DRAW FEELS MORE LIKE A DEFEAT

Boreham Wood 2-2 Notts County
Tuesday 16th March 2021, 7.45pm
Meadow Park, Vanarama National League

Due to a controversial late penalty, Boreham Wood let a two goal lead slip for the second time in two weeks and once again were undone by a former Wood player, this time Notts County’s Inih Effiong.

Wood were unchanged from Saturday’s draw against Torquay United and came out the blocks in spectacular fashion by opening the scoring in the second minute. Following some excellent approach play Kabs Tshimanga laid it back to Tyrone Marsh who struck a great shot from twenty yards past Sam Slocombe in the County goal. The visitors should have equalised two minutes later when Mark Ellis’s long throw was flicked onto Kyle Wootton, who is usually so strong in the air, but this time his header went straight at Nathan Ashmore in the Boreham Wood goal. The Magpies had another good chance to score on thirteen minutes when an unmarked Mark Ellis shot just wide of Ashmore’s goal when well placed.

On eighteen minutes a delightful pass from Tyrone Marsh picked out Corey Whitely but he snatched at his shot that ended up going high and wide. Four minutes later Tshimanga was played through one on one but was denied by Slocombe, Gus Mafuta also had a chance with a free kick but only succeeding in striking County’s defensive wall. On thirty-seven minutes Jamal Fyfield fired over the bar from the edge of the area when the ball dropped to him, which was followed by the lively Tyrone Marsh who charged down a Slocombe clearance but the ball ended up just wide of the goal. Connell Rawlinson nearly equalised for County three minutes later but his effort was well saved by Ashmore.

Boreham Wood turned it up a notch at the start of the second half and five minutes a brilliantly struck Marsh freekick was expertly tipped onto the crossbar by Sam Slocombe, Krystian Pearce headed the resulting corner just wide. Marsh had a good chance a minute later before Tshimanga deservedly gave Boreham Wood a two-goal lead on fifty-five minutes. Following an excellent one-two with Keiran Murtagh, Wood’s top scorer finished well to double their lead.

For the next twenty minutes or so, Boreham Wood were still the better team and well in control of the game. During that period, the Magpies didn’t really threaten. However on seventy-five minutes following a Michael Doyle corner the ball struck a Boreham Wood defender before going in the goal to make it 2-1. Despite this setback, the home side were still in control and looked solid enough not to let the lead slip. Tyrone Marsh had a chance to seal victory at the other end but dragged his shot wide.

On eighty-five minutes came the incident that would lead to County’s equaliser. Kyle Wootton’s header was apparently handled in the area by a Boreham Wood player and referee Sunny Gill had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Despite the protests of the Wood players and Luke Garrard, the referee wasn’t going to change his mind. Although Ashmore saved a penalty last Saturday against Torquay, you got the feeling history wasn’t going to repeat itself.

Inih Effiong always seems to score against Boreham Wood and never misses penalties. Predictably, the County substitute coolly dispatched his spot kick beyond Ashmore to make it 2-2 despite Boreham Wood defenders trying to put him off. On ninety minutes County’s Ruben Rodrigues nearly made a disappointing night truly dreadful for Boreham Wood but his header went wide. Predictably, there was one more chance for Boreham Wood in injury time when Tshimanga’s goal bound effort was cleared off the line by Enzio Boldewijn with keeper Slocombe stranded.

It was a disappointing end to a fantastic performance from Boreham Wood. For the most part, the Magpies couldn’t live with the front two of Marsh and Tshimanga who were a constant menace all night. This was definitely Marsh’s best performance since returning to the club in February. Murtagh and Ricketts were terrific in midfield and the defenders, buoyed by two consecutive cleansheets didn’t look in any trouble until the late flurry. When the dust has settled on this game and the controversy surrounding its ending, Boreham Wood will have to look back on another game that they dominated and didn’t win.

Boreham Wood: Ashmore, Smith, Fyfield, Pearce, Ilesamni, Whitely, Ricketts, Mafuta, Murtagh, Tshimanga, Marsh.

Subs not used: Huddart, Woodards, Mingoia, Francis-Angol, Coulthirst.

Notts County: Slocombe, Ellis, Reeves, Doyle, Wootton, Boldewijn, Rawlinson (Knowles 66), Sam (Effiong 66), Rodriques (O’Brien 90), Lacey, Miller.

Subs not used: Turner, Kelly-Evans.

Man of the Match: Tyrone Marsh.

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

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