Fleet’s 100% pre-season record disappeared against higher-league opposition as Boreham Wood put in a competent display to run out a scoreline that was perhaps a little harsh on the visitors.
Fleet began with versatile former Ipswich, Charlton and Bristol City attacker Danny Haynes in their line-up. The home side started with Preston Edwards in goal and also included former Fleet stars Charlie MacDonald and Ricky Shakes as well as other impressive new signings including Scott Doe from Dagenham and Billy Clifford from Walsall. Ex-Dartford striker Harry Crawford was on the bench.
Fleet were behind within 10 minutes, however, despite attempting to take the game to the home side. They were undone by a clever through ball by Graeme Montgomery which MacDonald finished off with aplomb, leaving Brandon Hall with little chance.
Haynes saw a fair bit of the ball as he attempted to make a name for himself and though he stretched the Wood full back, the final ball wasn’t quite there. John Paul Kissock forced Edwards into a good save as the half wore on while Jordan Parkes couldn’t quite repeat his free-kick heroics of Saturday as a set piece went begging.
Boreham Wood were worth their lead in the second half and extended it inside just two minutes when Montgomery – who scored here against us in January – added a goal to his earlier assist with a driven left-foot effort. The home side were comfortable in possession and their passing game kept the Fleet on their toes, with the visitors not really offering enough to get their strikers fully involved. Only substitute Dean Rance’s near miss as he attempted to head past James Russell promised the chance of a goal.
Frustrated by their hosts’ stubborn refusal to surrender possession, Fleet somehow found themselves a third goal worse off two minutes from time. The referee played advantage despite Anthony Acheampong’s enthusiastic grappling match with a white shirt and Montgomery again was on hand at the near post to convert.
Three-nil was certainly a blow for the Fleet after five straight wins but defensively the visitors were not exactly overrun and stood up well to Boreham Wood’s controlled passing game – it just needed a little more in the final third to make more of a contest of it.
TEAM: Hall, Howe, Braham-Barrett (Fish), Johnson, Acheampong, Bonner, Godden (Willmott), Parkes, Kedwell, Kissock (Rance), Haynes (Osborn). Subs: Clark, Shields, Miles