On a freezing afternoon at Meadow Park, the Wood dropped two points against Solihull Moors and missed the opportunity to close the gap on the top five.

Solihull will go home happy with the point, whilst Luke Garrard will be rueing the missed opportunities as his side missed out on the three points that were there for the taking.

Garrard made two changes from the side that beat Alfreton Town in the FA Trophy the previous Saturday. Ben Nunn and Matt Paine came into the starting XI, whilst Bruno Andrade dropped to the bench and David Stephens missed out due to injury.

Garrard has previously spoken about the need to start on the front foot but it was Solihull who had the early chances. Omari Sterling crossed for Liam Daly who headed in to the path of ex Wood striker Harry White who could only volley straight at Grant Smith.

Either side of Smith and Solihull would have taken an early lead.

Despite the pitch being hard to play on Wood tried to get the ball down and play where possible. Anthony Jeffrey got to the by-line and put in a deep cross for Morgan Ferrier which was just too strong and the forward could only glance an effort over the bar.

After a mistake by Femi Ilesanmi down the left a cross came into the box and it seemed as though Jack Byrne was going to tap in at the back post to give the visitors the lead but Nunn somehow managed to get around and hook the ball away from goal.

Wood should have then taken the lead into the break after a great cross from Jeffrey to the back post, however a loss of concentration at the critical moment from Angelo Balanta saw the chance go begging.

Solihull came out the blocks quicker in the second half and White had a great opportunity from the edge of the box – putting his first time effort the wrong side of the post.
Garrard had then seen enough to make a positive change – introducing new signing Tom Hitchcock in place of defender Danny Woodards and reverting to a 4-4-2 formation.

Some excellent link up play between Balanta and Ferrier nearly opened the door but once again the shot from Ferrier failed to test Nathan Baxter in the Solihull goal.

Kenny Davis then had to take the ball off the toes of White in the Wood box as it looked like the striker was going to score from 6 yards out, yet remarkably the referee gave a goal kick instead of a corner to Solihull.

In the final ten minutes Wood really applied pressure but chances for Balanta and Ferrier came and went after the Solihull defence put their bodies on the line.

As the game entered the three minutes of additional time it looked as though it could have been the dream debut for Hitchcock but his goal bound shot on the turn was well charged down and blocked just as it was heading into the bottom corner of the net.

It wasn’t to be for Luke Garrard’s men and they will go again next weekend when they make the long trip to Wales to take on Wrexham.



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