By VoiceofReason99
Saturday 27 May 2017 20:50:00
Browse all MATCH REPORTS articles

It was the end of term at Loughborough University, so this journey doubled up as collecting stevie-mtfc and watching the Silkmen away to Borehamwood. My usual travel partner Kendo-Nagasaki was already 'darn Sarf' having travelled on the Friday and stayed with his wife's cousin (is that a cousin-in-law?) in High Wycombe. With the Silkmen in inconsistent form (the only consistency being that we were playing well away and with a lack of purpose and passion at home), we could only hope to see a better result than the previous two home games. As the management no doubt searched for answers, Mitch Hancox opined in an interview on the official site the day before the game, that the Silkmen needed to get more ruthless. Yours truly drove as far as Loughborough to the sound of Led Zeppelin, collected stevie-mtfc and his possessions (I don't think we took the kitchen sink but there was plenty of other stuff in the car) before finishing the journey to Borehamwood in good time for kick-off.

The mood among the Silkmen faithful before kick-off, on the back of those two home defeats, Aldershot and York, was one of frustration about the majority shareholder. Whether the allegations that he withdrew cash from the FA Cup income and the Rowe transfer fee were true or not, the overriding concern was that the club is stuck in limbo. On a lighter hearted note, whilst chatting to Kendo's cousin-in-law, we discovered some common ground that we had both ‘endured' the Wycombe Half-Marathon albeit a number of years apart. High Wycombe is ironically situated in a deep Chiltern bottom and I still have nightmares of in 1990 where the third mile (pure uphill out of the valley) still brings me out in cold sweats! I wrote the match report last year, where I commented on Boreham Wood being an unfriendly club deserving their low crowds. A year later, some things have improved (there was a friendly welcome on the gate and we were allowed inside the very well-appointed club bar at half-time) but it still cost a fortune with no discounts for students, and the crowd was still deservedly meagre. On to the game itself, and despite the absence of two of our best players (Holroyd and Pilks who were both being ‘rested'), it turned out to be one of our most compelling away performances, completely out of character with the previous two matches.

The Silkmen were the better team from the off, and took an early lead when Anthony Dudley coolly slotted home in the 6th minute from a Hancox assist. Boreham Wood soon equalised on 14 minutes with a robust piece of finishing from Wood's central defenders Stephens when the Silkmen failed to clear their lines at a set piece, but Mitch Hancox got us back into a deserved lead on 27 minutes after a Kingsley James shot (following good build-up work involving Browne) was only parried by the Boreham Wood keeper. It looked like we were heading in to half-time in a winning position, but with our recent track record there was a worry that a one goal lead would not be enough. Enter Mitch Hancox again with a very neat finish on the stroke of half-time after good creative work from Browne, followed almost immediately afterwards in stoppage time at the end of the first half after a proverbial ‘cock-up' in the Borehamwood defence left Dudley with a clear run at goal. The chance was almost wasted until the ball broke to Hancox who dragged the ball across goal and in off the post for a 4-1 lead at the break to the delight of the Silkmen faithful.

As often happens in these situations, Macc were unable to sustain the same level of performance after the break, and Boreham Wood tried to find a way back into the game. As the game went on, either side might have scored again, but the hosts were the more likely. Their forwards are actually quite useful (especially Andrade) who was outstanding earlier in the season at the Moss. It was therefore no surprise when Andrade pulled one back after 74 minutes. If they had scored again, it would have set the match up for a nail-biting finish, but the Silkmen kept them at bay, to hold out for a very worthy 4-2 win. There was no question about who was the (ruthless) Man of the Match, with a hat trick and an assist. I think the management have an interesting question to answer for next season; is Mitch Hancox a left-back, a left sided midfielder or a central holding midfielder? In my opinion, one of the biggest shortcomings this season has been the lack of protection for the back four. Hancox has done well there, but he does concede too many free kicks and gives the ball away too often in the pressure cooker of central midfield. For me, he should be given the chance to develop as a wide midfield player, building on performances like this and his performance at North Ferriby United, where he was again outstanding.

As the game finished, we still had a mathematical chance of the play-offs to go with the Trophy final, but realists could only look at our inconsistency; our fixture backlog and our home form to acknowledge that there were three or four teams more likely than u 'os to grab the last slot. After applauding the Silkmen for a fine win, we got back to the car and were back off 'oop North', negotiating the seemingly insane driving antics of the locals before arriving home by 8:15p.m. to savour the delights of a very fruitful away day.

Hope you enjoy the read!


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