LATE EASTLEIGH HEARTACHE

Boreham Wood 1-2 Eastleigh
Saturday 30th January 2021, 3.00pm
Meadow Park, Vanarama National League

A stoppage time winner from Eastleigh substitute Dan Smith secured all three points for the Spitfires with a 2-1 victory at Meadow Park.

Boreham Wood made two changes from Tuesday’s night’s draw against Chesterfield with Corey Whitely and Matt Rhead coming in for Keiran Murtagh and Kabongo Tshimanga.

Boreham Wood got off to a dominant start in terms of possession with some nice interplay between Kane Smith, Matt Rhead and Junior Morias, but it was Eastleigh who gave an indication of what was to come when they had the first chance after six minutes. An excellent ball from Joe Partington found Tyrone Barnett with a volley that went just wide of Nathan Ashmore’s goal. On twelve minutes it was Kane Smith who gave the home side the lead with a fantastic shot from the edge of the area across McDonnell in the Eastleigh goal after a neat layoff from frontman Matt Rhead. It was a goal Smith deserved as he was a constant menace for the Eastleigh defence.

Wood continued their dominance for the rest of the first half but came up against a resilient Eastleigh defence who limited the home side to a couple of chances. Matt Rhead could have doubled Boreham Wood’s lead but his volley sailed just over the Eastleigh bar. In the build up to half time, the guests started to show their worth and forced three corners, but they didn’t amount to any clear cut chances.

The match really livened up after half time when Boreham Wood had numerous opportunities to double their lead but it was the outstanding Joe McDonnell who came to the Spitfires rescue. McDonnell saved well from Matt Rhead’s point blank header and palmed away Corey Whitely’s follow up.

A few minutes later a sloppy back pass from the Wood’s Femi Ilesanmi, we nearly gifted the away side an equaliser but Tyrone Barnett’s sliding shot went just wide of Ashmore’s goal. Junior Morias then headed narrowly wide from a well placed Zaine Francis-Angol cross, followed by Rhead who was denied again, this time by a last-ditch tackle from Joe Partington. Another chance came from Wood’s Krystian Pearce whose effort was headed just over the bar following a Corey Whitely corner.

Eastleigh started growing into the game and were now on the ascendancy. On seventy-two minutes the visitors equalised when an excellent cross from Danny Hollands found Barnett on the six yard box who beat Ashmore at the far post. In the second minute of stoppage time with Boreham Wood seemingly going forward to try and grab a winner, they were caught on the break by Ben House whose fantastic run and unselfish ball to Ben Smith enabled the substitute to finish well and seal victory for the Hampshire side.

This defeat was hard to take in a game that Boreham Wood largely dominated, although failed to get the second goal while on top and were made to pay by a clinical Eastleigh side. It is a quick turn around for the Wood, who will look to put this defeat behind them on Tuesday evening as Weymouth visit Meadow Park in National League action, 7.45pm kick off.

Boreham Wood: Ashmore, Smith, Francis-Angol (Murtagh 74), Fyfield, Pearce, Ilesamni, Ricketts (Coulthirst 84), Whitely, Mafuta, Morias, Rhead.

Subs not used: Huddart, Stephens, Tshimanga.

Eastleigh: McDonnell, Partington, Bird, Boyce, Payne, Barnett (Smith 79), Smart (Baggie 72), Tomlinson, House, Hollands, Hill (Bearwish 88)

Subs not used: Green, Blair.

Man of the Match: Kane Smith.

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

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