Extra Bank Holidays also means extra games of football or just the same amount spread over more days! 2022 was to kick off with a derby as Boreham Wood took on Barnet for the third time this season.
With Wood winning both the FA Cup and Trophy ties already this season, the Bees would have looked at this one as surely the one to turn the tide and finally get one over their local rivals.
It was the first game for both since that Trophy game at The Hive on 18th December, a covid ravaged Christmas for a majority of the National League and both these sides had their fair share as well.
On a damp Sunday afternoon in Hertfordshire but on a decent playing surface, Bees boss Dean Brennan went with both strikers in Adam Marriott and Mason Bloomfield, something that hasn’t been seen too often this season and in trying to match up against Wood’s formation, Harry Taylor was employed as a centre half in a back three with Reis Greenidge out for the game.
From the beginning, it looked like it wasn’t going to be one for the purists, Wood well known for their tough, hard tackling game and turning the ball from back to front as quick as possible, the Bees trying to match their high flying opponents.
With both sides ring-rusty from a lack of match action of around two weeks there is pretty much next to nothing to write about the first half, Aston Oxborough forced into a save from Scott Boden down to his left tipping the ball away from goal and Sam Beard completing the clearance.
That was the only clear chance either side had in the first forty-five minutes as the two teams cancelled each other out from back to front.
The second half had more of the same unfortunately, Barnet’s first real chance came just after the hour mark, the excellent Jordan Thomas sent a lovely little cross in the six yard box but Bloomfield fluffed his kick and the scores stayed level.
Jacob Mendy had a great chance to win it for the hosts in the final ten minutes but Oxborough was equal to his shot and without much further drama a 0-0 draw was about as much as we could have expected.
I think it depends how you look at it as to whether it’s a good point against a top three side or just a poor game of football. From the outside it’s the good point, as mentioned above you could see neither side were in sync having had two weeks without playing, that’s bound to affect any team to get momentum going again.
I can’t say I was too keen that we went for a match up against them instead of playing our game, granted we did stand up to them and blocked and sweated everything they did, but at the expense of players like Rob Hall who had no influence at all on the game, a mere passenger.
I know playing Wood it’s not pretty, I have to say I wouldn’t enjoy watching the ball constantly find the air, that’s for the NFL!
Excellent game for Thomas on the right side today, certainly helps I think having Jamie Turley alongside him and by far the man of the match in black and amber.
A final word on the officials, the referee was pretty decent, just missed all the subtle things Wood like to get into the game, slowing down the throw in’s, the pushes and man handling. But the assistant in front of us was as poor as they come, countless offsides missed from not being in line with play, one or two too many mince pies this festive period, he was a shocker!
Well, onto Hungerford on Monday, can’t wait for that burger…………