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MATCH REPORT: EASTLEIGH VS BOREHAM WOOD
Boreham Wood came away from the Silverlake Stadium with a well-deserved point after having to come from behind twice to share the spoils with Eastleigh. The game, which was screened live on BT Sport, was Wood’s first live game since coming up from the Conference South the season before last, and certainly provided the neutrals with two good sides going head to head. The game had everything other than a red card.
Luke Garrard made two changes from the side that was defeated by Braintree Town some 7 days earlier. David Stephens missed out owing to the red card he picked up in that fixture and fit again Morgan Ferrier returned to the starting line-up, whilst Ben Nunn replaced Danny Woodards who dropped to the bench.
Despite not starting well at all it was Wood who had the first chance of the game when Angelo Balanta played Anthony Jeffrey in down the left. Jeffrey beat his man and whipped a low cross into the box which seemed to catch Ferrier unaware and a great chance went begging for the visitors.
Eastleigh opened the scoring with their first real attack of the game. A cross in from the left went towards Mandron who won the aerial battle, flicked the ball on and James Constable tapped home from 5 yards.
Kenny Davis set Andrade free down the right flank and his cross was spilled by debutant Mark Childs in goal who gathered at the second attempt.
A neat move from Eastleigh on the edge of the Wood box almost culminated with Eastleigh doubling their lead, an interchange between Jai Reason and Constable set up Ben Strevens who rushed his first time effort wide of Grant Smith’s goal.
Ferrier, who was hounded all game by the Eastleigh defence, went wide to pick up the ball. He played infield to Femi Ilesanmi who found Balanta who drifted into space inside the box and his shot on the turn surprised Childs who saved well down to his right.
Martin Allen was then forced into a change when captain Reda Johnson went down injured with what looked to be a hamstring injury which could also result in him being out of the return fixture in four days’ time. It resulted in a back four reshuffle as Hoyte went to centre back and David Pipe came on at right back.
Constable had the perfect opportunity to double the home side’s lead before the break. Reason out muscled Ilesanmi on the by-line crossing for the unmarked Constable who headed the wrong side of the post.
Smith was a lucky man early on in the second half when a left footed effort from Mandron slipped through the Wood keeper’s hands and out for a corner.
Then came the move of the game with Wood deservedly drawing level when Davis picked the ball up in midfield and drove towards to the Eastleigh goal. He then played a neat one two with Balanta before passing the ball out wide to Jeffrey who crossed to the far post. Balanta headed the ball back across goal for Ferrier to be in the right place to tap past Childs.
Mandron was an aerial threat all evening for Eastleigh and nearly put the home side back ahead following a corner from the right. The ball was delivered with pace but he could not keep his header down sending the ball over the cross bar.
In the space of a few second half minutes Wood should have found themselves ahead in the game but in fact fell behind. Andrade out wide delivered a great ball into the box which substitute Jamie Lucas dummied for Anthony Jeffrey at the far post. The firm fan’s favourite took a touch before trying to slot the ball underneath the onrushing Childs, but the home keeper on debut produced a fantastic save. Eastleigh then on their next attack were awarded a penalty after a foul by Matt Paine. Mandron stepped up and made no mistake from the penalty spot giving the home side what looked like all 3 points with just 5 minutes left on the clock.
Ross Stearn had the chance to make certain of the points, with Wood now in a more expansive 3-4-3 formation looking for an equaliser which left plenty of holes in the Wood back line. A ball across the box found Stearn 7 yards out but the former Sutton man blasted over the bar.
The 4th Official held up 5 additional minutes of time to be played at the end of the second half much to the bemusement of many of the 2200 spectators in attendance. However, for Wood all 5 minutes were required as there was late drama at the Silverlake Stadium. A goalmouth scramble in the final minute of added time, with Andrade and Lucas attempting to get shots away, saw the ball fall to Woodards who swung with his left foot putting the ball beyond Childs to send the management, players and travelling supporters into joyous celebrations.
Boreham Wood: Smith, Nunn, Ilesanmi, Paine, Devera, Ricketts, Davis, Balanta (Woodards), Jeffrey, Andrade, Ferrier (Lucas)
Subs: Coldicott-Stevens, Uchechi, Shakes