Torquay United 1-1 Boreham Wood
Saturday 14th November 2020, 3pm
Plainmoor, Vanarama National League

After a disappointing defeat in midweek at the hands of Dagenham & Redbridge, a hard-fought encounter resulted in a 1-1 draw for Boreham Wood against table topping Torquay United in blustery and wet conditions at Plainmoor.

Boreham Wood made one change from Tuesday night with Matt Rhead coming in for Coulthirst up front. Unfortunately, Mark Rickets, Corey Whitely and Keiran Murtagh were still not fit enough to be included.

Wood came out of the blocks and enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the first half without creating much to trouble MacDonald in the Torquay goal. McDonnell and Rhead had a couple of half chances early but the table toppers took the lead after 16-minutes when an excellent cross found the unmarked Sam Sherring who headed well past Nathan Ashmore in the Boreham Wood goal against the run of play.

Wood were then forced into a change after just 20-minutes when Tshimanga pulled up after a one-on-one race with the Gull’s skipper Kyle Cameron and was replaced by Shaquile Coulthirst, who was to link up well with Matt Rhead up top.

While Wood continued to have more possession than their hosts, apart from an Adam McDonnell effort that was well collected by Shaun MacDonald, we created little as the game approached the interval.

Torquay almost doubled their lead when Danny Wright headed narrowly wide from a Ben Wynter deep free kick. However, just before half time, Wood got the bit of luck their endeavours deserved as Sorba Thomas, who had once again been a real threat all afternoon, went on a run down the left and his cross was deflected past MacDonald in the Torquay goal, looping in at the back post for the equaliser. 1-1 at the break.

The second half started well for the home side who were now in the ascendancy. Much like Boreham Wood had in the first half, the Gull’s dominated possession without creating much. In fact, Wood had a couple of good chances themselves to take the lead against the run of the play. Matt Rhead was unmarked from a corner and snatched at his shot, sending it wide, when he perhaps didn’t expect the ball to reach him. Then, a couple of minutes later an excellent cross from Kane Smith had both Rhead and Coulthirst attacking the ball but neither of them could get the required touch to steer the ball home.

On 62 minutes, a fantastic Ben Wynter volley was brilliantly tipped over by Ashmore to keep the score level. Then after 70 minutes, Wood were handed the advantage in this tightly contested affair when Adam Randell was given his marching order after receiving a second yellow card for a high footed challenge on Adam McDonnell after getting a booking in this first half for stopping a Sorba Thomas breakaway. Referee Tom Reeves had no choice but to give Randell an early shower, although the challenge was clumsy at best.

Despite the one-man advantage, Wood didn’t really capitalise when searching for a winning goal. In fact, with 10-men Torquay dominated possession and Danny Wright could have stolen all three points but he just couldn’t get on the end of an excellent cross from Dean Moxey.

With the last kick of the game Wood had a chance to win it when the impressive Gus Mafuta’s shot was brilliantly saved by Shaun MacDonald in The Gull’s goal, before the ball was cleared off the line by Gull’s substitute Gary Warren.

Upon reflection, Wood would have probably taken a point beforehand but might feel like two points lost after having the one-man advantage for the last 20 minutes. Nevertheless, it was a well-deserved away point and a good solid display.

Torquay United: MacDonald, Wynter, Cameron, Lemonheigh-Evans, Hall, Wright, Randell, Sherring, Moxey (Warren 83), Nemane, Whitfield.

Subs not used: Collings, Andrews, Waters, Umerah.

Boreham Wood: Ashmore, Smith, Thomas, Fyfield, Champion, Ilesamni, McDonnell, Mafuta, Rhead, Tshimanga (Coulthirst 20), Mingoia.

Subs not used: Woodards, Huddart, Frances-Angol, Stephens.

Man of the Match: Sorba Thomas.

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


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