Whitehawk versus Boreham Wood – 7/2/2015
As all home games appear, it means so much more when there’s an added pressure – waking on a Saturday morning knowing there’s an aching 6 hour wait till kick off as you rise from your stinking pit ahead of a game that could sincerely damage one or the others chance of promotion. Alas, confidence was mixed ahead of the game, some of the optimists surfing on the back of a 2-1 victory against Bath on Tuesday night, by no means an annihilation but 3 points nevertheless. Others seeming to view Boreham Wood as they stood, slightly more cautiously, taking into account the ridiculous +28 goal difference they hold at the summit of the Vanarama South. However, the Hawks have become exceptionally formidable at home, I myself fail to remember the last time I witnessed the Hawks lose at home (perhaps it was the 1-0 defeat to Wealdstone way, way back); Whitehawk have defeated all those around them at home, Bromley 2-0, Chelmsford 5-1, these games are whitewashes to say the least, dispatching these teams with ease, both appeared as a resounding expiration – Whitehawk appearing as judge, jury and executioner of their rivals. Therefore, when Boreham Wood visited, personally I had a slight mist of confidence, was it the rose tinted glasses? Was it the Guinness Stout talking? Either way, what appeared to be a comfortable 3-0 win was on the cards.
Walking through Kemp Town on the way to The Enclosed Ground, opting to take the scenic route around as opposed to trudging up Elm Grove, two Guinness Stouts were purchased. Conversations were thrown around, marred by the apprehension surrounding the Hawks – the recent run of form, the fortress that The Enclosed has become and the twelfth, no, thirteenth man that the Ultras have being. Upon arrival at the ground, conversation turned to the Boreham Wood fans who were a fantastic set of fans themselves, interesting to chat to and to discuss football with, they were confident. Why shouldn’t they be though? They were on a good run of form asides from the Basingstoke defeat the week prior, they sat top of the league, they had a physical side, a side with potential and more importantly, could put the bleeding bit of leather inside the net.
Kick off arrived however and I struggle to remember such an obliteration from the off. Yes, they were physical, they could push, shove and shake, however Nanetti, Robinson, Torres, Deering and Mills threatened from the off. Deflected corners were gifted to us, the Boreham defence let off the hook once or twice early on – then came the fall of Wood. Robinson took his first chance fantastically well, with a burst of pace he blitzed along the byline before thumping one into the roof of the goal, 1-0 Hawks. What appeared to be a matter of minutes later he added a second to his tally, in a similar fashion to many of his goals, he was in the right place at the right time – timing his run perfectly he latched onto the end of a loose ball and tucked it away, 2-0. The Ultra’s voices ringing buoyantly around the sloping hillside, scrambling to the front fence to high five, sing and shout, it’s lovely knowing your voice is present and appreciated on the pitch. Minutes from the break Nick Arnold tucked away a splendidly executed finish, curled in from just outside the 18 yard box, it was nice to see a name come face to face with scoresheet when he rarely appears on it, the elation in his face really spoke volumes of how much it meant to him.
After the halfway mark there was a lot of aching for a fourth goal, perhaps a hat trick for Robinson, a few chances went begging, however, more often than not they deflected off of a Boreham full back, the two Ice Age giants that appeared as their number 5 and 6. Mankind has rarely witnessed two larger creatures since the decline of the woolly mammoth. The 3-0 victory raised the volume of the Ultras in the wind tunnel that The Din became in the second half, yelping, shouting and banging were the three most ordered items on the list of procedures to stay warm. Drums were bashed, dogs barked and kazoos were blown in such a fashion that the Ultras appeared as a war tribe. The final whistle rung, Boreham were knocked from their perch, Whitehawk had cemented their position in third and the Hawks were one step closer to the playoffs.
As a Whitehawk fan there is nothing more exceptional than the joy of defeating a promotion rival. Knowing you have dented someone else’s chance of promotion in favour of your own has a satisfying selfishness to it, a feeling that is rarely understood or comprehended. However, what this victory also did was turn going home into going out, to the Hand In Hand in Kemp Town to further analyse Whitehawk’s chance of promotion, discuss the looming prospect of Conference Premier football and more importantly, tuck away a couple more pints of ale. We make more noise than you, we have more drums than you, we have more dogs than you, we have more fun than you. Oh Lord, never let me get off this ride.