Ali Chaaban secured a hard earned point with an 88th minute equaliser cancelling out Cliff Akurang’s opener for the Magpies on the stroke of half time.

It was no more than Wood deserved as they created the majority of chances throughout the tie.

Improving Wood should have scored after just 6 minutes. Nicolau skillfully sidestepped his marker to send a fine cross into danger from the left. Elliott Godfrey rose and met the delivery with a perfect header, save for the fact that it was guided high of the crossbar.

Charge fired weakly at Steve Williams in the Magpies goal when well placed as Wood played some very attractive football going forward, in particular when Nicolau, Greg Morgan and Ali Chaaban combined.

Chaaban tested Williams with a powerful low drive before the ever industrious Mario Noto found Morgan whose fine low cross found Chaaban. Unfortunately the finish was weak.

It was all Wood at this stage with Noto forcing a corner with a deflected low drive.

Ashlee Jones had precious little part to play in the tie until in first half stoppage time. Wood were guilty of not closing down the opposition from a throw in and when the ball was played through to Akurang down the right channel he expertly turned away from Moran. Jones was left staring down the barrel of a gun with the ex Barnet striker’s explosive finish leaving Jones little chance.

Wood were hit on the break after 72 minutes with a fine sweeping move from The Magpies. Finding Kieron St Aimie down the right he hit a fierce drive at Jones which was only half saved. The ball ran kindly for Akurang who uncharacteristically blasted an easy chance high and wide.
Substitute Keiran Knight then went close from a header, which served as a wake up call for Wood.

They regained their first half momentum with Noto almost foiling Williams after good work from Morgan. The equaliser duly arrived thanks to some superb footwork from Justin Cochrane. Sat tight in the middle of the park he expertly released Noto whose ball down the middle found the run of Chaaban who shot wide of Williams to ease the pressure on Ian Allinson’s side.

Although still in the bottom three the Wood boss was pleased with his sides effort. “ We could have been well ahead by half time but we messed up in front of goal and then a brief lack of concentration cost us dearly. The players response was magnificent. The attitude from all eleven was spot on and I can only feel sorry for them that they did not get all three points as the confidence would have been sky high going into some very tough games. We are heading in the right direction and we just need to keep on doing what we are doing and we should be fine.”


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