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Brown salvages point for Wood
Bath City 2 Boreham Wood 2
PASE product substitute Karl Brown popped up with an all hands to the pump stoppage time equaliser, rescuing a point from a game that Wood had seemingly under control. That was until a disastrous spell when they contrived to fail to protect a lead gained in first half stoppage time until the interval, before going behind immediately from the restart.
These two sides have historically found it difficult to score against each other, their previous three meetings yielding just one goal in total. However, this game more than made up for past cautions, producing three goals in stoppage time, a red card, controversy, a requisite handbag dance and even two Wood players taking simultaneous throw ins with different balls!
The first goal mouth action came when Josh Low lofted a shot over both James Russell and the bar for the home side. Matthew Ball then reciprocated for Wood at the other end after good work from Anthony Jeffrey and Ben Nunn.
There was little between the two sides again, especially after familiarising themselves just seven days earlier in the league at Meadow Park.
Wood enjoyed the majority of possession and forced The Romans to defend for the remainder of the half, without creating any clear chances. Charlie O'Loughlin headed wide from a corner, before Jeffrey threatened who forced Mark Preece into a fine blocking challenge.
With one minute of stoppage time already ticking away Graeme Montgomery released Nunn down the right. His run into the penalty area featured a burst of pace that took him beyond Aaron Brown whose intervention was adjudged to be illegal by referee Mr Hulme. It was by no means a clear cut decision but one that Mario Noto took with aplomb, sending keeper Jason Mellor the wrong way.
Going into the lead just before half time is the most a visiting side can ask for. Wood were thirty seconds from a well earned beverage break, yet Mr Hulme's decision to play on well after the residue of the minute had passed and Matthew Ball's poor decision in not clearing the last attack of the half led to a City corner.
Brown delivered from the right and with nobody picking up the late run of Andy Watkins the damage was done. The striker arrived at the back of the box hitting an unstoppable half volley beyond Russell, his second goal against Wood in just seven days.
If that was a bitter pill to swallow, what came within a minute of the restart was pure poison for Ian Allinson's side. They were undone by another Brown corner, just 49 seconds after the first. This time at the other end of the behemoth Twerton Park ground, but again from the right. Luke Garrard lost his marker Preece who span away from the Wood Assistant Manager to head firmly home.
Russell made a fine save at his near post to deny Watkins what would have been the killer blow just a minute later as Wood struggled to gain their composure defensively.
A litany of misplaced passes by Wood ensued, with the home side happier to protect their lead than pile more agony on their opponents. Russell made a further save to deny Dan Bowman before an outbreak of handbags delayed the action after Low's challenge on Sam Cox.
Montgomery tested Mellor before Wood went to pieces at another City corner, with Russell completely misreading the flight of the ball. Changes were needed and Allinson showed his intent thrusting Austin Lipman and Billy Lobjoit into attack from the bench.
City were denied by a superb point blank reaction save from Russell. A free kick was deflected off of Noto through to Joe Burnell just six yards from goal. His flicked header was somehow kept out, a feat that even Burnell applauded.
Burnell then picked up a card for an innocuous challenge on Cox, before Bowman was allowed to run fifty yards before crossing . Thankfully for Wood there was nobody to finish.
With five minutes of stoppage time underway Wood won a free kick, just inside the City half on the right. Burnell kicked the ball way which earned him a second yellow card before Nunn delivered into the crowded penalty area. Garrard's shot was blocked but only as far as Carl Brown who showed composure beyond his years to force the ball home acrobatically in the most dramatic of finishes.
After the game Ian Allinson summarised, “ We were undone by poor decisions from my players leading to conceding from two set pieces in quick succession. Failing to preserve our lead was a disaster, to give way a quick second allowed Bath City to sit on their lead. We have to learn and stop making poor decisions. We will take the point thanks to Karl Brown and I am looking to strengthen in front of goal. In Anthony Jeffrey we have a lad with devastating pace but he needs support.”
Team: Russell, Nunn, Jones, Cox, O'Loughlin, Garrard, Morgan (Brown 84), Noto, Jeffrey, Ball ( Lipman 69), Montgomery (Lobjoit 69).
Subs not used: Whichelow, Courtnage.
Goals: Bath City: Watkins 45+1, Preece 46.
Boreham Wood: Noto pen 45+1, Brown 90+3.