Written By: Mark Armstrong
Result: Tranmere Rovers 2-2 Boreham Wood
Date: Saturday August 26 2017
Competition: National League
Venue: Prenton Park, Tranmere
Tranmere Rovers left it late to salvage a draw against Boreham Wood.
Up until the closing minutes, it looked like last year’s runner-up’s in the National League would be facing their third defeat already this season. Two late goals ensured that Tranmere came away with a point, but it still means that Rovers only have one win in their six opening games so far.
For the first half, it was more Boring than Boreham as there were few notable chances between the two sides. Boreham (who came into the match in 4th with some momentum behind them) came close early on after James McEveley lost the ball close to his area, but Scott Davies was in prime position to deny Sean Jeffers outside the area.
Otherwise, there wasn’t a great deal to report from the first 45 minutes. Perhaps most notably were some slight boos towards the home team at half-time, which suggests that patience is running a little thin after the heights that Rovers hit as they peaked towards the end of last season.
The turning point, and the incident which brought the game to life, was the controversial decision by referee Paul Marsden to award Boreham a penalty. Though there were protests and plenty of boos after the fact, it didn’t stop Bruno Andrade from converting the spot-kick to put the travelling side in front.
One became two on 69 minutes, and in some style. Angelo Balanta strode forward on a straight run through the Tranmere run before unleashing a spectacular curling shot over the head of Davies to double Boreham’s lead. Nobody could deny the incredible quality of the goal, though it did little to make home fans feel better that their side were facing another defeat.
Some pride was restored by substitute Andy Cook who slotted home with a header on 83 minutes. It gave Tranmere a lifeline, though their performance suggested that an equaliser was unlikely. But against the odds, almost to the second of completing the 90 minutes, Andy Mangan (another substitute) scored off a low cross by James Norwood to make it 2-2.
So, ultimately, fans were satisfied to see their team salvage something at the death, though it remains a result which few Rovers supporters would have taken beforehand. Hopefully, the manner of this draw will motivate Tranmere to really get their season going, and Rovers will start putting together a run of victories. If not, then results like this could become bigger achievements as the campaign rolls on.
Tranmere Star Man: Andy Mangan. On a day when few Tranmere performances stood out, Mangan’s fresh burst of energy was a major factor in Tranmere snatching a late point. As if his goal wasn’t enough, his passionate celebration demonstrated how much this moment meant to him as he spared the home side’s blushes.