Jack Muldoon’s second half header was the difference as Simon Weaver’s men battled hard for a deserving victory.
It was 138 days since the last time Town got to kick a ball. The side which would send Town to Wembley saw Weaver hand a debut to striker Aaron Martin with the rest of team looking familiar to the one which saw Town finish second in the National League.
Before the kick off, all players and staff took the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Although no fans could attend the fixture, Town started strongly. Lloyd Kerry was first to fire an attempt goal wards which was blocked for an early Town corner which was eventually cleared.
Town’s intensity was difficult for Boreham Wood to deal with as they continued to dominate with confident and assured passing. It resulted in George Thomson finding space in the middle of the park for him to hit a left footed strike which ended up in the keepers’ gloves.
Jack Diamond, whose loan was extended by Town for the play off campaign was lively as he looked to continue from his excellent pre-lockdown form. He drove well at the Wood defence with his low effort needing to be saved by keeper Nathan Ashmore.
It looked like Town’s early pressure was going to pay off just after the quarter hour mark when Thomson had the ball in the back of net. It followed some great build up play only for the referee to blow for a soft foul against Diamond, who had crossed the ball in for Thomson.
The last bit of action before the water break saw Muldoon hit a swerving low drive which looked destined for the bottom corner. The Boreham keeper was needed to make a great save to keep the tie goalless.
Town once again came close to the opener just after the 30-minute mark when Martin made a great run to the near post to connect with Falkingham’s low cross. Ashmore did well to shift his feet to make the save.
Boreham began to grow into the game as the half came to close, threating the Town goal on the stroke of half-time when Thomas cut inside to shoot across goal.
Neither side made changes at the start of the second half but it was the London side who came out stronger. Belshaw was called into action, making a strong, low save from Marsh’s strike which look set to ripple the back of the net.
A vital block was then needed from Hall just before the hour mark as Boreham worked the ball into the box with Tshmimanga firing from close range.
A couple minutes later and it was Town’s chance to attack. Muldoon broke free of the Boreham defence to get a shot off to the near post, forcing a corner. Diamond was the man to pick up the loose ball from the set piece, beating his man to fire a shot towards goal which was deflected over.
Town deservedly broke the deadlock with 64 minutes played thanks to Town top scorer Muldoon.
From a Town corner, it was Will Smith who headed the ball in the direction of striker who reacted quickly to flick the header past the helpless keeper and put Town infront with half an hour left to play.
With just over 10 minutes to play, Town came close to doubling their lead with Stead curling an effort just wide of the far post.
Shaibu should have levelled for Boreham in what proved to a tense closing period. A deep cross was played over the head of Burrell with Shaibu side footing wide from only a few yards out. It was a warning to Town that the tie was not over.
The visitors threw bodies forward in the dying moments of the contest looking for an equaliser but it wasn’t enough as Town held on to secure their place in the play off final.
Report by Henry Whitaker and pictures courtesy of Harrogate Town AFC
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