Boreham Wood 2 – 0 Eastleigh
Saturday 6th November 3.00pm
The LV Bet Stadium Meadow Park, Emirates FA Cup First Round

Boreham Wood have made it through to the Emirates FA Cup Second Round following a 2-0 win over fellow National League side Eastleigh.

One change for Luke Garrard’s side saw Mark Ricketts replace Frankie Raymond in the middle of the park, and the skipper’s bite and tenacity in midfield would play an important part in what would prove to be a successful afternoon at the LV Bet Stadium Meadow Park. Boreham Wood looked to heat up the game from the off amongst the cold afternoon wind, with a fast start for the hosts. Tyrone Marsh sent in a cross that was too high for Scott Boden to reach inside the first minute, and they were keen to keep up the pressure as a dangerous delivery from Jacob Mendy Mendy on the left was cleared only as far as the edge of the box, with Ricketts sending a powerful volley into the heavens.

Eastleigh would grow into the game in the early stages, with Barnett driving at the defence prior to a shot from Tom Whelan that he stabbed wide of the post. This opened the floodgates for the visitors to enjoy a period of dominance. Ben House would go close after Whelan beat the press in the middle of the pitch and played a pass towards the striker on the left, who cut inside and fired a tame effort that Taye Ashby-Hammond had covered. Just a couple of minutes later, Vincent Harper latched onto a pass from Barnett on the right and made his way into the box, with Whelan eventually able to cross and force Ashby-Hammond into the save. The Spitfires were rampant and would be disappointed to not take the lead, with House and Hesketh both having powerful efforts in quick succession blocked. Despite their dominance, Eastleigh had seemingly left their shooting boots back in Hampshire and were unable to make the breakthrough, something they would soon pay the price for. As the fourth official indicated a minimum of two additional minutes, the hosts broke the deadlock against the run of play. Marsh sent a strike towards the back post where Boden was waiting to tap into an empty net for his sixth of the season. The bulk of the chances had very much fallen Eastleigh’s way, and although they looked threatening in attack they were unable to break down Wood’s resolute defence who went into the interval ahead.

A goal right on the stroke of half time can often bring some much needed momentum to take a game by the scruff of the neck, and this is exactly what happened. Similarly to the first half, Wood started the second quickly when Kane Smith sent in a cross from the right that was headed just over by Josh Rees, before he sent a drive well over after a poor clearance from a corner a few minutes later. Eastleigh struggled to replicate their first half performance with the likes of Hesketh, Barnett and Whelan acting like shadows of their initial display, and the home side took advantage when they doubled their lead on the hour mark. Some neat interplay between Marsh and Smith saw the former find Rees in the penalty area, who flicked it to Boden who fired home from close range for his second of the afternoon. From here on out, Wood never really looked back. Chances dried up a little, but they remained solid at the back and refused Eastleigh a way through. The latter stages of the game saw Boden see two attempts to seal his hat-trick in quick succession, shooting over the bar via a deflection after some good work from Rees and then going close again after latching onto an early cross from Rees, taking it down well and firing a strike that was saved by McDonnell. Boden thought he did have his hat-trick just three minutes later when he had the ball in the back of the net again after receiving the ball inside the penalty area, chopping past the defender and firing beyond McDonnell, but he was in an offside position. Although his treble wasn’t to be Boden was a standout, and along with Rees pulling the strings in midfield and Will Evans being a rock at the back once again, they were rarely troubled and were comfortable enough to see out the game. As the clocked ticked to the end of the fourth minute of stoppage time, the referee blew his whistle to confirm Wood’s name in the hat for the second round of England’s oldest competition.

Boreham Wood: Ashby-Hammond, K Smith, Ilesanmi, Fyfield, Evans, Mendy Mendy, Rees, Mafuta, Ricketts, Boden, Marsh (Clifton 85).

Subs not used: Green, Stephens, Raymond, Smith, Oluwabori.

Eastleigh: McDonnell, Kelly (Hill 68) , Miley (Hare 68), Boyce, Pritchard (Whitehall 77), Barnett, Hesketh (Smart 84), House, Whelan, Maghoma, Harper.

Subs not used: Flitney, Broadbent, Low, Hollands.

Star Man: Scott Boden

Match report written by Aaron Bennis


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