Blue Square Bet South

Basingstoke Town    1    Boreham Wood    1

by John Mead

Luke Garrard goals are as rare as hens teeth which makes his 71st minute equaliser against in form Town all the more special.    Garrard who made his League comeback as a Substitute early on against Dover Athletic just ten days ago since succumbing to injury on the opening day of the Season, showed yet again what an important player he is at the Club with a superb all round performance.

Michael Jordan claimed his number one jersey back after Elvijs Putnins was put on
standby by his parent Club, Queens Park Rangers, earlier in the day.    Jordan did not put a foot wrong all evening.    David Bryant was rested on the bench with Charlie O’Loughlin returning to the side in the heart of defence.

Town were certainly going to take some beating having recently put a fourteen match
unbeaten run together.    One of their two rare defeats being a 1 – 0 reverse at Griffin Park, where they had outplayed Division One outfit Brentford for much of the game.

The match was a fine advert for Blue Square Bet South football and both sides justified their respective League standings.

Wood started well with David Hutton sending over some fine crosses into danger.    Michael Thalassitis shot wide before Town found their rhythm with a Stuart Lake deflected effort going just wide.    From the resultant corner The Wood defence were on hand to twice clear off the line.

Hutton continued to threaten in his best match since signing from the Glenn Hoddle
Academy and it needed a goal line clearance from Nathan Smart to repel a certain goal.

Wood continued to threaten and when Smart sent an errant ball across his own goal
area he found, as have other Clubs recently that Thalassitis with his pace and hunger is a real danger.    Rob Rice made the all important challenge to maintain parity for the Hampshire side.

Michael Jordan was then forced to tip a masterful overhead effort from Bradley Bubb
over the bar, before the Aldershot Town Loan striker turned provider supplying Toby Little whose rising drive was not far off the mark.

Bubb came close to opening the scoring after the interval when Jordan’s palmed
clearance fell for the Loan striker whose header bounced off the top of the crossbar.

It took a special goal to beat Jordan on the hour.    A superbly worked passing move from inside their own half involving four players ended with Tim Sills teeing up Little
just outside the penalty area.    His left foot screamer left Jordan no chance at all.

McAuley then brought a fine save out of Jordan before Ian Allinson rang the changes
with Inih Effiong and David Bryant replacing Thalassitis and Chez Isaac.

The reward came when a Sam Lechmere corner was only half cleared back out to the
diminutive winger and his resultant cross was blasted home from ten yards at the far post by Garrard, a real net buster of an effort.

The equaliser spurred Wood on to totally dominate proceedings.    Hutton’s cross found Effiong whose header at the far post was pushed around the post to safety by Ashley Bayes leaving the home side somewhat hanging on to their point.

Wood Boss Ian Allinson declared the outcome “A fair result.    We knew we had to be strong in midfield and we therefore relied upon the two wide men David Hutton and Sam Lechmere to get on and support Michael Thalassitis up front.    It worked well and the quality of crosses gave Basingstoke a lot to think about.    It was pretty much to and fro stuff in the first half before we went behind to a brilliantly struck goal.    Thereafter we showed tremendous character to come back and to be fair either side could have gone on and won it.    A point away against a top six side is a good return.    We were up for it tonight and responded well to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat.”

Team:    Jordan, Sankofa, Jones, Cox, O’Loughlin, Wilkinson, Lechmere, Isaac (Sub – Bryant 70 mins.), Thalassitis (Sub – Effiong 70 mins.), Garrard, Hutton.

Subs (Not used):    Cochrane, Brathwaite, Beckles.

Bookings:    Isaac, Hutton, Jones, O’Loughlin, Sankofa.

Goals:    Basingstoke Town:    Little 60.            Boreham Wood:    Garrard 71.

Man of the Match:    David Hutton.

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