Southend 0 – 1 Boreham Wood
Saturday 6th August 2022
Roots Hall, Vanarama National League


Tyrone Marsh’s late strike gave the Wood a draw to begin to their home league campaign, with goals at either end of the first half from Ruben Rodrigues and Danny Elliott being cancelled out by Kairo Mitchell’s wonderful effort just after the hour-mark, before Marsh’s penalty confirmed the stalemate against last season’s play-off quarter-finalists Notts County.

County took an early lead from the spot after the referee adjudged Nathan Ashmore to have caught Macauley Langstaff in the box following his initial save to deny Rodrigues, with the Portuguese forward stepping up to convert the spot-kick after just six minutes, but this was cancelled out by Elliott’s equaliser late into the first half after initial strikes from Femi Ilesamni and Will Evans were blocked.

The visitors dominated much of the ball despite a mini resurgence from the Wood in the second half, and were rewarded when Mitchell restored their lead with an excellent strike from the edge of the box that gave Ashmore no chance. The Wood refused to give up hope though and were able to level once again after Jamal Fyfield went down in the box, with Marsh making no mistake to net a late equaliser.

Second half red cards for Lee Ndlovu and former Magpie Dion Kelly-Evans in last week’s narrow victory over Southend United forced Luke Garrard into two changes, with Danny Elliott and George Williams coming in for their first competitive starts.

It was the visitors who looked the more positive of the two sides early on and controlled the vast majority of the possession. An early chance fell to Macauley Langstaff who headed wide of the far post, shortly before County opened the scoring.

Some neat interplay on the edge of the box led to Rodrigues testing Ashmore who palmed away his effort from the edge of the box, but this resulted in a tangle of legs as Langstaff looked to meet the rebound which ended in the referee pointing to the spot after deeming Ashmore to have fouled the attacker in the subsequent scuffle, and it was Rodrigues who made no mistake as he sent Ashmore the wrong way.

Despite dominating the ball throughout the first half, Notts found clear opportunities hard to come by as the Wood remained resilient against their opponent’s quality. Rodrigues was involved once more as he cut inside from the left before overhitting a cross that flew past the far post, just minutes before another the visitors had another penalty appeal after Fyfield did well to block Sam Austin’s strike from distance, but their half-hearted claims were waved away.

Langstaff almost had the chance to give Magpies’ goalkeeper Sam Slocombe an assist after the former Gateshead man brilliantly plucked his long ball out the air, but the striker was penalised for a slight nudge on Fyfield.

The Magpies will have been disappointed to not take the lead after Adam Chicksen was sent down the left-hand side by Rodrigues, with the wing-back putting a delivery on a plate for Langstaff but he was unable to get on the end of the cross.

This seemed to spark some life into the hosts, who began to finally see some chances come their way along with Marsh’s introduction for the injured Danny Newton making a noticeable difference. A wonderful solo run from Zak Brunt saw him do ever so well to make his way into the box but he was unable to keep his effort on target, moments before Marsh’s first involvement saw him force Slocombe into a crucial save to deny his lob. Fortunately, it was from the resulting corner that saw the Wood secure an equaliser.

Brunt’s delivery was sent goalward by Ilesamni who’s strike was deflected into the path of Evans who’s shot was blocked as well, before Elliott finally scrambled the ball home to net on his full debut for the club and send the two sides into the break level.

HT: Boreham Wood 1-1 Notts County

Notts began the second half in a similar fashion to the first with Langstaff finding an opening almost immediately, with Fyfield blocking his effort from a tight angle.

The warning signs were certainly there, but it was the Wood who had the ball in the net for a second time, after they thought Slocombe had gifted them the lead after the County keeper kicked the ball straight to Brunt who’s heavy touch fell into the path of Elliott, but the assistant’s flag denied the hosts from going in front after the striker fired beyond Slocombe.

Slocombe’s counterpart in the other goal had to be on hand to make another good save moments later, with the 34-year old sending a long ball towards Chicksen who took the ball into his stride before forcing Ashmore into the stop.

A second goal would be on its way though and would go in the visitors’ favour, as Langstaff received a throw-in and turned before picking out Mitchell in acres of space to advance, before firing an effort beyond Ashmore.

Elliott will surely be disappointed to not have scored his second of the afternoon when he robbed Ed Francis of possession and raced towards goal, but the defender was able to recover and poke the ball away before he could pull the trigger.

The striker did think he had levelled again after the resulting corner found him waiting at the back post, but he was denied by the offside flag for a second time.

Erico Sousa had an attempt of his own denied after he was picked out in the box with his effort destined for the far corner, but Francis made a last ditch block was enough to force a corner.

It was with this corner that the Wood finally found their second equaliser of the afternoon though in the form of a second penalty, after Fyfield was pulled down in the box. It was Marsh who stepped up to roll the ball past Slocombe and level once again.

This urged the hosts on as they looked to push forward and find a winner. They went closed when Slocombe punched a free kick into the path of Fyfield who had space to get it under control and send a cross into the danger area, but the County defence was able to clear, minutes before the referee brought a close to proceedings.

 FT: Boreham Wood 2-2 Notts County

Boreham Wood: Ashmore, Ilesamni, Ricketts (Lewis 77’), Evans, Newton (Marsh 33’), Fyfield, Elliott, Payne, Williams, Sousa, Brunt (Rees 70’)

Subs Not Used: Stephens, Egan

Goal: Elliott 38’, Marsh 82’

Notts County: Slocombe, Brindley, Taylor, Cameron, O’Brien (Palmer 60’), Austin (Mitchell 60’), Langstaff, Francis, Baldwin (Bajrami 77’), Rodrigues, Chicksen

Subs Not Used: Vincent, Scott

Goal: Rodrigues 6’, Mitchell 67’

Star Man: Danny Elliott




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