By Dominic Scurr
SETTING THE SCENE
Saturday’s game sees both sides looking to bounce back from late defeats on Easter Monday.
While Yemi Odubade’s 93rd minute winner for Maidstone United saw Boreham Wood lose out on a point, Gateshead’s experience in the final stages of the match against Lincoln City was considerably worse as a Matt Rhead penalty in the final minute of normal time followed by a stoppage time winner from Nathan Arnold saw the Imps claim a crucial win in their bid for promotion as the nicked victory from under the Heed’s nose.
It also meant Neil Aspin’s men fell to their fourth consecutive National League defeat as their play-off chances were officially over. And after going 10 games unbeaten, it’s now six without a win and just two points out of a possible 18.
And with two games to go the Heed will be wanting to avoid a completely disastrous end to the season as they look to pick up at least one more win before the season reaches its conclusion.
The Wood currently sit 14th in the table having lost four of their last five matches but have proven themselves to be formidable opposition on occasion this season with 5-0 and 2-0 home victories over Dover Athletic and Lincoln City respectively.
It’s a similar situation as previous matches for Gateshead as Danny Johnson and Kieran Green (both foot) will be sidelined for the remainder of the season. James Montgomery (abdominal strain) has returned to training and will travel down with the side.
WHAT WE’RE SAYING
Neil Aspin said during his pre-match press conference: “Neither teams have anything to play for in terms of going up of up or down but it’s still an important game for us because we’re on a bad losing streak which we’ll be looking to end.
“It’s not the easiest place to go and end that but we need to take the positive aspects of the Lincoln performance into the Boreham Wood game and then look to end the season positively at home.
“The players have let themselves down in previous games and even though we didn’t get the result against Lincoln but it was a much improved performance.”
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Wood boss Luke Garrard said following his side’s late defeat against Maidstone United: “We dominated the ball but we lost, it’s the second time it’s happened against Maidstone this season.
“We didn’t test their keeper enough and we’ve struggled to break down another side again and it’s cost us points.
“It’s back to the drawing board now and hopefully we can get some players involved from the youth academy in the final two games of the season because they are doing so well.
“The plan is that we can give the fans the type of performance like we did against Dover or Lincoln this weekend for our final home match of the season.”
The Tynesiders have been on last year’s points total of 67 since the start of the month. And despite looking like play-off contenders at the start of April, they now risk equalling last season’s performance unless they can pick up some points in their remaining two matches.
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area and disabled toilet facilities. These are available via the West Stand.
LAST TIME WE MET
A somewhat forgettable 1-1 draw at the International Stadium started in lightning fashion as Angelo Balanta put the visitors 1-0 ahead after six minutes before Ryan Bowman replied immediately after. But despite the promising start, that is how the score remained in front of a crowd of 732.