Boreham Wood v Hartlepool United
Monday 5th April 2021, 3.00pm
Meadow Park, Vanarama National League

THE CONTEXT

On Monday, Wood play host for the second time this Easter weekend. However, this time we match up again promotion challengers Hartlepool United in the Vanarama National League on Monday.

The Pools latest fixture was a  2-1 home win against Dagenham & Redbridge, thanks to goals from Rhys Oates in the 21st minute and Gavan Holohan in the 61st minute.

However, Boreham Wood faced top of the table Sutton United, and the points were split as the game ended in a goalless draw.

THE FORM GUIDE

THE WOOD

Previous six games (in all competitions): –

Sutton United (H) | VNL | 0-0 
Aldershot Town (A) | VNL |  3-3 
Notts County (H) | VNL |  2-2 D
Torquay United (H) | VNL |  0-0 
Woking (A) | VNL |  0-0 
Dagenham & Redbridge (A) | VNL |  2-2 D 

Wood welcomed top of the table Sutton United to Meadow Park on Good Friday where the two teams battled to take home all 3 points. However, despite the strong performances from both sides the points were split as it ended 0-0.

The visitors came out of the block’s quicker and controlled the early part of the contest in terms of possession. However, once Kabongo Tshimanga tested the U’s keeper Dean Bouzanis with a header after ten minutes, the half belonged very much to Boreham Wood and they will feel they should have gone into the break with a goal advantage.

Soon afterwards Rob Milson’s free-kick for Sutton cleared the crossbar.

Wood wide man Corey Whitely fired over when we placed on twenty-five minutes. On forty-three minutes Wood’s top scorer Tshimanga could have put the hosts in front following a corner but failed to get any meaningful contact on the ball.

A Kieran Murtagh freekick for Boreham Wood caused panic in the Sutton penalty area before Tyrone Marsh headed over the bar. On the hour mark, David Ajiboye broke forward for the visitors and played in Isaac Olafe whose effort went into the side netting. Marsh had a half-chance for the home side a few minutes later but his effort was deflected wide. On sixty-eight minutes a terrific run from Corey Whitely took him in a wide position but there wasn’t a white shirt on the end of his cross. The last period of the game saw both sides cancel each other out.

Although it is another dominant performance that feels as though two points were lost, we are now unbeaten from our last six games with three of them involving a clean sheet.

THE POOLS

Previous six games (in all competitions): –

Dagenham & Redbridge (H) | VNL | 2-1 W
Stockport (A) | VNL | 1-1 D
Dagenham & Redbridge (A) | VNL | 1-0 W
Woking (H) | VNL | 1-0  W
King’s Lynn Town (A) | VNL  | 2-2 D
Eastleigh  (H) | VNL | 0-0 D

The Pools are currently sitting in second place in the Vanarama National League, and are unbeaten in 12 games. The promotion challengers took home all three points from six of their last 12 games.

The Pools sit below our last visitors, Sutton United, who although have three games in hand, there is only a two-point difference between the two teams.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

“THE DESTROYER”

GARY LIDDLE

Gary Liddle began his footballing career with Middlesbrough but before making a senior appearance, he signed for Hartlepool in 2006.

The central defender then went on to make over 250 appearances for the club and helped the Pools gain promotion to League 1 in his debut season.

Liddle then moved on to Notts County in 2012 where he spent an enjoyable two seasons making 78 appearances.

The 34-year-old then went on to play for the likes of Bradford City, Chesterfield, Carlisle, and Walsall before returning to Victoria Park on loan for the 2019/20 campaign.

The deal was made permanent at the start of this season and he brings bags of experience to the Pools dressing room.

“THE PLAYMAKER”

NICKY FEATHERSTONE

Featherstone came through the youth ranks of Hull City and signed his first professional contract with the club in 2006.

The Central midfielder then went on loan to League 2 side Hereford United in search of first-team football and the deal was made permanent halfway through the 2011/12 campaign.

After making 58 appearances with Hereford, Featherstone moved on to Walsall where he spent two years making 55 appearances for the League 1 club.

Since then, Featherstone has played for Scunthorpe United and Harrogate Town, but his game time was limited which saw a move to Hartlepool in 2014.

Featherstone has reached legendary status at Victoria Park when he became the clubs current longest serving player in 2019 when he surpassed 200 appearances.

“THE FINISHER”

LUKE ARMSTRONG

Armstrong has arguably been one of the most successful signings in the National League this season, scoring over ten times since his arrival in January.

Armstrong started his career in the academy of Middlesbrough before leaving to join Birmingham City but didn’t earn himself a professional deal at St Andrew’s.

But it was with Blyth Spartans where Armstrong really made a name for himself scoring 23 goals in just 42 games, earning himself a remarkable return to Middlesbrough where he was then sent on loan to Gateshead and Accrington Stanley.

Since then though Armstrong signed permanently for Football League side Salford City in 2019. After failing to make an impact in League Two, the striker has definitely got his mojo back in the National League.

LAST TIME WE MET

Hartlepool United 1- 2 Boreham Wood
Saturday 5th December 2020
Victoria Park, Vanarama National League

The game started well for the visitors as it was the BW PASE Academy graduate Sorba Thomas who went close within the first 20 seconds.

After five minutes Nathan Ashmore produced a good save from a Nicky Featherstone shot and only a minute later Tshimanga had the ball in the back of the Hartlepool net but was ruled out for being offside.

In the 37th minute, Gus Mafuta gave the visitors the deserved lead with a well struck effort which beat Ravas in the Pools goal, it was a goal that Wood had earned on the balance of play.

Ashmore again made a good save, this time from Luke Molyneux but it was Mason Bloomfield who equalised in injury time just before the interval.

Hartlepool dominated in the early part of the second half and had some good chances to take the lead.  After sixty eight minutes, Gus Mafuta sealed the three points for Boreham Wood, scoring an incredible goal! His left foot pile driver gave Ravas absolutely no chance in the Pools goal, creating a contender in being the goal of the season!

Tshimanga could have made it 3-1 a few minutes later but just couldn’t get on the end of a cross from Jamal Fyfield.

STAY HOME, STAY SAFE

LIVE STREAM

Unfortunately, no fans will be allowed to attend this fixture, however, you can watch the game live by purchasing our BWFCtv Match Day Pass for £9.99. You will receive a pre-match show, the live stream, match commentary and an e-programme. Coverage will start from 2.30pm.

BUY YOURS HERE

LIVE UPDATES

You can keep up with the action via our Twitter and Instagram pages, where there will be regular updates throughout the course of the match.

Instagram: @boreham_woodfc
Twitter: @boreham_woodfc

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