RICKY Shakes punished a jittery Scott Flinders to earn Boreham Wood a last-minute point in front of their 30 thrilled fans.

The York City keeper had already survived an almighty second-half fright when, following a breakdown in communication with defender Jack Higgins, he appeared to throw out an arm to fell visiting sub Morgan Ferrier.

But, instead of winning his side a penalty, Ferrier was cautioned for diving by controversial referee Peter Wright, only for Flinders to flounder again just two minutes after skipper Simon Heslop had fired Jackie McNamara’s unconvincing home team into a late lead.

From a free kick, conceded close to the halfway line by City, Conor Clifford pumped a left-wing delivery into the home box.

Flinders came out of his goal and elected to punch the danger away, but didn’t get enough distance on his clearance, as the ball only carried as far as Shakes on the edge of the box, from where the former Swindon and Ebbsfleet winger volleyed into a vacated net.

Following Heslop’s earlier effort from a corner, it is telling that all five of the goals scored during City’s opening three fixtures have originated from set-piece situations, highlighting their importance – both defensively and offensively - in a National League where the quality in open play has been uninspiring so far.

Aidan Connolly has been the Minstermen’s brightest attacking spark during those first eight days of the campaign, but he has also posed his biggest threat from dead-ball deliveries with McNamara’s side having netted from two corners and a free kick swung in by the diminutive Scotsman this term.

Against Boreham Wood, Connolly’s flag kick from the right, won by substitute Kaine Felix, was only cleared as far as the penalty-box D too, with Heslop’s well-controlled strike spinning into a helpless Grant Smith’s bottom-right corner courtesy of a heavy deflection.

It was another stroke of fortune, following the bizarre own goal that earned City maximum midweek points against Macclesfield, but an ill-deserved breakthrough that proved agonisingly short-lived.

Earlier, left-wing back Alex Whittle had offered the only genuine forward impetus during another disjointed first-half display from the Minstermen.

His raids down the flank led to chances for Yan Klukoswki and Shaun Rooney, which were volleyed wide at the far post and hoofed over from 20 yards respectively.

After Kenny Davis crashed the visitors’ only opportunity before the break against the roof of the David Longhurst Stand from 20 yards, Rooney went on to head over from Klukowski’s corner and Clovis Kamdjo forced the first save of the afternoon on 36 minutes, with a long-range, daisy-cutter that was safely gathered by Smith.

A sloppy restart by the hosts saw Kamdjo lose possession in his own half, allowing Davis to thread a pass inside Rooney for ex-City winger Adriano Moke to sprint clear through the left channel.

But the Glenn Hoddle Academy graduate sidefooted weakly at an exposed Flinders.

Angelo Balanta’s 15-yard shot on turn was also too tame to trouble Flinders after Moke had marauded down the left.

Midway through the half, a hesitant Flinders then decided Higgins’ back pass was not hit with the sufficient power for him to beat Ferrier to the ball.

The Wood striker went on to round City’s keeper but, after tumbling over in front of an open goal, was denied the penalty most expected to be awarded by Mr Wright.

Following that reprieve, City sub Richard Brodie, looking purposeful following the birth of his baby son Charlie and another rousing reception from home fans, headed over from Connolly’s right-wing free kick. The late drama followed at both ends of the pitch and McNamara, who has only lost one of his last eight fixtures at Bootham Crescent, will now endeavour to clinch his first away victory since taking charge last November – a run that encompasses 18 contests on the road.

It will also be interesting to learn whether City’s next two hosts – fifth-placed Gateshead and title favourites Forest Green – offer a greater challenge than Macclesfield and Boreham Wood, who arrived at Bootham Crescent with a record of one defeat in 12 matches and five straight victories respectively.


Scott Flinders: 5 – looked lucky not to concede a penalty before mistake that led to equaliser

Josh Robinson: 6 – never troubled defensively, but less comfortable distributing from the back

Jack Higgins: 6 – no-nonsense defending while trying to guide younger team-mates either side of him

Ben Clappison: 6 – coped well on less-natural, left side prior to being sacrificed in tactical switch

Shaun Rooney: 5 – forward forays lacked dynamism and caught out of position at times

Simon Heslop: 6 – won a good share of tackles and rewarded for trying his luck for goal

Clovis Kamdjo: 6 – broke up play and gained possession in his own half

Yan Klukowski: 5 – only effective from dead-ball deliveries and quiet otherwise

STAR MAN Alex Whittle: 7 – offered enthusiasm and one of few City players to attack with purpose

Aidan Connolly: 6 – a threat from set-pieces, without hurting visitors in final third during open play

Scott Fenwick: 5 – made little impact as the focal point for home attacks

Substitutes: Richard Brodie 6 – eager (for Fenwick, 56), Daniel Nti 5- hesitant (for Clappison, 6), Kaine Felix (for Klukoswki, 87).

Subs not used: Luke Simpson, Matt Dixon.

Boreham Wood

Grant Smith; Ben Nunn, Matthew Paine, Joe Devera, Danny Woodards; Ricky Shakes, Mark Ricketts, Kenny Davis (Morgan Ferrier, 64), Bruno Andrade (Conor Clifford, 18); Adriano Moke (Femi Ilesanmi, 76); Angelo Balanta.

Subs not used: Anthony Jeffrey, Alfie Boal.

Boreham Wood star man: Paine – composed and competitive at the back

Referee: Peter Wright rating: 4/10 – looked daunted by Bootham Crescent

Booked: Rooney 14, Klukowski 48, Ferrier 67, Devera 69.

Attendance: 2,169 (30 from Boreham Wood)

Shots on target: City 3, Boreham Wood 3

Shots off target: City 5, Boreham Wood 1

Corners: City 2, Boreham Wood 2

Fouls conceded: City 12 Boreham Wood 10

Offsides: City 2 Boreham Wood 4