Mike Thomas – TUST Chairman
Against a Boreham Wood side that are on the fringes of the promotion race, although reeling from a 4-0 home reverse on Boxing Day, United made a good start. Both Keating and Lathrope had early chances which missed the target or were blocked.
The referee Alan Young, proved worrying and fussy from the kick off. When he ordered Boreham to restart the game due to an infringement, the second kick-off proved to be a worse one, with a Boreham player standing well over the half way line which he missed!
He continued to make questionable decisions, culminating eventually in the penalty, and was quite lavish with the yellow cards (4 for Utd) and often holding up the play for lengthy ‘chats’. However this is no excuse for the deserved defeat, where the Gulls came off second best in all departments.
After 11 minutes, Boreham gained control of the match. A corner from the impressive Andrade found Balanta in the box, to head the ball home from a few yards out. From that moment on Boreham looked the more capable side, passing the ball well and keeping possession much more effectively than United. They also were quicker off the ball and severely tested Efete on their left side with many slick attacking moves down the wing, often orchestrated by Andrade, Murtagh and Chesmain.
The chances were far and few between, but at least the yellows’ defence held up well. McGinty, Davey and Andresson dealing with everything, despite often being ‘ugly,’ in an efficient way. Efete was often stretched by Andrade and one chance fell to him, which forced a good save from Dorel. United had a chance too, when a Reid header deflected off a Boreham player and went wide.
In the second half United started with one change, Keating who had been booked earlier, being replaced by Pittman. The attack had been totally ineffectual in the first half and nothing much changed in the second. Boreham’s defence had an easy afternoon of it, whilst Torquay’s defenders were dealing fairly well with anything that came their way. The game was quite messy, with United losing possession much more easily than the Wood, and a large gap continued to be evident between attack and defence. Myrie-Williams replaced Andresson, leaving the back line as a straight four.
Nothing much changed, so with 15 minutes left Owers brought on Gnabouyou for Gosling, who had put in a reasonable shift. Soon after this, in the 79th minute, United’s afternoon turned from bad to worse. Dorel collected the ball and was on the edge of the box preparing to kick it. Davey and Andrade seemed to be slowly walking back behind him, and the ref., exchanging words. Andrade suddenly fell dramatically to the ground. Some of us thought the ref would book Andrade for ‘simulation’. However, after looking across to his linesman… shock,horror, he awarded Boreham a contentious penalty. Andrade drilled the ball home and from that moment that there was no way back for United.
There were two more bookings for the Gulls, and after the final whistle Owers had a few words to say to referee Young to end a dismal afternoon.
Davey 6 McGinty 7 Andresson 7
Efetee 6 Lathrope 4 Young 4 Gosling 6 Davis 6
Reid 4 Keating 4
Subs- Pittman 4 Myrie-Williams 5 Gnabouyou n/a
Man of the Match:
The supporters! 237 of them travelled and were even given a huge thanks and applause by the Boreham announcer and the small crowd. The total attendance was 627, so the loyal Yellow Army seemed to be not far off half of the attendance!
The whole defence, as they actually deserved a little better. Due to the lack of ‘mobility’ in our midfield and inability to keep any lengthy possession, by both the midfield and our forwards, the back line had a lot of work to do in containing some pacy Boreham strikers.
The Wood created some slick interchanges and plenty of forays down the wings, particularly on the left, together with some well orchestrated set piece and corner moves. One of which of course resulted in the first goal…
Gary Owers stayed with the 3-5-3 formation until midway through the second half, when it went to more of a 4-4-2. Unfortunately, there were a number of problems throughout, in my view.
Firstly, both Keating and Reid were again totally dominated in the air, when any long ball was delivered, resulting in it usually coming straight back!
Secondly, there was a lack of ability to keep control of and pass the ball accurately, resulting in a lack of possession. In my opinion, our midfield is not robust or pacy, so this inability negated their effectiveness for long periods.
Thirdly, we all are well aware that we’re not blessed with quality finishing at the moment. To add to this, we are not attacking in numbers, so when an early cross is an option, there is often only one striker in the box and a large gap between them and any supporting midfield etc. Two things come to mind, again the lack of pace and possession in the midfield, and the strikers’ inability to hold the ball for long enough to allow those players to arrive. Just my opinion, there are many!
Quicker and more able to build through a series of passes than we were. Not an outstanding side, and are beatable as was proven by Sutton Utd on Boxing Day. All said and done, they only had 3 or 4 chances in the whole game, of which 2 were put away in differing circumstances! Andrade, Balanta, Chieseman and Murtagh all stood out as being useful players at this level.
The early goal, when Balante ran past his marker to nod the well taken corner home. We never came back from that moment onwards.
Mr. Young was poor from the very first moment when he insisted on, and then bungled the second kick-off, as previously described. He was fussy all afternoon, having long chats after seemingly minor incidents, unnecessarily using his yellow card liberally, and questionably, for insignificant offences. Importantly, he allowed the situation between Davey and Andrade to continue behind his back and then completely missed the possibly ‘simulated fall’ for which he gave the penalty. It was not the only thing he missed….
We are a club in a fairly isolated geographical position. We are at the bottom of the National League. We desperately need bolstering in midfield and attack during the transfer window. Will any suitable available players be enticed to choose us over other more enticing prospects?
Boreham Wood had a tiny crowd and a stadium that looks at least two leagues lower than ours, albeit the pitch was brilliant! However, they have very recently attracted decent loan players from Milwall and Stevenage, to name but two clubs. Others have come from clubs such as Woking and Luton. They are situated on the edge of London and are currently challenging for promotion.
What can we offer, except a large wage packet….? I feel,this is one of the major factors Gary may have to struggle with in the next month or so if we are to have any chance of surviving.
Wishing all Gulls supporters and staff a very happy and healthy New Year.