Conference South : Playoff Final Saturday 9th May 2015
Boreham Wood FC 2 – 1 Whitehawk FC (aet)
Shots: BOR 11-10 WHK; On Target: BOR 3-3 WHK; Corners: BOR 6-3 WHK; Fouls Committed: BOR 16-23 WHK; Offside: BOR 1-4 WHK. Cautions: BOR 1-4 WHK; Red Cards: BOR 0-0 WHK.
By Anthony Scott
Whitehawk’s charge up the football pyramid was put on hold after a cruel extra time defeat at Boreham Wood.
Steve King’s side, who were playing in the Sussex County League just five years ago, fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat at Meadow Park in the Vanarama South Play Off Final.
Sam Deering’s penalty nine minutes from time cancelled out Lee Angol’s opener as the game finished 1-1 after normal time.
However, the decisive moment came just two minutes into extra time when Junior Morias slammed home a half volley which proved to be the match winner for Wood.
King said after the game: “We were not good enough on the day. It was a poor game and I thought it was going to go to penalties.
“I couldn’t see either side winning it and I don’t think either side probably deserved to win it as it was about even. But it was a poor game.”
In truth, the game didn’t live up to expectation – with both sides looking to not lose the game rather than winning it up until the opening goal after the hour.
In the first half, the Hawks looked to play the better football, with some sharp, free-flowing football at times. Osei Sankofa headed Scott Neilson’s free kick narrowly wide of the near post, before Jake Robinson fired just past the post when 25 yards out.
The hosts threatened for the first time before the 20 minute mark when Graeme Montgomery whipped in a low free kick from the right which ran into the path of Josh Hill at the back post, but he could only find the side netting.
The dangerous Angol threatened for the first time just before the break, curling a free kick just over the top from 28 yards out, before the 20-year old sliced wide after some good defending from Sankofa forced the Luton Town-loanee onto his left foot.
Whitehawk continued to look to get the ball down and play in the second period, and Danny Mills came close after just three second half minutes, but he could only head Nick Arnold’s delivery from the right wide of the near post.
The clearest chance for the visitors fell to Robinson on the hour. Deering broke forward from midfield and played the ball through to the Hawks forward, but he didn’t get a clean connection on his effort across goal, with James Russell making what turned out to be a comfortable save.
However, it was Wood who went ahead after 65 minutes. After Sankofa brought him down, Angol stepped up to a free kick 20 yards out and he struck the ball low past the unsighted Craig Ross and into the bottom corner.
The Hawks went searching for the equaliser immediately, with Robinson firing wide of the near post when first to a loose ball.
An equaliser eventually did come just nine minutes from time. Wood left back Ben Herd tripped John-Paul Kissock on his way into the area and referee Antony Coggins had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Deering stepped up, and confidently fired the ball beyond the reach of the diving Russell to his left to find the corner and draw the visitors level.
And Whitehawk missed the best chance of the match to win the game in the second of five added minutes.
Deering played the ball low into the path of Robinson from a free kick 25 yards out, and his low drive across goal could only be parried by Russell. Sankofa got to the loose ball first, but under pressure, could only fire the ball well over the bar from inside six yards – with the goal gaping.
And that miss proved decisive, as Boreham Wood scored what proved to be the winning goal just two minutes into extra time. Ben Nunn did well to get down the right wing and deliver a ball in to Angol, who flicked the ball on to Morias. The teenage forward still had a lot to do, but he took his strike on the half volley and gave Ross no chance.
Despite throwing everything forward, the Hawks failed to muster a clear chance on goal in the remaining minutes.
Substitute Ahmed Abdulla was almost the hero – with his outrageous strike from 30-plus yards only a whisker away from the top corner, but the Hawks just fell short.
Pictues from David Pillman
pictures by David Hunt