Anthony Jeffrey almost marked his birthday by netting a winner for Boreham Wood at Macclesfield Town but the former Arsenal prodigy was unable to turn a goalless draw into a rare National League win for Wood.

Jeffrey re-joined Boreham Wood on loan from Concord Rangers on Friday and given 14 minutes to impress at the end, the 21-year-old might have celebrated his third Wood debut with the winner on another day.

But it was not to be and, speaking afterwards, Wood boss Ian Allinson said: “I can’t fault my players’ commitment today. They worked their socks off all afternoon.

“It’s nice to get back to keeping a clean sheet and we defended properly for the full 90 minutes. Despite all their possession Rusty (James Russell) was never really troubled.”

“Our attacking play today wasn’t as I want but AJ (Anthony Jeffrey) looked sharp when he came on had a great chance at the death. He will add another dimension to our attacking play.”

Macclesfield midfielder Danny Whittaker ran the show for the hosts throughout and put a good chance over the bar when he met a cross from full-back Andy Halls early on.

The lively Danny Rowe had a shot on goal but didn’t get enough power behind his effort to trouble Wood stopper James Russell as the hosts took charge.

In a rare Wood attack Charlie MacDonald held the ball up well and played it into the path of Ricky Shakes who went past his man, put a great ball into the box full of blue shirts to clear away the danger.

David Fitzpatrick was next to try his luck next for the Cheshire side with a shot from distance which Russell dealt with comfortably.

John Askey’s side continued to have the best of the chances and a long ball forward from George Pilkington caught the Wood defence asleep, allowing Jack Sampson to shoot wide on the turn.

In a move that warranted a goal, a brilliant mazy run from Rowe ended with a cut-back for Holroyd who instead fired out of the ground.

Chances for Boreham Wood were few and far between but one such opening arrived when good link-up play between MacDonald and Shakes saw the ball eventually half cleared to full-back Dan Woodards to lash over.

England ‘C’ cap Halls fired wide from Whittaker’s cut-back as the Moss Rose side continued to carve out chances without truly testing Russell.

A combination of Scott Doe and Sam Cox then prevented substitute Lindon Meikle from getting a shot on goal before Russell was called into action for the first time of the afternoon, finding himself at full stretch to tip another shot onto the past.

Holroyd was next to go close, taking down Fitzpatrick’s long ball forward before cutting inside and firing over. Diagne then wasted another presentable opportunity by heading over from a second phase delivery.

Macc went closer still when Danny Whitehead was denied on the line by Joe Devera after a fine drive just inside Wood’s 18-yard box.

Jeffrey made a bright start on his return to the club, breaking away down the right soon after replacing Jamie Lucas but unable to find anyone with an inviting cross from the right.

And it was Jeffrey who had Wood’s best chance to snatch all three points. Junior Morias fed the youngster in, beating the offside trap before forcing an excellent save from Silkmen goalkeeper Shwan Jalal.

Boreham Wood: Russell; Cox, Devera, Doe, Woodards; Shakes, C.Clifford, Kamdjo, Howell; MacDonald (Morias 68), Lucas (Jeffrey 76).

Subs not used: Nunn, Banton, B.Clifford.