Boreham Wood could only come away with a 0-0 draw against Hartlepool United, despite a host of chances and a red card for Scott Harrison.
The Wood had dominated the majority of the game, going closest in the first half through a mixture of Morgan Ferrier and Bruno Andrade.
Scott Harrison’s 66th minute red card had the potential to change the game, but Hartlepool gave everything they had to defend the draw, with a number of shots cleared from the line in the dying minutes.
Tom Champion came into the back three, with Kane Smith and Danny Woodards in at wing-back.
Ferrier displayed the strength and power at his disposal in the opening minutes, as he seared through the Pools’ defence, but the striker could only curl his effort wide.
Murtagh slipped around Blair Adams with some fancy footwork, but Andrade was only able to head his curled cross wide.
Hartlepool had struggled to contain Ferrier and the forward once again left his markers behind, slipping the ball around Carl Magnay and Harrison. Ferrier looked up and thumped a strike at Scott Loach, but he parried well, Andrade latched onto the rebound, but twice saw his attempts blocked.
Andrade spotted his strike partner’s run and split the Hartlepool defence with a cute through ball, but Loach was quick off his line to snap up the danger.
The Wood had dominated play for the first 35 minutes and Andrade thought he’d opened the scoring when his swept cross curled towards Loach, but the ‘keeper backtracked to punch over the crossbar.
Hartlepool had to wait until the 37th minute for their first real chance of the tie, with Michael Woods lunging to meet Lewis Hawkins’ low cross, but he failed to get a touch on it.
Luke Garrard’s side were then forced to survive a goal-line scramble, as Conor Newton and Woods both saw strikes go begging, with a mixture of defenders, Grant Smith and the post, all saving the visitors.
On the counter, Ferrier’s through ball sent Andrade one-on-one against Loach, but with the ‘keeper closing in, he slammed it wide.
If Hartlepool thought they’d weathered the storm, the visitors would return for the second half to prove them wrong. Ferrier slipped around the outside of Magnay but could only fizzle a left-footed effort past the post.
Pools’ full-back Adams had gotten forward and whipped a cross into the Wood area, but Jake Cassidy sent his header wide.
Harrison was then sent off for a second bookable offence; Ferrier had gotten away from the Pools’ number five, who dragged him back by his shirt, before seeing yellow for the second time.
The Wood responded with a well-taken free-kick, but Ferrier could only blast his strike over the bar, from Andrade’s set-piece.
The visitors weren’t relenting, and Andrade reacted quickest to a loose ball in the home area, but his shot was blocked, and Ricketts sent the rebound wide.
Kane Smith drove a dangerous low ball in the box, but Loach was down to claw it away.
A wonderful solo run by Murtagh from deep into his own half took him into the Hartlepool box, but his shot was saved by Loach.
Attempts to continue to be saved by the Pools dogged defence, with a powerful strike from Andrade getting pushed onto the post.
The Wood: G Smith, K Smith, Woodards (Shakes 68’), Ricketts ©, Stephens, Champion, Murtagh Andrade, Turley, Balanta, Ferrier
Subs not used: Quigley, Folivi, Doe, Davey
Hartlepool United: Loach, Magnay ©, Harrison, Donnelly, Adams, Featherstone, Hawkins, Newton, (Laing 67’) Woods, Cassidy, Oates (Rodney 76’)
Subs not used: Catterick, Hawkes, Laing, Owen
Red Card: Scott Harrison 66’
Attendance: 2,538 (45 away)