Boreham Wood salvage Basingstoke Town draw

First published in Sport

Omer Riza came off the bench to score a 77th minute penalty as Boreham Wood drew 1-1 at home to Basingstoke Town.

Inih Effiong replaced Riza in the starting line up, the only change from Saturday’s F A Trophy win.

It all went horribly wrong after just two minutes for Wood, when the returning Wes Daly made an instant impact upon proceedings.

His sweetly struck curling delivery from a free-kick just inside the Wood half on the left caused a lethal slip up. James Russell took his eye off the ball, dropping it at the feet of seasoned striker Tim Sills who scored one of the easiest goals of his illustrious career to date.

A lively contest followed with both sides working incredibly hard outside the penalty areas. Cliff Akurang played Mauro Vilhete through who was stopped by Matthew Warner’s fine challenge.

Mark Jones had Ashley Bayes briefly concerned with a speculative effort from range as Wood tried to get in on the points. Both sides played some attractive football, Wood’s best move including a fine cross field ball from Graeme Montgomery for David Hutton whose shot was parried as far as Akurang who struck wide of the goal.

The recent rain added more than a zip to the playing surface which almost cost Russell a second moment of madness when he recovered from a slip just in time to again deny the predatory Sills.

Delano Sam-Yorke was proving a handful up front for Town but the Wood defence had just enough in their armoury to keep Russell relatively quiet in the Wood goal.

Hutton was unlucky after the interval when he seized upon a loose ball hitting a low drive from thirty yards that struck the base of the post.

The lively start to the half continued with Sills heading just wide. The stakes heightened as the half wore on, with both sides eager to take the points on offer. Wood’s urgency was met by a resilience and determination by the very capable visitors.

The already booked Douglas Berqvist hauled down Akurang on the edge of the area, with substitute Greg Morgan blasting the resultant free kick wide.

Morgan atoned five minutes later with a super run down the left wing. His drag back left the first defender standing, his pace took him beyond Berqvist who nudged him to the ground inside the penalty area.

Berqvist was certainly leading a charmed life as he again escaped punishment, yet in conceding the penalty allowed Wood’s other substitute Riza to firmly place his spot kick beyond Bayes for his eighth goal of the season.

It was the visitors who finished the stronger, with a corner clawed off the line by Russell, before he again saved well to deny Stuart Lake’s follow up shot. Callum Reynolds then stopped the dangerous run of Simon Dunn leaving the honours even at the final whistle.

Wood manager Ian Allinson said: "Without that mistake we would have won the game 1-0 and kept another clean sheet. We responded well and played some good stuff against a side that had a real go.

"Their form of late has not been good but Basingstoke disrupted our performance and certainly raised their game. We showed good character throughout and both Greg and Omer did exceptionally well coming on for us. I was hooping we could have gone on and killed the game after the equaliser but credit to Basingstoke as they finished the stronger.”

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