REPORT: Boreham Wood 1 Tranmere Rovers 2

Ten-man Tranmere Rovers returned to the Football League at the third attempt after defeating Boreham Wood in the National League Promotion Final at Wembley.

There was controversy almost straight from the kick-off as Tranmere were reduced to ten-men inside 60 seconds. Left-back Liam Ridehalgh received his marching orders from Neil Hair for a reckless challenge on Ricky Shakes.

This did little to upset Rovers, though, as top scorer Andy Cook met James Norwood’s cross at the near-post to head last season’s beaten finalists into the lead

Promotion final debutants, Boreham Wood, struggled to break down the experienced Tranmere backline during the remainder of the half. The closest they came to an equaliser was through a blocked Bruno Andrade effort and a goal-saving tackle from Ritchie Sutton to deny Michael Folivi.

Tranmere were unable to hold out until half-time, as Bruno Andrade buried Danny Woodards’ square ball from the centre of the box deep into first half stoppage time to draw The Wood level at the break. This was the forward’s fourth goal in as many games against Rovers.

Rovers, who finished second during the regular season, were quick out the blocks at the beginning of the second half as Grant Smith was called into action to prevent substitute Connor Jennings from restoring their lead. Goal-scorer Cook then saw his follow-up effort blocked.

Boreham Wood took longer to fashion an opening of note before 22-goal Andrade tested Scott Davies with a free-kick from the corner of the box in the 66th minute.

With ten minutes to play, Tranmere took a huge step towards returning to the Football League after a three-year absence when Norwood rose highest to flick Jennings’ cross past Smith, despite the Boreham Wood ‘keeper’s best efforts.

The Wood were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty in the final minute when Joe Quigley’s attempted cross struck the arm of a Rovers defender.

Ultimately, though, Tranmere saw out the final minutes to book their place in League Two next season at the expense of their opponents.

Sub-edited by: Sam Cox

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