Football: Gray ends Dixon's dream

Boreham Wood 2 Luton Town 3

THE MEADOW Park ground in Boreham Wood is only a few hundred yards from Elstree film studios and across the road from a NatWest bank administrative centre, a constant reminder to the home team that in the Murdochian football era, dreams tend to go hand in hand with an open cheque book.

Unfortunately, on a chilly afternoon, even the fact that Boreham Wood's centre-back Garry Nisbet has a day job printing money for the Bank of England was unable to prevent his side suffering a narrow defeat.

Yet despite their disadvantages - three divisions stand between Luton Town and Boreham Wood of the Ryman League Premier Division - the Hertfordshire minnows could have snatched a win.

The visitors arrived knowing what to expect. Kenilworth Road is situated just a short hop from Stevenage Borough, last year's non-League FA Cup overachievers, while they themselves have been ruffling Premiership feathers this season, most notably with a win over Coventry in the third round of the Worthington Cup. But they also have a proud FA Cup tradition to defend, having reached three FA Cup semi- finals since 1985, the last of which, in 1994, against Chelsea,featured a certain Kerry Dixon, Boreham Wood's current centre-forward.

"They kept clawing themselves back into the game," the Luton manager, Lennie Lawrence, remarked. "We needed a replay like a hole in the head and they might certainly have nicked a draw."

Indeed they might, but after Phil Gray's headed opener for Luton, they were always playing catch-up. For Boreham Wood the 37-year-old Dixon combined well with Dominic Grime and Tony Samuels, the latter's frightening pace unnerving the Luton defence. On the whole the non-League team's first- half performance was bright, considering they had lost their last match 6-0 to Aldershot.

The second half was less than 10 minutes old when Gray scored his and Luton's second. Douglas skipped past the mammoth figure of Garry Nisbet and pulled back an accurate cross, which the former Sunderland player knocked high into the net from eight yards out.

Nisbet atoned a minute later, finishing coolly after a long ball confused then eluded the Luton defenders.

Boreham Wood then had 20 minutes or so in which to pull themselves back into the match before their tormentor-in-chief Gray crossed towards the head of Steve Davis. His firm header found its way into the net via the hand of the goalkeeper Martin Taylor.

The Boreham Wood substitute Mark Xavier then condemned Luton to what Lawrence called "a nervous and hairy" last 10 minutes when Dixon's flicked header fell kindly for him to finish.

Boreham Wood were perhaps a little unlucky - even their mascot for the day was a Tottenham fan - but ultimately their spirit alone did not merit a win and there was to be no fairy-tale ending for the lumbering Dixon. Luton, in contrast, look well set for another Cup run, after they were paired with the League's bottom club Hull City in the next round.

Goals: Gray 33 (0-1); Gray 53 (0-2); Nisbet 54 (1-2); S Davis 76 (1-3); Xavier 81 (2-3).

Boreham Wood (3-5-2): Taylor; Sanders, Nisbet, McCarthy; Shaw, Brown (Daly, 88), Grime, Heffer, Brady (Ireland, 67); Dixon, Samuels (Xavier, 73). Substitutes not used: Hatchett, Sewell.

Luton Town (4-4-2): K Davis; McGowan, S Davis, Johnson, Alexander; McKinnon (Spring, 90), McLaren, Nyamah (McIndoe, 62), Evers; Douglas (Doherty, 66), Gray. Substitutes not used: White, Abbey.

Bookings: Luton: McLaren.

Referee: P E Alcock (Halstead).

Man of the match: Gray (Luton).

Attendance: 1,772.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
filmReview: Gyllenhaal, in one of his finest performances, is funny, engaging and sinister all at once
Life and Style
Taste the difference: Nell Frizzell tucks into a fry-up in Jesse's cafe in east London
food + drinkHow a bike accident left one woman living in a distorted world in which spices smell of old socks and muesli tastes like pork fat
Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington has been given a huge pay rise to extend his contract as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Don’t send in the clowns: masks and make-up conceal true facial expressions, thwarting our instinct to read people’s minds through their faces, as seen in ‘It’
filmThis Halloween, we ask what makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?
News
peopleFarage challenges 'liberally biased' comedians to 'call him a narcissist'
Arts and Entertainment
Liam and Zayn of One Direction play with a chimpanzee on the set of their new video for 'Steal My Girl'
music
Arts and Entertainment
Young Fathers are the surprise winners of this year's Mercury Music Prize
music
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior IP Opportunity at Major Firm

vary Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - AN OPENING AT A VERY HIGH Q...

Nursery Manager

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Nursery Manager Long term Ran...

Sales Consultant – Permanent – West Sussex – £24-£25k plus commission and other benefits

£24000 - £25000 Per Annum plus company car and commission: Clearwater People S...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Bris...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"