Eastleigh 1-0 Boreham Wood
Saturday 22nd May 2021, 3.00pm
Silverlake Stadium, Vanarama National League

A late penalty from Joe Tomlinson sealed all three points for Eastleigh as Boreham Wood succumb to defeat despite playing well and creating a number of chances.

It was a good atmosphere at The Silverlake Stadium with home supporters finally allowed to watch their team and with the playoffs a real incentive for the Hampshire club, they turned out in their numbers.

Luke Garrard made one change from Tuesday night’s win at Weymouth with Tom Champion returning from suspension in place of Danny Woodards. The home side came out of the blocks and won a free kick early on which Mark Ricketts cleared superbly. The home side had the better of things in the first half in terms of possession. However, after twenty minutes Wood has the first chance of the match when an excellent ball from Keiran Murtagh picked out Kabs Tshimanga who did well to outwit the Eastleigh defender before firing wide of Joe McDonnell’s goal.

On the half hour mark Gus Mafuta went close with a terrific shot which cannoned of the Spitfires crossbar. On forty-three minutes the home side had their first real chance of the half when Tyrone Barnett’s effort was excellently saved by Nathan Ashmore. The home side turned up the pressure just before half time but both sides went into the interval level.

The second half started as slowly as the first and it wasn’t until the fifty-sixth minute when either team created a chance. It was Kabs Tshimanga who tested the reflexes of the Eastleigh keeper McDonnell who saved well with his legs. In this period of play, there was some intricate play around the Spitfires penalty area between Marsh, Tshimanga and Whitely but it didn’t come to anything.

On sixty-two minutes a fantastic turn and run from Tshimanga resulted in him picking out Whitely who was flagged offside as he was about to shoot. Soon after, Eastleigh’s Jack Payne shot over the bar from distance. Marsh then had a guilt edged chance when played through by Murtagh but shot straight at the goalkeeper. On seventy-three minutes, an excellent pass from Marsh picked out Tshimanga who was forced wide before shooting way over the bar.

The Spitfires finally came to life in the last ten minutes and on eighty-four minutes Ashmore made a fantastic save to deny Ben House and a minute later saved well from a Jack Payne’s free kick. On eighty-eight minutes Pierce Bird put the ball in the net for Eastleigh but it was ruled out for offside with their supporters already going berserk. This celebration was merely a dress rehearsal for what happened in the second minute of stoppage time. Just when it looked like Boreham Wood would hold on for a draw Sam Smart’s cross struck a Boreham Wood hand and referee Aaron Jackson had no choice but to point to the penalty spot. Tomlinson coolly sent Ashmore the wrong way sealing all three points for the hosts.

Eastleigh: McDonnell, Tomlinson, Partington, Boyce, Bird, Green, Miley, Payen, Hollands (Smart 65), Barnett (Marriott 74), House (Smith 90)

Subs not used: Hill, Baggie.

Boreham Wood: Ashmore, Smith (Woodards 22), Champion, Fyfield, Stephens, Ricketts, Murtagh, Mafuta, Tshimanga, Marsh, Whitely.

Subs not used: Green, Jallow, Ilesanmi, Pearce.

Star man: Nathan Ashmore.

Match report written by Brett Lewis (Non-League Paper & Wood Army member).


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