Boreham Wood 1 – 1 Solihull Moors
Tuesday 14th February 2023
LV BET Stadium Meadow Park, Vanarama National League


Chris Bush’s first goal for the Wood wasn’t enough to seal all three points, as they were ultimately held to a draw by Solihull Moors after Jamey Osborne came off the bench to level early in the second half.

Bush gave the Wood the lead midway through the first half when he rose highest to head Josh Rees’ corner past Ryan Boot, and the Wood proceeded to dominate the remainder of the half with Érico Sousa in particular causing all sorts of problems for the Moors defence.

The Moors drew level right at the start of the second half though when substitute Osborne sent a half volley beyond Ashmore after the hosts failed to deal with a Justin Donawa cross, and despite having a number of good opportunities to retake the lead they were kept at bay by a brilliant display from Boot, who kept the draw intact.

A point against the Moors sees the Wood’s pursuit of a play-off place hit a slight bump, but they remain in the top seven on goal difference and they will be keen to keep up their positive start to 2023 with the visit of FC Halifax Town on Saturday.

Luke Garrard made one change to the side which surrendered a two-goal lead last time out against play-off rivals Woking, with Will Evans returning to the back three in place of Cameron Coxe, who dropped to the bench.

A quiet opening to proceedings brought little in the way of clear chances despite plenty of neat passes in the build-up, with neither side really able to gain the upper hand. Tyrone Marsh produced the first shot of the game after five minutes when he drew a diving save out of Boot from distance, shortly before Donawa sent an effort straight down the throat of Nathan Ashmore at the other end.

The Wood started to show some more intensity as the half progressed and forced a couple of corners, with Sousa picking out Marsh in the penalty area requiring the covering defender to get a touch and put it behind. The resulting delivery floated all the way to former Moor Danny Newton at the far post who sent the ball back in with Boot needing to tip it over the crossbar, and it was from the second corner where the hosts made the breakthrough.

The in-form Rees sent the ball into the danger area where Bush was waiting to head home his first goal for the club, and this opened the floodgates as the Wood continued to pose a threat. Sousa nearly found himself in behind moments later with James Clarke needing to make a last ditch intervention, but they smelt blood from this point on.

Sousa would be the architect of a golden opportunity just after the half-hour mark, curling a wonderful ball into the path of Marsh who brilliantly took it down before firing a venomous shot that was blocked from point blank range by Callum Howe, with Rees picking up the pieces and sliding in Newton who’s tame effort rolled into the gloves of Boot.

The Moors nearly gifted their opponents a second when Rees robbed possession in the penalty area before picking out Marsh who had an effort saved by Boot, and they went close again to doubling their advantage as Boot palmed away a Sousa effort in stoppage time, but they were able to hold on and go into the break ahead after a comfortable first half.

HT: Boreham Wood 1-0 Solihull Moors

The visitors found an equaliser mere minutes into the second half with Osborne making an instant impact off the bench. Donawa drove down the right-hand side before sending a cross into the middle that was cleared as far as the edge of the box, but the Wood failed to close Osborne down in time with the substitute firing a wonderful half volley goalward that made the net bulge.

The Wood were in need of a reaction and Newton came ever so close to scoring against his former club, with Sousa standing a cross up to the back post where the forward was waiting to score a certain goal, but Clarke got up highest to head over the crossbar.

They soon came even closer to restoring their lead as Rees’ corner caused havoc in the penalty area, but it produced nothing but pinball as at least two rebounds were blocked before a shot from Jack Payne was eventually cleared away, and the Moors somehow survived.

Osborne would later send a free kick wide as the Moors produced a rare chance, but they were put straight back under the cosh as the ball broke for Rees in the box, but Jevon Mills produced an important block to keep him at bay.

This would precede another excellent opportunity for the hosts, with a corner once again causing chaos. The ball fell to Bush at the back post who kept the chance alive by hooking it back in, with the ball soon finding its way back at the feet of the former Bromley man who’s shot from distance was caught by Boot.

Neal Ardley’s men amped up the pressure as the game reached the final 15 minutes, and the Wood started to live dangerously as the visitors looked to find a winner against the run of play. Joe Sbarra was denied by Ashmore from a tight angle with the Wood able to scramble it away, before Osborne unleashed a shot which flew just wide following a good run.

The Moors would soon have Boot to thank for the score remaining level though, with the Wood coming ever so close to making them pay for their earlier misses. Substitute Lee Ndlovu did brilliantly to reach the byline and pull the ball back towards Newton who forced Boot into an important save, but the ball fell to Rees who teed up George Broadbent who struck a powerful effort goalward, but the Moors stopper palmed it away from danger once again.

The recently introduced Andy Dallas then sliced a tame effort wide after Tom Whelan’s cross evaded everyone, and he was almost punished when Ndlovu headed another Rees corner a hair-length wide, but this was all the Wood could muster as it ended honours even.

FT: Boreham Wood 1-1 Solihull Moors

Boreham Wood: Ashmore; Agbontohoma, Evans, Bush; Sousa, Payne, Broadbent, Ilesanmi; Rees (Brunt 80’); Marsh (Ndlovu 61’), Newton

Subs Not Used: Fyfield, Lewis, Coxe

Goal: Bush 20’

Solihull Moors: Boot; Clarke, Howe, Mills; Barnett, Whelan, Maycock (Osborne 45’), Sbarra (Cybulski 90’), Donawa; Kelly (Dallas 74’), Beck

Subs Not Used: Gudger, Vaughn

Goal: Osborne 48’

Star Man: Érico Sousa




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