Five fantastic goals (one just a bit fantastic than the others!) and a happy Saturday at Plainmoor. Poise in front of goal and purpose around the pitch, Gary Johnson preached for more attacking flair and his request was answered…and then some! The action doesn’t stop there, with two typically National League away trips incoming this week. It’s Bromley on Saturday but before that I give you talking points for GAME 10 – Boreham Wood (a):
After seven games that saw the play-off hangover struggling to clear and new players struggle to fit in, the Southend late win has sparked something in this Gulls team and given us some of that belief back from last season. That momentum saw us mount a momentous comeback at Chesterfield and then saw us royally spank Wealdstone on Saturday. Good vibes returning to the club and smiles on faces is just what we want to see. Keeping that momentum going over the next two games won’t be easy, but when chances start flying in like they did on Saturday and confidence flow throughout the squad, anything is possible.
MORE EX-GULLS UPFRONT!
The parade of ex-Gulls strikers versus Torquay continues on Tuesday night, as we face last season’s loan man Scott Boden and also Tyrone Marsh at Meadow Park. Scott did better at Torquay United than some would suggest, scoring 6 goals in 14 league appearances, and although he was left out of the play-off games, the striker provided a decent focal point when called upon. Tyrone Marsh has bounced around a few clubs since representing us in 2015-16, a nippy striker he’ll keep us on on our toes. Torquay’s defence has definitely improved in recent weeks, as Shaun calls the shots at the back and the re-jigged back 3 find a balance – however there was a gilt-edged chance in the first few minutes for Stones and some indecision here or there, so still progress to be made. Joe Lewis will be buzzing for another confrontation after his cracking battle with Josh Umerah, and Boden will do well to get much change out of the big Welshman.
One of things that stood out on Saturday was how hard the Torquay lads worked all over the pitch, putting pressure on the Wealdstone players, forcing errors and closing down space – led by the irrepressible Tom Lapslie, a man who despite some agonising looking cramp, ran, ran and then ran some more – even helping Dan Martin to ease his cramp as well! The big question is can we repeat that sort of effort three days later? To our benefit, Connor Lemonheigh-Evans and Asa Hall were both withdrawn suitably early to save their legs, so that will help. Keeping something close to that intensity and energy will be challenging, and could be the key to the game.
Your average centre-back does not score Goal of the Season contenders ☄️
When your Twitter handle is ‘Goalman’ then you are desperate to hit the back of the net, and Dan Holman at last came good on Saturday. The absence of Danny Wright actually helped the striker, as he was able to take up central positions between the defenders and sniff out chances created by the likes of Armani Little and CLE. Despite being offside on numerous occasions, his busy movement kept the Stones on their toes and helped make us a more fluid outfit. Dan’s first goal was an absolute belter that arrowed in the corner and the composure on the 2nd was right on the money. Strikers like him feed on the confidence of goals and he’ll fancy his chances of scoring again – even against a tough looking Boreham defence.
In discussing promotion favourites, Boreham Wood have generally been dismissed as a mid-table team who could challenge for 7th if their season swings the right way. This is not a team to be taken lightly though, despite attendances remaining low they continue to send out competitive teams each season, with long serving manager Luke Garrard providing continuity and a well-drilled XI who rarely give United an inch in the league. At the back they are led by the familar imposing presence of Jamal Fyfield (only 9 goals conceded so far in 9 NL games), whilst experienced midfielder (and ex-Gull) Josh Rees pulls the strings in midfield. Last season saw two close battling draws between the two teams, and it’ll be a real test of our new-found confidence against the 4th placed ‘Wood’. Bring it on!