For the second game in a row, County were made to rue missed chances as we were held to a goalless draw at Boreham Wood, bringing to an end the home side’s 100% start to the new season.
County will feel they were the better of the two sides over the course of the 90 minutes, coming the closest to opening the scoring in the second-half through Alex Reid and Jordan Keane, with the latter stricking the post late on.
Manager Simon Rusk made two changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Grimsby on Tuesday night, and make a slight tweak to the formation in the process as Will Collar replaced Alex Reid, whilst the returning Macauley Southam-Hales came in for Ryan Rydel.
Arjan Raikhy and John Rooney both played in a more advanced position, in behind lone striker Paddy Madden. Ben Whitfield, meanwhile, made the switch from right-wing-back to left-wing-back, a position he played several times during his time as a Torquay United player.
At the back, it was the same three who have performed so well in the last two games against Grimsby and Southend, with Ben Barclay and Jordan Keane playing either side of Ash Palmer.
Chances were few and far between in a tight and tense first-half, as two of the division’s best defences went head to head. The few chances that were created in the opening period did fall for the home side though, with Scott Bowden flashing an effort wide at the near post.
Paddy Madden did have a brief sight of goal at the other end after good work from John Rooney and Ben Whitfield saw the ball fall for him in the penalty area, but he just couldn’t get the ball out from under his feet and Boreham Wood managed to scramble it clear.
Half-time: Boreham Wood 0-0 County.
Perhaps sensing an opportunity for more at half-time, Simon Rusk made an attacking change at half-time by bringing Alex Reid on in place of Will Collar, before introducing Tom Walker ten minutes later.
Those changes looked to have made a positive impact as County gradually began to take control of proceedings, forcing the home side back. They were, however, indebted to Ben Hinchliffe for keeping the scores level early in the half, denying Femi Ilesanmi’s effort from point blank range, before getting up to scramble away the follow-up. He took a heavy blow to the face in doing so, but after lengthy treatment was okay to continue.
From there County seized the momentum, Paddy Madden seeing a goalbound effort blocked from the edge of the area before Alex Reid’s acrobatically hooked an effort towards the top corner, only to be denied by a brilliant save from goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore.
Less than ten minutes later, Jordan Keane came so close to grabbing what would have been a decisive late goal, drilling an effort back off the far post from the edge of the area, with the rebound cannoning off Madden and over the bar.
It was backs to the wall at this point for the home side, who almost handed County a lead late on in bizarre fashion as Will Evans’ defensive header had to be shovelled over the bar by his own ‘keeper.
It wasn’t to be for County though as the home side, who had started the season with three wins out of three, held on for a point down in Hertfordshire.
Full-time: Boreham Wood 0-0 County
County Team: Hinchliffe; Keane; Palmer; Barclay; Southam-Hales; Croasdale; Collar (Reid, 45’); Whitfield (Rydel, 75’); Rooney; Raikhy (Walker, 59’); Madden.