Boreham Wood 0-0 Hartlepool United: Loach penalty save secures fortunate point for visitors

Loach made a superb penalty save early in the second half
Loach made a superb penalty save early in the second half

Hartlepool United escaped Meadow Park with a point thanks to a second half penalty save from Scott Loach.

The visitors survived a number of scares in the second half as Bruno Andrade missed a gluttony of opportunities to put his side ahead.

The two sides remain locked in the table after a hard-fought draw that extends an excellent unbeaten run in the league for Craig Harrison's side.

The hosts had edged a first half short on chances, with former QPR forward Andrade a menace throughout.

Given the freedom to roam across the frontline in a 3-5-2 system, the Portugese striker regularly broke free of the Hartlepool defence and forced the first save of the game from Scott Loach, cutting inside from the left flank and shooting across goal.

Minutes later he attacked the byline on the right-hand side and was unfortunate to see Dan Holman just unable to connect with his cross in the six-yard box.

The visitors were struggling to make much of an impression on the game, pushed deep in their own half and unable to get playmaker Nicky Deverdics on the ball.

They came close, however, quarter of an hour in as Rhys Oates flashed a wicked cross towards the far post, Boreham Wood goalkeeper Grant Smith scrambling and beaten as the ball just dropped wide.

The left wing looked like Hartlepool's best avenue of attack, with Blair Adams threatening on numerous forays forward, shooting from distance on the half hour mark but straight at Smith.

If the game had evened by the half-time mark, then Hartlepool were lucky to avoid being punished for a slack start to the second half.

Centre-back Scott Harrsion gave away a penalty just two minutes in, crashing into Blair Turgott as he ran across the box.

Scott Loach saved emphatically, Andrade's effort weak and at a good height for the keeper as he dove to his left.

Boreham Wood continue to apply heavy pressure but Hartlepool did come close when Oates flung himself at a cross to the near post, inches away from making the crucial connection.

The hosts had lost their dominance but had the ball in the net with twenty minutes to play. Andrade floated a free-kick to the back post where Stephens headed back into the danger area. Murtagh hammered home but the referee had already blown for a foul by Stephens.

Hartlepool were living dangerously and immensely fortunate to stay on level terms moments later, Andrade bustling free and racing through on goal. Loach saved his first effort but with the goal gaping on the rebound, Andrade could only fire into the side netting.

There was still time for the number 11 to miss another glorious chance, pouncing on an error from Kenton Richardson but this time firing over the bar.

Pools: Loach, Richardson, Harrison, Laing, Adams, Featherstone, George, Deverdics (Adeloye, 77), Oates, (Cassidy, 66) Franks, Rodney.

Subs: Woods, Newton, Munns

Boreham Wood: Smith, Smith, Wells, Stephens, Shakes, Champion, Murtagh, Andrade, Turley, Turgott, Holman (Jeffers, 63)

Subs: Woodwards, Ricketts, Benson, Keita

Bookings: N/A

Attendance: 773 (285 away)