Apologies for being slow on the uptake with this story, but with good sportsmanship being something of a rarity in football, the players of Boreham Wood FC should only rightly be flagged up.
Last weekend, in the Blue Square Bet South division, Boreham Wood lost 2-1 to Havant in a relegation battle that left Wood six points adrift of safety. But it was the manner in which the visitors accepted their defeat which has earned them praise from all quarters.
With nine minutes left of the content, and with Havant 1-up, the home side kicked the ball off the field so Boreham Wood’s injured player Sam Pearce could receive treatment. When the play finally restarted, Wood’s Mario Noto received the ball from the throw-in and kicked it back to the opposing goalkeeper from around the halfway line.
Cue the twist. Instead of gently knocking the ball back to the Havent goalie, Noto’s kick was a little too good and his effort flew straight into the goal for a shock equaliser.
While some may have latched onto Murphy’s Law to justify the clearly unintentional goal, Boreham Wood were quick to make amends for the leveller. Ignoring the implications for their survival battle, the visitors immediately agreed that justice should be done, and Havant’s Wes Fogden was allowed to walk the ball upfield from the kick-off as score a second for the hosts as Boreham Wood’s players stood by.
The fabulous act of fair play can be seen here.
This is not the first time such an incident has been witnessed.
Italy is a country known for itâ€™s football scandals, but the Serie B match between Ascoli and Reggina in December 2009 witnessed an amazing event as Bepi Pillon ordered his side to â€œletâ€ Reggina score following an injury/substitution misunderstanding. Similarly, back in 2005 in Holland, Ajax let Cambuur score after the Amsterdammers had claimed a freak goal from a free-kick.