United’s participation in this season’s FA Trophy ended this afternoon with their 3-1 extra-time defeat away to Boreham Wood.
Manager Gary Johnson though, was glowing in his praise for his side’s efforts in the face of adversity, which included the cold and wet conditions.
“I was proud of the boys out there, we played some good football and we had the best chances,” said the Gaffer after the match.
Despite being reduced to ten men following Ruairi Keating’s 38th minute dismissal, United looked the stronger side for much of the game and deservedly took the lead through substitute Saikou Janneh just after half-time. Although Boreham Wood levelled the scores, United continued to create chances and came agonisingly close to winning the game in the dying minutes.
The home side’s man advantage eventually told in extra-time, and when Kyle Cameron also received his marching orders in the 108th minute, United’s remaining nine men had little more to give.
Johnson felt it could have been very different had the sides remained equal, and having been keen to test out his side against higher league opposition was encouraged with what he saw.
“We lost the game because of the two sendings off, which were harsh in my opinion. The eleven men were better than them, so if we can get ourselves at the next level, and these (Boreham Wood) are 10th and doing OK, then we won’t need much at the end of the season to compete at this level.”
Despite the result, it was a day to remember for young striker Olaf Koszela, who made his first start for United. Koszela showed plenty of promise against his National League opponents, before making way at half-time with United reduced to ten men.
“He’s 16 and it was going to be difficult for him, in a situation like this, one man down.”
United now look ahead to next Saturday’s trip to Hampton & Richmond Borough, where they will be looking to consolidate their place at the top of the table. Some of United’s players took a few knocks today, and United’s boss will be hoping they recover in time for a busy festive period:
“We tried to rest people but unfortunately it turned upside down, because we couldn’t take off the right people. We’ve got a few walking wounded at the minute, this wasn’t a game we anticipated but at least I know most of the boys will cope at this level”