On Tuesday night, the Stags continued their recent much improved form by taking three points from a very physical Borheam Wood.
Almost from the start, intentions were made clear by both sides with Cooper and Medine combining well to create an opening and create an opening and two corners before the Wood defence had time to warm their feet. However, it was not long before the visitors started to shout at the officials, appeal for every off side decision (even those for their opposition) an obvious attempt to intimidate all and sundry. This went on for over fifteen minutes with the Boreham Wood bench finally being reported by the referee.
Along with these tactics came pressure on the ball and the hoof upfield which put their forwards in good positions about 60% of the time. Unhappily for the visitors any good positioning was wasted by shots that Johnny Wilkinson would have been proud of.
After 8 minutes ‘Wood had their first chance on goal and really should have made more of it. Fontanelle had managed to get clear of any marking in front of goal and met an excellent cross only to head wide with the goal gapping wide open.
A few moments later the Stags managed to break down on the left an swing in a cross for Kanyuka to meet but he shot wide with ‘keeper Noel Imber bearing down on him. For Kanyuka it was to be a matter of getting closer and closer as the passes came in for him.
Another glorious chance fell to ‘Wood after 20 minutes when another long ball was sent out of defence to the ‘Wood left wing where Knight was waiting to take on Guei and beat him. He crossed for DsSouza waiting in the centre but he blasted wildly over the bar.
The first half petered out with the Stags trying to play football out of the press that ‘Wood had on them. In turn ‘Wood hacked the ball upfield wher a massed black and white defence was playing magnificently led by Tickner, Panayiotou and Brown. Behind them Eneke was catching every high ball to come across so ‘Wood were, in a sense, masters of their own misfortune in not being able to create any real openings. When they did get through it was because tha Stags had moved up and allowed ‘Wood some space to try some football.
The second half was altogether a more satisfying in terms of the space Kanyuka was able to make on the right and ‘Woods’ defensive inability to restrain Cooper.
It was not long before ‘Wood had conceded two more fouls on the edge of their penalty area and a corner. The second free kick, on 49 mins, was taken by Cashman whose pinpoint cross found Kanyuka on the far post to head home across the advancing Imber.
The Stags could have gone further ahead on the hour as ‘Woods’ play became more frenetic and the home defence dealt with everything asked of them. Kanyuka, Clarke and Cooper combined well out of midfield to free Armand on the left but his shot was not good enough to trouble Imber when he really could have done much better.
It took nearly twenty minutes of the second half before Wood had their first chance on goal but that was headed wide. The second chance soon came but Emeke was equal to it making an excellent diving save to his right.
As the half went on it was the Wood defence which had the most problems with two of them receiving yellow cards for cynical fouls.
Forest ended the game with a well deserved three points and an unbeaten run of four games.