A 90th minute equaliser from Angelo Balanta earned the Wood a hard-fought point away to Sutton United, on New Year’s Day.

The hosts had gone ahead through a Jamie Collins penalty, shortly before the hour mark, following a foul by Tom Champion.

But, the Wood dug deep and substitute Angelo Balanta came on to leap to the rescue and head home a precious, but deserved, equaliser.

The Wood switched to a 4-5-1 for the trip to Sutton United, with David Stephens and Jamie Turley in centre-back, Bruno Andrade and Blair Turgott on the wings and Shaun Jeffers as the lone striker.

Turgott looked to spark an early Wood attack, as he darted down the right-wing and attempted to wriggle between two defenders, but he was squeezed out by the duo.

The winger then done well to keep the ball in-play on his right-wing, before crossing into the penalty area, Jeffers flicked it on, but Andrade couldn’t get to the ball.

The U’s first real attempt on goal came through a long-range effort from Craig Eastmond, but it flew over the bar.

The Wood’s best chance of the first half fell to Turgott, the winger had met Jeffers’ through ball, twisted past his marker and cut inside onto his left foot, but he could only blast his effort against the leg of Terell Thomas.

The hosts were creeping forward and a dangerous ball into the box had to be powerfully headed out by Woodards, as it looked destined for Craig Dundas.

Keiran Murtagh and Turgott combined down the right, with the latter’s eventual shot failing to trouble Jamie Butler.

Woodards once again had his head in the way as Nicky Bailey whipped the ball in from the right, but the defender sent it away from danger.

Kenny Davis then flashed the ball over the crossbar, with an ambitious 25-yard strike.

Both sides were looking to improve in the second half and Turgott snatched the ball on the by-line and scampered into the box, but his shot was blocked.

A Wood corner pinballed around the U’s area and both Jeffers and Murtagh thrashed at efforts, but both were blocked by the home defence.

With the game at a stalemate, the visitors gave away a penalty shortly before the hour mark, Tom Champion had caught Adam Coombes from behind and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Collins stepped up and sent the ball past Grant Smith.

Having gone behind, The Wood made a double change, with Ricky Shakes and Angelo Balanta replacing Turgott and Jeffers.

Desperate to work their way back into the fixture, Kane Smith drove a low ball into the box, but Andrade’s flick on, was blocked for a corner.

Smith and Andrade then linked up again, with both sending balls into the Sutton area, but neither were put into the net.

But then, as the game reached the 90th minute, Balanta leapt highest at a corner, to meet Andrade’s cross and head past Butler, sending the Wood Army into raptures.

The Wood: G Smith, K Smith, Woodards (Jarvis 73), Ricketts ©, Stephens, Champion, Murtagh, Andrade, Jeffers (Balanta 61), Turley, Turgott (Shakes 61) 

Subs not used: Chesmain, Thomas

Sutton United: Butler, A. Thomas, Collins, Davis, Coombes (Lafayette 86), Dundas, Eastmond, Bailey (Spence 84), T. Thomas, Wright (Cadogan 88), Taylor  

Subs not used Walton, Bolarinwa

Goals:

The Wood: Balanta 90’

Sutton United: Collins 58’

Attendance: 2,007

 

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