Easter Weekend gets underway for Salford City away at Boreham Wood’s Meadow Park on Friday (KO 15:00).
With just three games to go, second-place Salford are just two points behind leaders Leyton Orient and will be hoping to keep up their good run of form.
Eight wins in nine have put The Ammies back in contention for the title, but it is still reliant on keeping the pressure on Orient and seeing if they drop points at all.
However Boreham Wood hasn’t been an easy place for the top six (they are yet to play Eastleigh at home) and last season’s play-off finalists took three points off Orient earlier in the season as well as claiming draws against Solihull Moors and AFC Fylde.
After the highs of reaching Wembley last season, and the low of losing out to Tranmere Rovers, this season has been very different for Boreham Wood. Wins haven’t come consistently enough for Luke Garrard’s side and they have only managed back-to-back league wins twice this season.
Their fight wasn’t helped by a bad run of form at the turn of the year, but safety was guaranteed last weekend when they won at Harrogate Town, coupled with Aldershot and Havant & Waterlooville failing to pick up maximum points. Garrard admitted in an interview this week that it has been difficult for his side this season, but planning for next season can now start.
The Wood did have an exciting twist to their season as they competed in the Scottish Challenge Cup, by virtue of being a top finished in The National League not to be promoted, but they were beaten in the Second Round on penalties by Dunfermline Athletic at Meadow Park.
Boreham Wood have picked up a couple of important results with two wins and a draw in the last five helping them edge clear of the relegation zone, and not many would have predicted them to go to Harrogate and return with all three points.
However all of those wins have come on the road, and they haven’t picked up three points at Meadow Park since Boxing Day and a 1-0 win against Barnet although they did twice come from behind to draw 2-2 with Solihull Moors, Idris Kanu scoring in the 88th minute.
One To Watch – Justin Shaibu
The forward, on loan from Brentford, is Boreham Wood’s top scorer this season with eight league goals in 37 appearances. The 21-year-old started in the reverse fixture but was replaced at the break, however he is a powerful striker and has scored some important goals for The Wood this season.
Originally from Denmark, the Shaibu began his career with HB Koge before moving to Brentford in 2016. His first appearance came in the EFL Cup as a sub at Exeter City, and he made a handful more appearances before a loan spell at Walsall last season, then Meadow Park this season.
We came out on top in the reverse fixture as we extended our unbeaten run at the time to nine games. The Wood were late arriving at The Peninsula Stadium, and Salford made a quick start to the game when Tom Walker scored after three minutes thanks to a deflected shot. Mark Shelton then scored a contender for goal of the season as he slammed a shot from 25 yards and on the right past Ryan Huddart before Rory Gaffney made it 3-0 in the second half. Josh Umerah pulled one back for Boreham Wood, but it didn’t inspire a comeback.