Gateshead 2-2 Boreham Wood
Gateshead International Stadium
5th August 3.00pm,
Vanarama National League


This was a classic example of a game of two halves to start the season. Boreham Wood were poor in the first period and surrendered early goals to Marcus Dinanga and Jordan Hunter before a second half masterclass and a goal on his Boreham Wood debut from Kwesi Appiah, as well as a stoppage time equaliser from substitute Cameron Coxe secured a 2-2 draw against a good Gateshead side. This was despite having Timmy Abraham sent off on eighty-four minutes.

Luke Garrard handed Boreham Wood debuts to new signings Tom Whelan, Mo Sagaf, Charlie Owens and Kwesi Appiah with another summer signing, Timmy Abraham, taking his place on the bench.

Before the match, Gateshead had to deal with the fact that their star striker, Adam Campbell was departing to League Two, Crawley Town and their influential captain Greg Olley was facing a spell out injured. However, the way they started the match, they didn’t seem to miss these two important players. In the first half, they were excellent and took a deserved lead on nine minutes when a long punt from former Notts County goalkeeper, Archie Mair found Marcus Dinanga who was able to deceive Nathan Ashmore and a static Boreham Wood defence before rolling the ball into an empty net. Seven minutes later Jordan Hunter made it 2-0 for The Heed by following up a Dinanga shot that was save by Nathan Ashmore. Again, the Wood defence was nowhere to be seen. The hosts might have added to their two-goal lead on twenty-eight minutes when Stephen Wearne’s shot almost deceived Ashmore but he managed to punch it away to safety. Boreham Wood then started to come into the game more, in terms of possession but failed to muster a chance. On the stroke of half time Ashmore had to be alert to deny Dinanga with a good save from a stinging shot that nearly crept into the corner of the goal


It seems, a frank “exchange of views” occurred in the Boreham Wood changing room at half time to do with the first half performance. This had the desired effect as Luke Garrard’s men were a different side after the interval. Most of Boreham Wood’s good play in the second half was down to Erico Sousa who didn’t give the Heed defence a moments peace with his constant running and probing. On fifty-two minutes, he played a lovely pass to Tom Whelan who’s cross found the head of Kwesi Appiah but the former Crawley Town forward was just off target. Eight minutes later, Appiah made no mistake with a header from an excellent Charlie Owens cross, giving Archie Nair no chance as it nestled into the corner of his goal.

Boreham Wood proceeded to take the game to Gateshead with some excellent flowing football but were met with a stubborn Heed defence. It looked like Boreham Wood would get the next goal. However, this began to look unlikely when Timmy Abraham, just on as substitute, managed to get sent off on eighty-four minutes due to a seemingly innocuous challenge on keeper Mair when referee David Richardson, who seemed to be card happy all afternoon, had no hesitation in showing him a red card. At this point, Boreham Wood regrouped and for a short period the hosts looked to make the most of their one-man advantage. This time, they were met with a more organised and alert Boreham Wood defence, so different from the first half. Just when it seemed the points were secure for Gateshead, Boreham Wood had other ideas. In the third minute of stoppage time, a delightful Owens cross picked out Cameon Coxe at the far point and his fantastic volley beat Nair at the near post. This brought about wild celebrations between players and supporters after Coxe made the long trip towards them, over the running track.

Boreham Wood would have taken a point in the North East before the game. Given the circumstances of the match, the draw felt more like a win. If was a good way to start the season and will breed confidence among players and supporters with Halifax coming to Boreham Wood next Saturday.


By Brett Lewis



Outfield: White, black, white; GK: All pink Outfield: All grey; GK: All orange
Starting XI: Starting XI:
1 Archie Mair 1 Nathan Ashmore
2 Robbie Tinkler 3 Femi Ilesanmi
3 Regan Booty 5 Chris Bush
4 Callum Whelan 7 Tom Whelan
6 Louis Storey 8 Mo Sagaf
8 Ed Francis 10 Tyrone Marsh (Ndlovu 75′)
9 Marcus Dinanga 12 Jamal Fyfield (Coxe 86′)
11 Stephen Wearne 15 David Agbontohoma
15 Jordan Hunter 16 Charlie Owens
17 Connor Pani 19 Erico Sousa
21 Connor McBride 21 Kwesi Appiah (Abraham 80′)
Substitutes: Substitutes:
5 Kenton Richardson 2 Cameron Coxe
16 Aidan Rutledge 6 David Stephens
19 Luke Hannant 9 Lee Ndlovu
23 Billy Chadwick 11 Timmy Abraham
32 Carl Magnay 22 Dion Kelly-Evans
Star man: Erico Sousa




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