Boreham Wood manager Ian Allinson says match fitness is the “most important thing” after his side lost 1-0 to Watford in a “tremendous” workout on Thursday evening.

Czech Republic international Matej Vydra got the game’s only goal as the Conference South Wood put in a gutsy display against the Championship Hornets.

Allinson’s side host Reading this evening (Friday) and the Wood boss says fitness is key: “Match fitness is the most important thing and we’re getting that. We’ve got a decent squad and we’re looking at probably two or three trialists tomorrow night [Friday] as well, which will be good. It gives them a good game to come in, plus the five subs tonight will get full games, so everybody’s got good minutes under their belt.”

He continued: “We’ve not gone through the stage where 11 or 12 have had good minutes and four or five haven’t. We’ll utilise the full squad tomorrow (Friday). Even though it will be five games in nine days tomorrow, it’s worked in that it’s given everybody the minutes they need.”

As with Arsenal, Brentford and Cambridge before them, Watford were not allowed to run away with the contest against a competitive Wood side and Allinson praised his team’s performance against stronger opposition.

“I’m just very pleased with the whole pre-season so far,” he admitted. “That was our fourth game in eight days and to hold them for as long as we did [was encouraging]. We rode our luck a bit in the first half but I felt as the game got on, we were looking more settled.

“It [the goal] was really against the run of play – I felt – that they scored the goal. [There was a] huge deflection I’m told – I couldn’t see from where I was – but it was a tremendous work out for us.

“Huge credit to Watford for the side they brought here tonight and it’s just a shame it was organised a little bit late because with a bit more notice we could have got a bigger crowd out of it,” added Allinson.

Boreham Wood host a Reading XI at Meadow Park this evening.