Torquay United are three points clear at the top of the National League table but will rue two points dropped against Boreham Wood at Plainmoor after drawing with the Hertfordshire visitors 1-1.
It looked like it was going to be business as usual, after last weekend’s 6-5 FA Cup defeat against Crawley Town blip, when Sam Sherring gave the Gulls an early lead – but an equaliser on the stroke of half time set up a frustrating second half in which Torquay were reduced to ten men when midfielder Adam Randell was sent off after picking up a second yellow card.
Johnson made one change from the team that began that epic cup with Lucas Covolan dropping from the 16 and Shaun MacDonald taking his place in goal. There was no place on the bench either for midfielder Armani Little, who is recovering from a ‘slight knock’.
The weather was awful all morning and half an hour before kick off the rain began swirling around Plainmoor heavier than ever and it took a little while for both teams to get used to the strength of the wind. However, a Sorba Thomas free kick on six minutes was the first shot on target. It was easily held by MacDonald.
Thomas had started well and Aarone Nemane did well to dispossess him in the area a couple of minutes later. Matt Rhead struck a powerful shot at goal after some more good work from Thomas, but it was straight at MacDonald.
Ben Whitfield had a shot blocked on the edge of the Boreham Wood area on 14 minutes before Torquay opened the scoring on 16 minutes when Sherring got his head to a Connor Lemonheigh-Evans free kick into the box. It was a composed header for the defender’s second Torquay goal.
MacDonald had to be alert after the goal to come out and stop a couple of attacks, and make another save, as the visitors continued to work hard to supply their frontmen. MacDonald then had to parry wide a skipping Adam McDonnell shot.
Wright headed a Ben Wytner free kick into the box wide as the game headed into the final five minutes of the first half – for the majority of which Boreham Wood dominated, driven on by the lively Thomas.
In time-added-on, Thomas ran into the box and got to the line. His cross from the left was deflected off the boot of Ben Wynter and the ball sailed over MacDonald, who was wrong-footed, into the far corner for the equaliser.
Now playing into the wind – the rain had stopped midway through the first half – Torquay started the second half well, and Asa Hall sent a shot wide after some good build-up play.
Thomas’ pace forced a Boreham Wood corner on 55 minutes and Rhead was inches wide with his shot at the back post from…
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