Boreham Wood slipped to a fifth straight defeat in the National League, going down 1-0 at home to Wrexham, but not without a mighty battle in an entertaining and closely fought game at Meadow Park.

It was a testament to both goalkeepers and their defences that the only goal of the game, which came against the run of the play in the 12th minute, decided the game.

Ian Allinson reverted to his preferred 4-5-1 formation with Charlie MacDonald operating alone up front. In central defence Joe Devera made his debut alongside Scott Doe with Josh Hill slotting in at right back. Callum Reynolds covered on the left for the injured Danny Woodards.

There was a recall for James Russell between the sticks whilst winger Graeme Montgomery came back into the side in place of Billy Clifford.

Wood started brightly with the visitors penned in their own half. Montgomery had a shot go just wide before another effort from ten yards was blocked by Cameron Belford.

Then came the goal manager Allinson had tried so hard to avoid.

An innocuous looking Blaine Hudson cross from deep on the right was not tracked by Hill. It allowed Connor Jennings a free header which duly looped over the head of a now exposed Russell to hand the Dragons the lead.

Of all the goals conceded by Wood this season, this was the softest and the most painful.

Wood fought back with Montgomery hitting an effort just over the bar at the other end.

However, the Dragons were starting to show their pedigree when after 22 minutes Dominic Vose was allowed to run and cut in from the left before striking a powerful shot that had the beating of Russell before thumping the right hand post.

Vose, a player picked up from Welling United at the start of the season, oozed class and it was all Wrexham at this stage with Wood struggling to find their lone forward.

Another mistake by Hill allowed Vose a lobbed cross from the left which caused panic in the Wood defence. Russell was forced to rush out and his interception fell for Jennings who landed an effort on top of the net.

Adriano Moke then forced Russell to save low from the resultant training ground routine corner.

Back came Wood with Montgomery doing well to deliver a telling cross that was desperately put behind for a corner, from which Devera popped up on the edge of the area to strike the post with a low drive.

With Montgomery and MacDonald causing the Dragons defence some concerns the visitors countered through Sean Newton, who picked out the unmarked Manny Smith only for Russell to launch himself acrobatically to deny the right-back, whose header looked destined for the top corner of the net.

Both sides had played some good football but Wood were not effective enough going forward and it was no surprise when Hill was replaced by Billy Clifford at the start of the second half.

Further saves from Russell to deny Vose and Newton led to the introduction of Junior Morias after 64 minutes.

His arrival changed the game in Wood's favour. His first touch allowed Howell to play in MacDonald, although the outstanding Jamal Fyfield got back to deny the ex Brentford and Barnet man.

Wrexham manager Gary Mills opted to introduce the pacy Kayden Jackson on the right to assist the counter, but it was Wood who were doing the majority of the attacking now.

When Fyfield climbed all over MacDonald , Montgomery's free kick was only half cleared by Belford, with Howell going close with a flick that needed a tip over to safety.

Morias then did well to deliver a fine cross from the right that was met by the head of Howell who was unlucky to see his header graze the top of the crossbar.

Wrexham threatened to add a second on the counter-attack with Russell again coming to the rescue. His flying save denied substitute Mark Carrington, whose looping header came from a Jennings cross.

Belford then repelled a blistering Morias volley which was surely destined for the back of the net.

At the other end Moke shot wide as his side held on to their slender lead, denying Wood the point they deserved on the afternoon.

Defeat leaves Wood in the bottom four for the first time this campaign, whilst the Welsh side can celebrate going third in the table, just five points off the summit.

Speaking afterwards a candid Allinson said: “After 12 minutes it was same old same old for us. Another header and another cheap goal.

“We cannot afford to chase games against the top sides in this division. The likes of Grimsby Town and Wrexham are on another level. We need to score goals, yet going behind to the quality that these full time sides have in their squads is difficult.

“Joe Devera was thrown in after not having played a game all season and did superbly for us. He will only get better.

“Hopefully Mustafa Tiryaki will be available on Tuesday and that will give me more options to go with two up front.

“We will dust ourselves down and we have two games coming up against Torquay and Altrincham where we have the opportunity to pick up points.

“We are not getting overrun in games and like today we had chances but unfortunately we went home empty handed.”

Boreham Wood: Russell; Hill (B.Clifford HT), Doe, Devera, Reynolds; Shakes, Cox ( Morias 64), Shakes, C.Clifford, Howell, Montgomery; MacDonald (Whichelow 86).

Subs not used: Nunn, Crawford.