It’s really been a season of two sections. Prior to the trip to Chesterfield on October 29 the Wood were unbeaten away from home and firmly sitting in a play-off position. But things have really changed since the loss to Chesterfield. Including that match we have played nine league matches, won just one (against Oldham in the last minute), drawn three and lost five.
The FA Cup run has been enjoyable again and the away win at Bristol Rovers was a memorable day for us all. Hopefully we can pull off another shock at Accrington, as the Wood were certainly not outclassed in the first match at Meadow Park. From a league point of view the team have drawn twice with Notts County and at home against Wrexham, so it shows that on our day we can compete against the best teams. But in a way that makes some of the other results that much more frustrating.
Nathan Ashmore is an important presence for us in goal, and I say it all the time, but I’m not sure there is a better keeper in the league. Jack Payne has been a great signing for us in midfield, and I’m a big fan of Zak Brunt who is loan from Sheffield United. He adds a bit of class to our midfield, but recently he has not been a guaranteed a place in the starting XI. Striker Lee Ndlovu can be unplayable on his day, and he has scored nine goals for us this season, but we really do need others to start chipping in with a few more goals.
I think I’ve covered this in the opening question. Decent form up until the end of October, but poor since then. I’m not even sure we can blame the cup run this year, as the squad is a bit deeper than last season. We were very good at home last year – just three defeats in 22 – but this campaign we’ve only won three out of 11 at Meadow Park, so obviously that needs to pick up.
Luke Garrard plays three centre backs, with two wing backs, three in midfield, and two up front. I’m no expert on football tactics but I do wonder if the Wood enjoyed good early season form away from home as their setup enabled them to soak up pressure and then hit teams on the counter. Maybe that is why they have toiled a bit at home and failed to turn some of the draws into wins.
There is still a chance that the Wood can get into the play-offs, but ultimately I think the lack of goals may be our undoing. We’ve scored only 28 goals in our 24 league matches this season – the fourth lowest in the league – and although defensively the team is solid (just 25 conceded), I think we will have a top half finish but miss out on the play-offs. We shouldn’t get too down about that, as we are still punching above our weight, but after the squad additions and positive start to the season, I did feel that the team could realistically make the play-offs. Maybe Luke will add a striker to his ranks though and get us back on track.
STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
I have covered this in the question above, but the troubles in front of goal, coupled with the iffy home form, are currently preventing the team from competing for a play-off place. It’s just as well that the team is decent defensively, otherwise any talk of the play-offs would be irrelevant.
The average attendance is currently up on the figure from last season, but that has been boosted by some big gates involving Wrexham and Barnet. The chairman has done a lot to try and get more people through the turnstiles, and there have been some excellent ground improvements made. But sometimes you think that he’s fighting a losing battle due to the amount of support for Arsenal, Tottenham, Watford etc in the local area. Perhaps league football would see more turn up, as the cup games against league opponents have proved that people will come and watch the team, so it would be interesting (and fun) to see my theory put to the test one day.
The top two are obviously head and shoulders above the rest of the league, yet in the two home matches against them I wasn’t massively blown away by how good they were. I’m sure their supporters will get over my assessment of them though as they battle it out for promotion. Woking really impressed me when they won 1-0 at Meadow Park. Their centre backs won everything in the air and it was one of those matches where I reckon we could still be playing now and we wouldn’t have scored.
As I’ve hinted, Boreham Wood have been struggling for goals, so I’ll go for a 7-1 win….only joking! I’ll go for a 1-0 home victory. I know you are struggling but our shaky form suggests to me that this could be tight. My predictions are normally poor though, so hopefully it will be 7-1 after all.
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One thought on “OPPOSITION Q&A – Boreham Wood by Steven Pye”
Let’s hope our recent signings tighten up that leaky defence.
Getting fed up with our “supporters” lack of confidence around our young recruits, we’ve had some cracking loans in last couple of seasons so just shut up and hope our defence can do the same🤗TC