Boreham Wood were unable to turn an early advantage into three points as they drew 1-1 at Gateshead in the National League this afternoon.

Luke Garrard will be pleased, nonetheless, with a point up in north east after taking an early lead through Angelo Balanta.

However, Wood, on their second longest away trip of the season, were pegged back by a Ryan Bowman header just two minutes later.

Despite their hosts having most of the possession and chances, Wood held firm and brought a well-deserved point back to Hertfordshire.

Garrard brought Danny Woodards into the side at right-back with Ben Nunn making way. That meant Femi Ilesanmi started at left-back again after debuting in the 1-1 draw with Chester.

Goalscorer Balanta continued down the left with Morgan Ferrier the lone forward.

Wood made the perfect start when they went in front after just six minutes. A poor pass from Heed defender Gus Mafuta fell into the path of Balanta who went through to meet keeper Sam Johnson one-v-one before lifting beyond the Port Vale loanee.

That start didn’t last long though as, directly from the kick off, Gateshead pulled themselves level.

The hosts won a corner and Bowman got himself free from his marker and headed past Wood keeper Grant Smith.

From there Gateshead took control of the half without really ever troubling the Wood backline.

An effort from winger Toby Ajala from 20 yards went wide then, moments later, Grant Smith had to save well from a driven effort by Danny Johnson.

The marking from corners was lacking all afternoon and, from another Gateshead set piece, Bowman was left unmarked and he headed over the bar.

Gateshead’s James Bolton found space down the left after a neat one-two and played a delightful ball into the box for Bowman who got his feet in a muddle and couldn’t get a clean strike on the ball.

The Tynesiders came close again when a nice ball inside from Ajala found Danny Johnson on the turn and he volleyed into the palms of Smith.

Wood continued to withstand pressure from the hosts with Wes York, on the counter, cutting in from the left and firing over the bar from outside the box.

Conor Clifford tried his luck from a free-kick after Ferrier got upended by Ajala 25 yards from goal. The Irishman couldn’t work Heed keeper Johnson though, and fired well over the bar.

Chances continued to stack up for the hosts. Bowman beat Joe Devera in the air to flick on for Danny Johnson who skewed his shot wide of Smith’s goal.

Danny Johnson then picked the ball up from Ajala and eased past Matt Paine into the box, again failing to test Smith.

After a little interchange Gateshead’s Paddy McLaughlin found himself with acres of space inside the Wood 18-yard box but lashed over.

Kenny Davis had the best chance to win it for Boreham Wood. Ricky Shakes played in Woodards who, on the overlap, crossed for Balanta. The winger-cum-forward laid off for Davis but he shot over from eight yards.

Gateshead winger York almost nicked it at the death but, to the relief of all those travelling the 265 miles from Meadow Park, he flicked over the crossbar.

Next up for Boreham Wood is a visit from National League new-boys Maidstone United on Bank Holiday Monday. 

Gateshead: S. Johnson; Bolton, Fyfield, Hogan, Smith; York, Mafuta, McLaughlin, Ajala (Brundle 66); D.Johnson (Jones 66), Bowman.

Substitutes: Hanford (GK), Sweeney, Styche.

Boreham Wood: Smith; Woodards, Devera, Paine, Ilesanmi; Shakes (Nunn 88), Clifford, Ricketts (c), Balanta; Davis; Ferrier (Chiedozie 60).

Substitutes: Boal (GK), Moke, Kuhl.

Referee: R Johnson.