Boreham Wood came from behind to seal a 1-1 draw on the road, against Braintree Town on Saturday.  

Lyle Della-Verde had put the home side ahead in the opening 45, before an early second half strike from the in-form Justin Shaibu, levelled it.

The result leaves the Wood midtable, in 12th position, going into Christmas.

Luke Garrard made two changes from the draw against Halifax Town, with Jamal Fyfield and Sorba Thomas both coming into the side.

There was a lively start to the game, though neither side had been able to get the ball down and play, in the early stages.

When the Wood did begin to play, Kieran Murtagh, Shaibu and Femi Ilesanmi all linked up well, but the latter was pulled back for offside, as he was about to shoot.

The best chance of the first 20 minutes fell to Braintree, when Callum Morton slipped through Justin Amaluzar, but the backtracking Fyfield forced the winger to strike over the crossbar, from close range.

The Wood’s first sight of goal fell to Gozie Ugwu, who was left unmarked at a corner and leapt to meet Murtagh’s cross, but he couldn’t aim it on target.

The home side took the lead on the half-hour mark, following a punched clearance by Ryan Huddart. The stopper had cleared the initial cross from the head of Morton, but the rebound dropped kindly to Della-Verde, who volleyed home.

The Wood were finding joy down the right wing, as Thomas was found on the counter, but his low cross was thrashed clear. Ugwu then met a long-ball by David Stephens, but again, his drilled cross was pumped away.

Stephens had a great chance to level it on the brink of half-time, when he was found deep inside of the Braintree Town box, but home stopper Ben Killip made himself big and blocked the defender’s shot.

The Wood were level five minutes into the second half, when Stephens headed Murtagh’s free-kick back across the box, and the in-form Shaibu was there to lash it home from close-range.

A superb long-ball from Huddart arrived at the feet of the on-running Shaibu and the attacker cut inside, before being brought down on the edge of the area. Murtagh then curled the subsequent free-kick wide.

Gozie Ugwu done brilliantly to chase down a loose ball on the right by-line and wrap it across goal, but Shakes’ chested effort was blocked wide, and the following corner came to nothing.

Substitute Bradley Ash latched onto Ugwu’s headed through ball and looked set on goal, but his marker got a foot in and nicked the ball from his feet at the vital moment.

Braintree were handed an opportunity to snatch the win with under 10 minutes remaining, when Tom Champion brought down Morton in the area.

The referee pointed straight to the spot and up stepped Billy Crook, but he blasted it wide of the left post, to spare the Wood’s blushes.

The Wood were on the attack, with little time left and Murtagh dragged the ball back beautifully on the edge of the area, before curling an effort towards the top left, however, Killip was able to hold it.

There would be two final chances in injury time, as Huddart was forced into an impressive diving save, from a long-range effort.

Then at the other end, Ash was found in the area and struck at goal with his weaker left foot, but his marker made an excellent sliding intervention, to deny him a goal, and all three points.

The Wood: Huddart, Ilesanmi, Ricketts ©, Stephens, Shakes, Champion, Murtagh, Fyfield, Thomas, Ugwu, Shaibu (Ash 70’)

Subs not used: Burbidge, Woodards, Parry, Smith

Braintree Town: Killip, Amaluzar, Ellul, Gabriel, Lyons-Foster, Borg (Okosieme 88’), James, Richards, Della-Verde (Crook 77’), Morton, Barrington

Subs not used: Sogaf, Curran, Clayton-Phillips

Goals:

The Wood: Shaibu 50’

Braintree Town: Della-Verde 29’

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