Boreham Wood 1 – 0 Wrexham AFC
Monday 2nd May 2022
LV Bet stadium Meadow Park, Vanarama National League 

A “TY”MLEY PENALTY

Promotion hopefuls Wrexham were stunned by Boreham Wood as Tyrone Marsh’s late penalty cancelled out Paul Mullin’s opener to rob the Dragons of all three points.

A first half red card for Jamal Fyfield made life difficult for the Wood after a promising start, with the former Wrexham man being dismissed after a late challenge on Jordan Davies. Paul Mullin notched his 24th goal of the season with a thundering volley after 53 minutes to give his side the lead, but a monumental display from Nathan Ashmore kept the Wood in it before Marsh struck with minutes to spare to steal an invaluable draw.

Successive unbeaten games for the first time since February sees the Wood remain in ninth, although Chesterfield’s defeat to Stockport County means the gap has narrowed to seven points as they enter the final three games of the season, with a trip to Yeovil Town on Saturday.

Luke Garrard opted to make one change to the side that shocked league leaders Stockport last time out with Frankie Raymond replacing Gus Mafuta in the centre of the park, and it seemed to succeed in having the desired effect early on with the hosts making it tough for their opponents during the opening stages.

The Wood were evidently keen to follow up their victory on the weekend with a second giant-killing in a row and showed real intensity from the off although they had to settle for half chances at most. A deep free kick from Raymond needed to be headed onto the roof of the net by Ollie Palmer after just three minutes, and another saw Kane Smith take control of possession before setting Dennon Lewis away through the centre of the pitch, who picked out Scott Boden on the edge of the box but the striker’s eventual shot was blocked.

The hosts were enjoying a positive start to the half, and would have been disappointed to not take the lead when Will Evans won a free kick in a threatening position on the right flank. It was the defender himself who met Raymond’s delivery at the far post who’s header from point blank range cannoned off the post and back into danger, with Lewis’ follow-up being blocked. Wrexham failed to clear though with Fyfield taking control, but his shot was blocked into the path of Lewis who received a second bite of the cherry, but it was deflected out for a goal kick.

The game soon turned on its head as it entered the final ten minutes of the first half, with Davies right at the heart of a dramatic couple of minutes. The 23-year old forced Ashmore into a wonderful save from close range after finding himself free in the box, moments before picking up the ball in the centre of the pitch ahead of Fyfield who lunged into a challenge that resulted in the former Wrexham man being sent for an early bath.

This injected life into the visitors who were rampant from here on out, enjoying their most threatening period of the half on the stroke of the interval. Bryce Hosannah drilled a low cross into the path of Mullin who couldn’t keep his shot down before Palmer looked to catch Ashmore out off his line, but his lob from distance was off target.

Three minutes of added time was enough for a handful of opportunities as well, with Tyrone Marsh’s close range shot being cleared off the line by Ben Tozer before being deflected into the grateful arms of Christian Dibble, along with some heroic defending from Evans at the other end preventing Mullin from getting one on one with Ashmore. There were seconds left when Davies got to the byline once more and laid it off to Callum McFadzean, but his shot curled well over the bar before referee Dav Rock brought an end to a very entertaining first half.

HT: Boreham Wood 0-0 Wrexham AFC 

The second half kicked off as expected with Wrexham dominating proceedings as they looked to make their one-man advantage count. Luke Young’s venomous strike from distance was blocked before a couple of crucial saves from Ashmore to deny two chances in quick succession, first to stop Young’s second attempt before thwarting Hosannah at the far post, with the Wood stopper collapsing on the loose ball on both occasions.

As the Wood know all too well, the Dragons have proved an unstoppable foe to many National League side this season, and the home side were unable to keep them at bay for much longer. Mullin produced a chance out of nothing when he took control of a high ball before thundering an excellent volley past Ashmore and into the far corner to break the deadlock, which was met by a deafening roar from the travelling support.

Wrexham refused to stop there, with Ashmore forced into yet another save to stop Palmer’s close range strike shortly before the ever-impressive Davies tried a trivela from outside the box that forced Ashmore into a fingertip save. This preceded some genius improvisation from Mullin to divert James Jones’ low drive which was heading off target, with Mullin’s attempted backheel on the way through sending the ball inches past the post.

The hosts produced a rare second half opening when Lewis’ cross towards Boden was headed straight at Dibble, with Wrexham going straight up the other end once more. Ashmore had to be at his best to tip Young’s looping shot over the bar after it took a massive deflection shortly before Mullin’s strike bounced off the outside of the post after it deflected off Evans.

Despite Wrexham controlling the game for the vast majority of the second half, a couple of half chances saw the hosts start to grow into it. Jacob Mendy Mendy’s speculative effort from distance was pushed away by Dibble with the subsequent corner being headed wide by substitute Adrian Clifton, but a mistake by the Dragons’ keeper almost allowed Marsh to head a high ball in from an extremely tight angle.

This spurred the home crowd on, and it didn’t take long for the game to turn on its head once more when Smith was taken out inside the box to give the referee no other option but to point to the spot. The North Bank erupted when Marsh stepped up and made no mistake when he drilled it into the bottom corner from 12 yards and deny the Welsh side all three points.

FT: Boreham Wood 1-1 Wrexham AFC 

Boreham Wood: Ashmore, Evans, Stephens, Fyfield, Smith, Comley (Smith 73’), Raymond, Mendy Mendy, Marsh, Boden (Clifton 73’), Lewis (Orsi 84’).

Subs not used: Ashby-Hammond, Joyce.

Wrexham AFC: Dibble, French (Hyde 90’), Tozer, Cleworth, Hosannah (Hall-Johnson 73’), Jones, Young, Davies, McFadzean, Mullin (Jarvis 87’), Palmer.

Subs not used: Camp, O’Connor.

Star Man: Nathan Ashmore.

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