low cross from the left, the winger unable to continue after receiving treatment and Bobby-Joe Taylor came on in his place about ten minutes into the half.

Undeterred, Marc White’s side continued to dominate proceedings and work chances; McShane and Seager both driving volleys off target after The Wood rear guard failed to clear their lines, and Prior meeting a header at the back post, but directing it wide.

Into the final ten minutes the game became slightly more open, both sides going close on the counter as Newton wriggled free of a challenge on the left and slid a ball across the box, Bobby-Joe tracking back well to produce a timely interception. A rapid break straight up the other end concluded in Seager finding Muitt coming in off the right flank, but he could only drag his low shot wide of the far post.

Late on Wanderers again went agonisingly close to getting back on terms, McShane attempting to re-direct a Josh Taylor drive from range towards goal but steering it off target, Bobby-Joe looking to bend one into the top right corner after good footwork keeping the ball at the edge of the box, but he sent the effort marginally wide of the top stanch. Marsh spurned an excellent chance for the hosts to put the game to bed in stoppage time, latching on to a long ball over the top and cutting in from the right, but blasting his shot high and wide.

A week on from collecting their first points in 2023 against Torquay, Wanderers two successive away trips have seen good continuity in competitiveness and quality in possession across both games, but with no points added to the board Marc White’s side slip into the bottom four for the first time this term, the opportunity to get out of the relegation zone coming with back-to-back home games to get March under way as Halifax Town visit Meadowbank on Saturday afternoon and Barnet make the visit down to Surrey next Tuesday night.

Boreham Wood (3-5-2): 1 Nathan Ashmore (c), 26 David Agbontohma, 12 Jamal Fyfield, 25 Chris Bush; 22 Cameron Coxe, 8 George Broadbent, 17 Jack Payne, 20 Zak Brunt (7 Josh Rees 60′), 3 Femi Ilesanmi; 9 Lee Ndlovu (11 Danny Newton 35′, 4 Mark Ricketts 90′), 10 Tyrone Marsh

Unused Subs: 2 Dion Kelly-Evans, 15 Dennon Lewis

Goal: Ilesanmi 7′

Yellow Cards: Newton 68′, Bush 70′

Dorking Wanderers (3-5-2): 1 Dan Lincoln, 2 Isaac Philpot, 27 Tony Craig, 12 Calum Kennedy; 7 Jimmy Muitt, 20 Dan Gallagher, 17 Josh Taylor, 11 James McShane (29 Alfie Egan 85′), 30 Seb Bowerman (3 Bobby-Joe Taylor 53′); 9 Ryan Seager, 19 Jason Prior

Unused Subs: 4 Sami El-Abd, 18 Luke Moore, 22 Jack Jebb,

Yellow Card: Gallagher 69′

Referee: Gary Parsons

Attendance: 851 (89 Wanderers Supporters)

Man Of The Match: Chris Bush (Official Home Selection)