Boreham Wood delivered a thoroughly composed performance in a must-win game to claim a 2-1 victory at Aldershot Town and move out of the bottom four, crucially with just two games left in the season.

The victory hinged upon a dramatic chain of events with 15 minutes remaining.

With the contest all-square and Wood looking the likelier to score, Delano Sam-Yorke dribbled beyond Cheye Alexander out on the left wing before pulling the ball back central. Harry White made the perfect connection, beating Shots stopper Dan Thomas, only for veteran former Queens Park Rangers defender Chris Barker to handle the ball on the line. Referee David Rock, to his credit, allowed the advantage with the ball falling perfectly for Clovis Kamdjo, who skied his effort way over the crossbar. Rock then produced the red card, before pointing to the spot.

Up stepped Conor Clifford who was made to wait an age whilst Town manager Barry Smith opted to make the necessary adjustments to his side without seeing out the outcome of the penalty awarded, sacrificing leading goal scorer Charlie Walker for another defender in Luke Oliver. Clifford settled the ball on the spot, before picking it up and clutching it under his arm as the minutes ticked away. The tension was indescribable with so much at stake. But Clifford re-spotted the ball, collected his thoughts, stepped up and crashed his spot-kick with a confidence, composure and maturity high into the roof of the net.

The whole passage of action lasted nearly three minutes, but it was time enough to ensure Wood have wrestled their destiny back into their own hands at such a late stage in the season.

Delighted Wood boss Luke Garrard said: “The boys were fantastic today. We changed our shape and it suited us. Delano Sam-Yorke was superb and I am so pleased for him after getting limited game time.

“We created untold chances and it is a shame we could not have put one or two more of those away. It would have taken the pressure off of Conor Clifford who showed immense character under the circumstances with his penalty.

“We now have a cup final to look forward to on Tuesday night, before a truly massive game with Guiseley in a week’s time.”

Garrard had to rethink his squad and formation after shipping goals of late and pulled off a masterstroke with the inclusion of Sam-Yorke on the left flank. His man-of-the-match performance obliterated the horrors of last Saturday's home defeat to Southport into the delete bin of memories.

There was no place for either Ben Nunn or Callum Reynolds, with both David Stephens and Joe Devera recalled. The win came at a price though, with Reynolds called into action after 27 minutes when Danny Woodards pulled up clutching a season-ending hamstring.

Wood got off to a flying start. With Garrard screaming at Woodards to get higher up the pitch he duly responded, accepting a fine ball from White before cutting inside to drill a decent effort that flashed across goal just wide of the far post after eight minutes.

It was a warning that the Shots defence failed to heed as a minute later they fell behind. Kamdjo's long looping cross from the right found White who stuck out a foot. The ball ran loose with Ricky Shakes sharper than the defenders on hand to slot home the opener with a fine finish.

But the lead was to last just three minutes. Some fine interchange play between Walker and Rhys Browne allowed the former to slip a ball through to Jake Gallagher on the edge of the area. He produced a sublime turn before letting James Russell in the Wood goal see the whites of his eyes briefly before calmly finishing off the move.

Town were buoyed by their goal and it took a superbly-timed challenge from Woodards to halt the run of Ross Lafayette. Wood, to their credit, never let the occasion get to them and created plenty of chances to go back ahead.

White glanced his header wide from Shakes' cross before Woodards supplied for Kamdjo, who headed at Thomas. Sam-Yorke then headed just wide as the crosses into danger so sorely missed in recent encounters continued to arrive.

White had a fine opportunity to settle the nerves on the terraces occupied by the travelling Wood fans when he turned to get beyond Omar Beckles, only to hesitate before shooting, allowing a blocking tackle to be made.

Walker offered some respite for his hard-working defenders when he stepped up to fire a 30-yard free-kick wide after Kamdjo had fouled his man with half-time approaching. Kamdjo then popped up at the other end to fire a shot at Taylor after more good hold-up play from Sam-Yorke.

Wood turned up the pressure a notch after the interval with Sam-Yorke firing just wide, before Luke Howell looked to finish a fine move involving Clifford and Sam-Yorke; his well struck shot bravely charged down by a defender.

The Shots defence were opened up after 72 minutes when White got beyond Beckles before turning a cross towards goal. Two defenders collided in comedic fashion allowing Shakes a free shot on goal, but he was unable to add a second, firing high of the target.

That miss almost allowed the Shots back into the game when Alexander's exquisite cross from the right fell perfectly for Browne, who could only head down into the ground when superbly placed, allowing Russell to gather.

The penalty drama followed, but thereafter White shot just wide for Wood, before a late low shot from Jim Stevenson at the other end was held onto by Russell, prompting wild celebrations by the travelling Wood contingent, whom like their heroes on the field of play seem to have the belief back.

However, the dramatic end to the season continues as Wood could find themselves back in the drop zone by next weekend, if Halifax win against Eastleigh in their midweek game in hand. Then follows a crucial six-pointer game against Guiseley at Meadow Park next Saturday, who sit just two points above Wood.

Boreham Wood: Russell, Devera, Woodards (Reynolds 27), Doe, Stephens, C Clifford, Shakes, Kamdjo, White, Howell, Sam-Yorke. Subs not used: Nunn, Lucas, Morias, B Clifford.