A late equaliser from Gateshead saw Boreham Wood draw 1-1 at Meadow Park on Tuesday night.
David Stephens had headed the side in-front on the brink of halftime, but Gateshead managed to claw their way back into the game, with an 89th minute equaliser from Steve Rigg.
Luke Garrard made two changes from the side’s 3-0 defeat away to Wrexham, with Jamal Fyfield and Ricky Shakes coming into the eleven in place of Manny Parry and Femi Ilesanmi.
There were early chances for both Wood and Gateshead, as Ellery Balcombe pulled off a smart diving save to prevent Boden from close-range.
Mellish then managed to nick Danny Woodards’ whipped cross away from the left, with the home attack lurking.
Displaying an abundance of guile and skill, Angelo Balanta took down Shakes’ long-ball and silkily flicked it around the legs of Robbie TInkler, but curled his effort wayward.
In a very even start to the game, Scott Boden responded for the visitors and thrashed a 20-yard strike at Balcombe, but David Stephens got his body in the way to block the danger
An effort from Balanta ricocheted off the Heed defence and fell to Shaibu, who teed off Mark Ricketts, but his shot was blocked around the post and out.
The Boreham Wood skipper then launched an ambitious volley from the edge of the box, having seen Jon Mellish’s headed clearance fall sweetly onto his left foot, but it looped just over.
Starting to get a foothold in the game, Josh Umerah sped around the outside of Mellish on the right by-line, but lashed his shot a whisker wide.
Showing his incredible vision and footwork once again, Balanta released Fyfield into the area with a cute back-heel, but Fyfield’s thumped shot was pushed into the path of Umerah, who was beaten to the ball by Aynsley Pears.
With one minute of injury time on the clock, Stephens put the Wood deservedly in-front. The towering centre half beat his marker in the box and headed Murtagh’s freekick into the back of the net.
The Heed returned for the second half with a second wind, and JJ O’Donnell swung the ball low across the box for Boden, but it sailed inches past his outstretched leg.
Balcombe then spilled a long-range effort from O’Donnell, but he was able to pounce on the loose ball before the in-form Luke Armstrong could reach it.
The on-loan Brentford ‘keeper had to be aware once again, as he pushed a 25-yard strike from Cameron Salkeld wide.
Having weathered a dominant 15 minutes from the away side, Shaibu set about regaining his team’s foothold in the game. He battled the ball from a defender down the right and got a cross in, but it was blocked by Mike Williamson.
Shakes’ right-wing cross was then met by the head of Umerah, but he couldn’t aim it on target.
The Charlton loanee made light work of the Heed defence to drive forward with the ball and cut it around his marker in the box, but Fraser Kerr slid his shot away. Murtagh then saw a powerful 20-yard shot saved excellently by Pears.
The Wood’s best chance to the double the lead came shortly before the 80th minute. Murtagh had done superbly to keep the ball in-play on the left by-line and he dragged it back to Umerah, but the forward’s first-time strike fired into the side-netting.
An almost identical header to the one from his goal was looped inches over the crossbar by Stephens at a corner, before Umerah saw another shot saved by Pears.
Garrard’s side were then made to pay for not taking their chances, as unmarked substitute Steve Rigg headed Greg Olley’s corner past Balcombe to nick an equaliser.
The Wood: Balcombe, Woodards, Ricketts © (Parry 90’), Stephens, Shakes, Champion, Umerah, Murtagh, Fyfield, Balanta, Shaibu (Thomas 77’)
Subs not used: Ilesanmi, Ash, Smith
Gateshead: Pears, Tinker ©, Kerr, Williamson, Olley, Armstrong, Salkeld (Thompson 72’), Mellish, O’Donnell, White (Rigg 68’), Boden
Subs not used: Foden, Hunter, Devitt
Attendance: 608 (22 away)
The Wood: Stephens 46’
Gateshead: Rigg 89’