I tend to approach my articles the same way I approach girls and Wrexham matches, cool headed with anticipation of whatever may happen. Yet just 10 minutes into today’s farce was when I felt my persona crumble amongst the fury of 4,724 hot-headed onlookers. The reason? Two words, one man, Paul Marsden. From a Football fan of all levels who has been to countless games, I can not recall a time where such confusion and frustration was aimed at any official. However, don’t allow that mask how fantastic Boreham Wood were from start to finish. Luke Garrard has stabilised organisation and discipline built around fierce pace and power, capable of giving any defensive unit a run for their money. Wrexham were undoubtedly polar opposites on the day. Somewhat unorganised and tactically nullified to the point where they may as well have constructed an anti-Wrexham force field around the Dragons’ box. On that sour note, let’s delve into the ratings:
Chris Dunn (6) – Had a decent game today, inevitably flatters to deceive when dealing with the crosses he was faced with. He did produce a fine save from Andrade’s free kick but nothing else of note on that front. Boreham really should’ve tested him more for their dominance.
James Jennings (5) – An off day for the ex-Cheltenham full back as Bruno Andrade really gave him a tough test today. With the ball at his feet he is possibly the most comfortable and composed player on the pitch. Got caught out of position many times and was less convincing in tackles than Australia’s Cricket team was at masking their ball tampering. Picked up a reckless yellow for his troubles.
Manny Smith (5) – The culprit for the penalty which was a very, very harsh and an infuriating decision. Did everything he could to redeem himself elsewhere against Boreham’s monstrous Kieran Murtagh and others. Mr. Reliable week in week out in a compact 4-4-2 and should be worthy of a higher rating if it wasn’t for the incident when the clock struck 15:10.
Shaun Pearson (6) – A freak of nature when you take into consideration the defensive capabilities of Shaun. Today wasn’t a reflection of that, a few wayward passes and a frankly stupid decision to mouth at the already incapable referee caused him to brandish his trusty yellow card. Did extraordinary well in a three on one situation to deflect a pass across goal out for a corner during the game’s thankfully dying embers.
Kevin Roberts (4) – To where I was sitting it was seriously unclear what exactly the former Halifax Town defender did, whatever it was, it resulted in a confusing sending off. Made some good tackles and held his own in the first half and faultless in his positioning on the right side. Just a shame he doesn’t possess a few strides of extra pace, otherwise he would be the best right back in the league in my opinion.
Sam Wedgbury (4) – Poor compared to his usual standards, but always a powerful presence nonetheless. His tendency to overcommit to challenges in places meant that he struggled to really get a foothold on the game, leaving him exposed when he frequently mistimed tackles. Kelly was made to drop deeper to cover him today which made our formation appear like a 4-1-1-2-2 behind the stabilised wide players.
Marcus Kelly (7) – A shining ray of light in an otherwise depressing atmosphere. Always looking to steal and retain possession in the most ambitious of ways. His tackling was precise, positioning outstanding and always aware of danger from his side. One or two instances lapses of concentration led to him giving the ball away and fumbling it in control, much to the desire of the quality Boreham attack. Decent otherwise.
Jonathan Franks (3) – Hate to be too harsh on a man who’s rarely featured for the club. However his lack of match sharpness was on full display in the entirety of his appearance. Am I sympathetic that he was forced out wide? Yes. Does that hide his disappointing performance? No. Wasting ball after ball, he simply had no creative bone in his body. In fairness, he always created space for a one-two opportunity, but what use is that though when you’re incapable of a simple cross? His small stature meant not challenging for the ball conveniently as he was outmuscled time after time.
Chris Holroyd (4) – Tried to get on the ball and create but was practically anonymous for most of the game. Like he chose some stylish boots over creative boots today. (I must say I really want his boots) Now having gone without a goal since Torquay, is it time the ‘hotrod’ was dropped? I was frustrated at his lack of intelligent runs today, one or two times he had a chance to create space or create opportunities from space out wide, yet he never covered that space much. If promotion is key, they need to get him firing once more.
Scott Boden (4) – Similar to Holroyd, Boden was mostly anonymous during that game. I estimate that around 80% of his passes were aimless flick-ons to Quigley. You know something though, I feel for Scott, his game is not to come deep but to venture forward and score balls put on a plate for him. Thus highlighting his flaw in the team, he isn’t a player capable of doing the dirty work yet you would assume he could create chances at the bare minimum. Irritatingly that’s not the case here. I believe he will 100% depart come the summer.
Scott Quigley (3) – Time’s running out for Scott to deem himself worthy of Blackpool’s £40,000 asking price. His affinity with the fans appears to be wearing thin, thinner than the gritted skin on my teeth during the game. Regardless of having to drop deeper he still struggled to make a pass, move the ball forward and even win a single header. You’re 6’4″ Scott! You were aerially inferior to smaller and weaker defenders today! His first touch is very unconvincing, as well as his attempts at pressing the opposition, they had no trouble rounding him at all. We all expected a much better showing.
David Raven (6) – Very composed and assured as he emerged into the field of play. Won the ball back the most on the entire field today, showing that he is more than a suitable replacement for Kevin Roberts.
Jack Mackreth (6) – Not much time for Jack to play in but managed to create opportunities. For all his critics, he does put some great balls in the box.
Paul Rutherford (N/A)
Akil Wright (N/A)
Simon Ainge (6) – Three or four inches smaller than Quigley, although he won so many more headers. A good effort, but not quite National League material.
Paul Marsden’s Referee Rating (-10) – Worst. Refereeing. Performance. Ever. His whistle blew more than a trumpet player in an orchestra! I acknowledge my slight bias to my team, but he was honestly Boreham Wood’s best man today. Failed to control anything other than his need for attention it seems. He single-handedly brought a promising fixture and moulded it into an outcry of rage. Boreham Wood were fantastic and Wrexham were poor and rightfully Boreham Wood deserved the victory. When it’s done in that matter however, it should be beyond unacceptable.
Do you have anything you would like to add? Why not leave a comment here or reach out to me on Twitter @d3cl8n if you like?