Boreham Wood 4 Eastleigh 4
Mangata Pay UK Stadium Meadow Park
24th January 7.45pm
Vanarama National League
Boreham Wood and Eastleigh served up a classic at Mangata Pay UK Stadium Meadow Park. A stoppage time penalty by Erico Sousa was enough to confirm a 4-4 draw between the two sides in a pulsating match that had everything. Luke Garrard made one change from Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Kwesi Appiah starting instead of Angelo Balanta with Tyrone Marsh dropping deeper behind Appiah and Lee Ndlovu upfront
The match got off to a lively start with the Spitfires, Chris Maguire going close in the first minute but firing straight at Nathan Ashmore in the Wood goal. A minute later, an excellent run and cross from Erico Sousa created a chance for Kwesi Appiah who unlike on Saturday, couldn’t score with a header. On eight minutes Jack Payne’s cross was flicked on by Appiah into the path of Lee Ndlovu who was just off target. Seven minutes later, Eastleigh’s Paul McCallum sliced his shot wide, after being played in by Oscar Rutherford. On twenty minutes, an excellent pass from Ryan Clampin picked out Enzio Boledewijn who shot wide.
Taylor gave the Spitfires the lead on twenty-six minutes when he got on the end of a Chris Maguire cross and finished with a well struck volley. Four minutes later, Sousa was way off target from outside the penalty area. On thirty-three minutes Tyrone Marsh was just off target with a header from a Sousa corner. Eastleigh doubled their lead on forty-four minutes when Boledewijn cut in from the left and finished well before Ashmore could even move. The visitors were more clinical in the first half, but Boreham Wood were unlucky to go into the break two goals down.
HALF TIME: BOREHAM WOOD 0-2 EASTLEIGH
Luke Garrard made two substitutions at half time with David Agbontohoma coming on for Josh Staunton and Cameron Coxe replacing Ndlovu. This ensured that the dangerous Sousa would play further forward with Coxe taking his place at right wing back. The impact off this was instant when on forty-eight minutes, Sousa took it past two Eastleigh defenders before unleashing a delightful curling effort past Joe McDonnell in the Spitfires goal. The former Grimsby man has scored some excellent goals this season, but this was the best of the lot. Five minutes later, Matt Robinson’s long-range shot took a wicked deflection, taking it past McDonnell to make it 2-2. On fifty-nine minutes Boreham Wood had a golden opportunity to take the lead when Marsh was fouled in the penalty area and referee Sam Mulhall had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Spitfires’ keeper McDonnell, who saved a penalty for Boreham Wood in last season’s Play Off semi-final at Notts County, did it again by going down to his right to deny Marsh. Marsh was just off target with the follow up.
On sixty-six minutes, Boreham Wood took the lead when a Nathan Ashmore free kick was expertly headed into the path of Matt Robinson by Appiah who finished superbly from outside the penalty area. It was the former Dagenham and Redbridge midfielder’s second goal of the night. Six minutes later Eastleigh equalised with an excellent turn and shot from Paul McCallum. It was the big striker’s twenty fourth goal in the Vanarama National League this season. The visitors were now in the ascendancy and Maguire was denied by Ashmore three minutes later. McCallum had another chance on eighty-two minutes but couldn’t get any power in his shot. In the last minute of normal time Eastleigh substitute Malachi Dotse gave the visitors the lead. Soon after, Boreham Wood players and supporters were relieved to see the fourth official indicate a minimum of seven minutes of stoppage time. In that period, Wood laid siege to Eastleigh’s goal, in search of an equaliser. Some heroic defending from Eastleigh looked like it would be enough for victory. However with just two minutes left of the seven, Marsh was fouled in the penalty area for the second time in the match. Referee Sam Mulhall again, had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. This time, Sousa took the penalty and buried it into the top corner of the net for a dramatic equaliser.
It was an excellent game of football and a real treat for the supporters. The spirit shown by the Boreham Wood players in the second half was incredible. It was their fourth draw in five matches and Luke Garrard will want his team to get back to winning ways on Saturday against Dorking Wanderers
FULL TIME: BOREHAM WOOD 4-4 EASTLEIGH
Boreham Wood: Ashmore, Sousa, Ilesamni, Bush, Sass-Davies, Staunton (Agbontohoma 46), Payne, Robinson, Ndlovu (Coxe 46), Marsh, Appiah (Balanta 83)
Subs not used: Clayden, Clarke
Eastleigh: McDonnell, Clampin (Martin 66), Atagana, Francilette, Taylor, McCallum, Boldewijn, Hodson, Croll, Maguire, Rutherford (Otse 68)
Subs not used: Barlow, Scott, Nwabuokei,
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