Bristol Rovers fell victim to an FA Cup upset as Boreham Wood claimed a 2-0 win at the Memorial Stadium. George Broadbent and David Stephens scored in the first-half without a response to give the National League side the victory.
It is just the second defeat in 14 matches for Rovers, but by the high-standards set by Joey Barton, the players fell below expectations. It is the first time since 2018 that the Gas haven’t reached the third round stage of the competition, with only 4,769 fans attending the match.
The visitors went in front when George Broadbent was unmarked on the edge of the box and he rifled his shot past a sea of bodies into the goal beating an obstructed James Belshaw. Broadbent then headed against the post rom Zak Brunt’s cross in an impressive start from the non-league outfit.
Rovers did not learn their lesson and Femi Ilesanmi’s cross, David Stephens was able to bundle his header home after the defence were at sixes and sevens.
There were half opportunities for Rovers with Scott Sinclair forcing Nathan Ashmore to tip his difficult cross over the bar but that was the most meaningful opportunity. Aaron Collins and Josh Coburn both flashed efforts wide but could not find the net that may have inspired a comeback.
Semi-professional Boreham Wood - ranked 10th in the fifth tier are 43 places below Rovers, claimed upsets in last year’s edition and will now enter the the third round draw where they could face Premier League giants.
James Belshaw - 5
Belshaw didn’t have much to do other than picking the ball out of the net. There were no saves to make.
Bobby Thomas (subbed off, 46) - 4
Collectively, Rovers were a mess in the first-half, with Boreham players escaping their marker. Lee Ndlovu had the beating of both centre-backs.
James Connolly - 4
Boreham Wood’s strikers were physical and at times had the beating of Connolly, who was let off a few times by the referee blowing for a foul.
Lewis Gibson - 4
Rovers’ central back three really struggled with the physicality of Ndlovu. Gibson was slightly loose in possession when he had it.
Scott Sinclair - 5
A cross early in the second-half that Nathan Ashmore had to tip over was Sinclair’s most notable contribution.
Antony Evans (subbed off, 46) - 4
A side-splitting pass to Aaron Collins made for a positive start but for the remainder of the first period, Evans struggled. The direction was to go short from corners but there was a struggle to find a home player.
Glenn Whelan (subbed off, 46), 4
A first appearance in almost two months for Whelan. The player-coach struggled to get a foot hold on to the game.
Lewis Gordon - 4
Boreham Wood found plenty of joy down the left flank in the first period with Cameron Coxe having the better of him.
Aaron Collins - 5
A good chance to score in the first-half but he failed to take it. Tried in several positions and got chances, but couldn’t put them away.
Josh Coburn - 5
Several half opportunities for Coburn but the on-loan Boro striker was unable to put them away.
Ryan Loft (subbed off, 65) - 5
A game in which Loft really struggled to get involved in. No chance of note from the striker who usually has a say in games.
Trevor Clarke (subbed on, 46) - 5
Brought on as a slightly more attacking player than Lewis Gordon. He whipped in several crosses but he had no luck.
Luke McCormick (subbed on, 46) - 5
McCormick’s struggling to find his feet since his summer move. A lack of pre-season and cameo appearances, means he is finding it hard to impact games.
James Gibbons (subbed on, 46) - 5
Rovers tried to attack down the right hand-flank but several players would go astray. Boreham Wood had some joy down his side.
Sam Finley (subbed on, 46) - 5
Finley donned the captain’s armband for the second-half and his arrival was met with applause from the fans. Boreham Wood’s game was played down the flanks which meant he couldn’t get into his game.
Harvey Saunders (subbed on, 65) - 5
He had a half-opportunity to swipe a shot but the Boreham Wood players defended resolutely.