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Match Preview: Boreham Wood vs Rochdale
Monday, 18th Sep 2023 10:05 by AtThePeake

All aboard the Jim McNulty Total Options Football Special - next stop, Boreham Wood.

- Boreham Wood vs Rochdale
- Tuesday September 19th
- Meadow Park, Borehamwood


Well, after the two most disappointing displays of the season so far resulted in a home defeat to Halifax and a 1-1 draw at Kidderminster, Dale returned to form with an absolute bang on Saturday afternoon.

A brace from Tyrese Sinclair plus second-half goals from Harvey Gilmour and Ian Henderson secured a 4-2 victory for Jim McNulty's side against a Barnet side that had topped the table at the start of the day.

The introduction of Jesurun Uchegbulam, making his home debut on the right side of the attack, helped take some of the focus away from Tyrese Sinclair, who profited with two very well-taken goals, while strong performances throughout the team saw the Dale pick up a very deserved three points.

Jimmy Keohane returned to the starting eleven with one of his best performances of the last two seasons, while both Adam Clayton and Ryan East turned in better displays than the last few weeks in what was a stand-out team performance that the manager praised
unreservedly at full-time.

That victory puts Dale into the play-off positions and they'll be hoping to stay there ahead of the weekend's trip to Dorking as they come up against a Boreham Wood outfit that have made themselves difficult to beat in the National League over the last few campaigns.

In terms of personnel, Devante Rodney remains out of the picture for the time being with a virus, while McNulty may opt not to start Uchegbulam twice in a matter of days as he works his way back to full fitness following an ankle injury. Monday's Lancashire Challenge Trophy fixture against Daisy Hill may give us some clues as to which players won't be involved for Tuesday night's trip to Hertfordshire.


Boreham Wood are one of the more consistent teams in the National League, having been managed by Luke Garrard for the last eight years and consistently finishing in the upper reaches of the division during that time.

Aside from the 2018/2019 campaign, in which The Wood escaped relegation by just one place, Garrard has made his team well-structured and difficult to beat, leading them to the play-off positions in 2017/2018. 2019/2020 and last season, in 2022/2023.

They were unlucky in the play-offs too, losing to eventual winners Notts County in extra-time in the semi-final after beating Barnet away from home in the Quarter Finals. This season however, the play-offs seem like an unlikely target following a shaky start to the campaign.

Although the Hertfordshire side have lost just three games - the same as Dale - they've managed to pick up just two wins so far in their opening nine fixtures, including this weekend where they earned a first away victory of the campaign, winning 0-1 at Maidenhead thanks to Tyrone Marsh's second half penalty.

Prior to that though, Garrard's men had been struggling somewhat, with their 4-0 defeat away at Oxford City a particularly tough one to take before a 0-1 home loss to Barnet live on TNT.

Players to watch out for include midfielder Tom Whelan, the experienced Femi Ilesanmi at the back and striker Lee Ndlovu, who has scored three of the Wood's nine goals so far this term. Also expected to feature in attack is Timmy Abraham, the brother of Roma and England forward Tammy.


Boreham Wood's Meadow Park has been developed in recent years and Dale fans may get to experience some of the benefits of that should they opt to take one of the seats in the West Stand that are made available to supporters on a first come first serve basis.

Otherwise, Dale supporters will be occupying the South Terrace, which is an open away end behind the goals. Opposite this stand is the newest stand in the ground, the covered North Terrace where the most vociferous home support can be found, while opposite the West Stand is the smaller Main Stand, which is also relatively new.

The Three Lions Bar at Meadow Park is usually only available for home fans, but the town centre of Borehamwood is less than 10 minutes walk away, where you can find a Wetherspoons called Hart and Spool or you can catch the early kick-off in the Champions League between AC Milan and Newcastle at the Wishing Well, which shows live sports.

In terms of car parking, the car park at the ground is for players and officials only, but there is a pay and display car park at Brook Road just a few short minutes walk away, which is free after 6.30pm.


DRAW: 11/5


Boreham Wood:
16 Sep 2023 - Maidenhead United 0-1 Boreham Wood - National League
09 Sep 2023 - York City 2-2 Boreham Wood - National League
02 Sep 2023 - Boreham Wood 0-1 Barnet - National League
28 Aug 2023 - Oxford City 4-0 Boreham Wood - National League
26 Aug 2023 - Boreham Wood 0-0 Oldham Athletic - National League

16 Sep 2023 - Rochdale 4-2 Barnet - National League
09 Sep 2023 - Kidderminster Harriers 1-1 Rochdale - National League
02 Sep 2023 - Rochdale 0-1 Halifax Town - National League
28 Aug 2023 - York City 1-3 Rochdale - National League
25 Aug 2023 - Rochdale 2-2 Bromley - National League


This is the first ever meeting between Boreham Wood and Rochdale.

Photo: Action Images

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