Boreham Wood 2-1 AFC Fylde Six Things: Andrade shines

Luke Garrard –

Boreham Wood’s first ever National League play-off encounter saw them reach the semi-finals with a 2-1 win over AFC Fylde, thanks to early goals from Jamie Turley and Bruno Andrade. Here’s six things from the game.

One man’s loss…

Most teams that suffer an injury to their key striker moments before kick-off would be concerned, but when Michael Folivi came in for Morgan Ferrier, he made an instant impression. The Watford loanee picked up pockets of space in the left channel, where neither wide centre-back Jordan Tunnicliffe nor right wing-back Andrew Bond showed a willingness to close down. It was no surprise, therefore, when Folivi’s work contributed indirectly to the first two goals, winning a corner for the opener.

Andrade’s quality

The nervy AFC Fylde defence communicated poorly from the corner and despite a height advantage, Tunnicliffe gave Jamie Turley was given space to head home the opener. Although a defender, Turley spent more time in the opposition box early on than his own, hooking the ball wide of the far post after an excellent free-kick from Bruno Andrade, whose set pieces were key to Boreham Wood’s best first half moments. The ex-Stevenage man hit the bar in the first half, but he was on the receiving end of a quality delivery on 17 minutes, getting ahead of Simon Grant to nod home Folivi’s left-wing cross.

Grant’s reply

The centre-back atoned for his missed header by scoring the goal that got the Coasters back into the contest. Lewis Montrose, a growing influence in central midfield, took advantage of poor marking to nod goalwards before Grant was quickest to the rebound, catalysing an improvement from the visitors. Zaine Francis-Angol pinned opposing wing-back Kane Smith into his defensive third with persistent runs, allowing Jonny Smith to show his quick footwork and Jack Muldoon to make clever in from the left channel, thus briefly bringing Rowe into the game more, with the striker’s powerful effort from outside the box flying just wide.

Lynch’s redemption

Much of the second half saw Boreham Wood protecting their lead effectively, with Dave Stephens colossal at centre-back. They could have made things more comfortable when Jay Lynch fouled Andrade in the box on 78 minutes, but the Fylde goalkeeper quickly redeemed himself by stopping the forward’s tame spot-kick. That moment could have inspired a late surge for the visitors but while they showed more drive, the quality of service into top scorer Rowe remained lacking.

Fylde’s cabinet 

Although AFC Fylde deserved their defeat, the fact they were competing for a place in the EFL for the first time ever is a credit to the leadership of manager Dave Challinor and chairman David Haythornthwaite. The club’s stated ambition had been to reach the EFL by 2022 and they are therefore well ahead of schedule in their long-term development. While tonight’s result was a set-back, the bigger picture shows that exciting times are afoot.

Wood set the benchmark

Having reached the National League play-offs for the first time ever this season, Boreham Wood’s victory only enhances the feeling of clear progression. The Hertfordshire outfit, led by a dynamic young manager in Luke Garrard, travel to Sutton United on Sunday for the semi-finals; if they can show just as much final third quality as they did in this match, they will rightly travel to Gander Green Lane full of confidence.