Rochdale 0–0 Boreham Wood
Tuesday 16th April 2024, 7:45 pm
Crown Oil Arena, Vanarama National League

Boreham Wood gained a hard-fought point in Greater Manchester and set up a winner takes all battle at home to Ebbsfleet United on Saturday where a Boreham Wood victory will ensure survival in the Vanarama National League for another season.

Luke Garrard understandably named an unchanged lineup from Saturday’s win at Aldershot Town.

Boreham Wood, who were looking to build on their outstanding performance at Aldershot on Saturday, started with their tails up as they controlled early possession. On seven minutes, Erico Sousa’s free kick caused havoc in the Rochdale defence and Lee Ndlovu put the ball in the net, only to have the goal ruled out for offside. Eight minutes later, another Sousa freekick was met by a David Agbontohoma overhead kick which Dale keeper Jacob Chapman saved comfortably. On sixteen minutes a purposeful Femi Ilesamni run ended with him shooting high and wide.

After that, the hosts started to get a foothold in the game and started to dominate proceedings. On twenty-seven minutes, a Tyrese Sinclair cross was just too strong for D’Mani Mellor who was sliding in. Three minutes later, a fierce Ryan East shot crashed off the Boreham Wood crossbar with Nathan Ashmore well beaten. Almost straight away, a Kyron Gordon cross was headed wide by Mellor. The rest of the first half went on without any major incidents as a stubborn Wood defence held firm with the hosts on the attack.


The Wood came out for the second half with renewed purpose and Lee Ndlovu nearly gave them the lead three minutes after the restart, but his shot was just off target. On fifty-four minutes, Ashmore made a good save to deny Mellor. Two minutes later, a Mo Sagaf pass found Kabs Tshimanga but he couldn’t get his shot on target. On fifty-eight minutes, Tshimanga had the ball in the Rochdale net but the referee had already blown for a foul in the build-up. Five minutes later, George Nevett was off target for Dale. On sixty-nine minutes Ndlovu ran in on goal but couldn’t get his shot on target.

The next period of the match was very cagey as the hosts started to control possession again, like they did towards the end of the first half. However Boreham Wood defended like they did last season, rather than this season and nullified any threats. In the final minute of stoppage time, Jack Payne fired over from just outside the penalty area in what was Boreham Wood’s last chance to score.

It was a good point for Boreham Wood and more importantly they matched Ebbsfleet’s score (they drew 0-0 at Halifax Town), which means Boreham Wood must win to stay up. If Boreham Wood win, one of Ebbsfleet, Woking, York or Wealdstone will go down. I am sure that a packed Meadow Park will want to end Luke Garrard’s reign as Boreham Wood Manager on a high.


By Brett Lewis

Rochdale: Chapman, Gordon, East, Ebanks-Landell, Sinclair (Mather 82), Mitchell, Rodney, Mellor
(Hayes 60), Nevett, Sassi, Gilmour

Subs not used: John, Keohane, Henderson

Boreham Wood:  Ashmore, Sousa, Ilesamni, Bush, Agbontohoma, Sass-Davies, Payne, Robinson, Sagaf(Balanta 72), Ndlovu (Marsh 83), Tshimanga

Subs not used: Coxe, Fyfield, Clayden

Man of the match: Matt Robinson



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