Boreham Wood 1 – 1 FC Halifax Town
Saturday 18th February 2023
LV BET Stadium Meadow Park, Vanarama National Leagu
WOOD SURRENDER AGAIN
Lee Ndlovu marked his return to the starting XI with a goal, but it wasn’t enough to secure all three points as the Wood surrendered the lead for a third successive game to make it six draws in nine games in all competitions.
The Wood drew first blood after just ten minutes when Ndlovu slotted beyond Sam Johnson after driving forward unchallenged, but they were pegged back midway through the second half after Milli Alli found space to fire into the top corner.
History would ultimately repeat itself, with a comfortable first half being followed by a below par second resulting in Luke Garrard’s men throwing away the victory once again, despite extending their unbeaten run in the league to eight games.
A point against the Shaymen means the Wood remain outside the play-off places after earlier results saw them drop out, and they will now be looking for a first win in four outings with a trip to York City next Tuesday.
One change to the starting XI saw Ndlovu return after recovering from the knock that kept has kept him out recently, with his cameo off the bench last time out being enough to earn a recall in place of Tyrone Marsh.
A nervy opening to proceedings saw both sides struggle to maintain control in possession during the opening few minutes, but the game quickly calmed down with the Wood being the first side to produce an opening. A Chris Bush throw-in made its way through a crowd of bodies towards Danny Newton who saw a powerful effort blocked from close range, shortly before Jack Payne had an effort from distance comfortably saved by Johnson at the second attempt.
The Wood quickly made the breakthrough though and took an early lead when Ndlovu picked up the ball on the halfway line before making his way forward, beating Jamie Stott with ease before sliding the ball into the bottom corner to open the scoring.
This put the hosts in the ascendancy and Halifax struggled to deal with the Wood’s front two, as Newton had a shot cleared off the line moments before the visitors saw their first shot of the game as Alli struck a free kick well over the crossbar.
Ndlovu was keen to add to his tally and had a couple of chances to double the Wood’s advantage midway through the half, battling well from 20 yards out before firing well wide of the near post and then having a shot deflected away after meeting a Bush cross.
These opportunities had come either side of a rare half chance for Halifax, with Mani Dieseruvwe struggling to get connect cleanly with the ball after getting on the end of a corner.
Four minutes would be added on at the end of the half due to an earlier stoppage that saw referee Adrian Quelch replaced by Fourth Official Abigail Byrne, but the Wood remained in control as they went into the break with a narrow advantage.
HT: Boreham Wood 1-0 FC Halifax Town
The visitors got the ball rolling for the second half and looked to come out the blocks in lightening quick fashion, with Nathan Ashmore tipping a Harvey Gilmour free kick over the crossbar mere seconds after the interval.
The Wood will have been keen to avoid a repeat of Solihull Moors’ equaliser straight after the break last time out, but the Shaymen had seen an improvement on their first half display and almost levelled again when Dieseruvwe had a shot cleared away at the near post.
Bush did have a chance to restore the Wood’s lead when he sent a free kick into the wall, minutes before Adam Seniors won a corner which was headed away.
But despite the hosts’ best efforts Town would soon get their equaliser, as a vicious effort from Alli gave Ashmore no chance to net a deserved equaliser just after the hour-mark.
A reaction was needed from the Wood with Ndlovu showing excellent strength to bring the ball down under pressure instantly after the leveller, before cutting it back to Josh Rees who dragged his shot inches wide of the far post with Johnson seemingly beaten.
They would go even closer soon after with substitute Marsh leading a counter attack, teeing up George Broadbent on the edge of the box who’s strike clipped the outside of the post.
The hosts were struggling to match the intensity they had initially showed after the break, and almost went behind when Gilmour saw a corner cleared away as far as Angelo Cappello, who fired over the crossbar from the resulting rebound.
The introduction of Zak Brunt did bring a bit of much-needed quality in attack, and the Wood subsequently forced a couple of corners which the Shaymen were able to deal with before Ndlovu saw another effort blocked on the brink of stoppage time.
Three minutes would be added on, and while there was enough time for Festus Arthur to fire over from close range they were unable to make their late pressure count, with the referee soon bringing a close to a hard-fought encounter.
FT: Boreham Wood 1-1 FC Halifax Town
Boreham Wood: Ashmore; Agbontohoma, Evans, Bush; Sousa, Payne, Broadbent, Ilesanmi; Rees (Brunt 80’); Ndlovu, Newton (Marsh 66’)
Subs Not Used: Fyfield, Lewis, Coxe
Goal: Ndlovu 10’
FC Halifax Town: Johnson; Debrah, Stott, Arthur; Senior, Cappello (Golden 89’), Hunter, Gilmour; Alli, Dieseruvwe, Wright (O’Rourke 73’)
Subs Not Used: Keane, Slew, White
Goal: Alli 62’
Star Man: Lee Ndlovu
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