Old master Ian Allinson got one over his prodigy Luke Garrard as St Albans City beat his former side Boreham Wood 1-0 in this afternoon's pre-season meeting. 

Allinson, who stepped down as manager at Meadow Park in October before being replaced by Garrard, got the better of the man he twice signed as a player before promoting him to become one of his assistants in recent years.

In the end a Louis Theophanous strike settled an evenly-fought contest after 24 minutes, though Wood had the better of the second-half chances and were unfortunate not to force an equaliser at Clarence Park.

Garrard started with two trialists. Sam Beasant was between the sticks and Kudus Oyenuga up front once more.

On the bench there were two more forwards trying to earn contracts in Angelo Balanta and Shaun Jeffers. Goalkeeper Grant Smith, having signed a two-year deal with the club on Friday, was also named as a substitute.

Former Wood players James Russell, Josh Hill, Matt Ball, Junior Morias and Scott Thomas were included in Allinson’s starting XI for the Saints. Matty Whichelow was a substitute for the hosts after joining from Wood during the off-season.

Chances were in short supply early on as the two sides sounded each other out in the sweltering heat.

It was the Saints who had the first chance of note on the counter-attack after 12 minutes. Theophanous drove forward and switched the play out to Shaun Lucien on the right-hand side and he tested Beasant with a dipping effort which had to be touched out for a corner.

Just after the quarter-hour mark former Wood forward Morias, who scored the extra-time winner against Whitehawk in the Conference South Play-Off Final win in 2015, tested Beasant with a fizzing free-kick from 25 yards.

Another former Wood favourite then thwarted Garrard’s side. Bruno Andrade tried to whip a free-kick around the St Albans wall, following an elaborate build-up, only for 2015/16 Player of the Year Russell to palm his effort away for a corner at full stretch.

Beasant, who could yet prove to be Russell’s replacement if he earns a contract, could do little about St Albans’ opener in the 24th minute. Theophanous drove down the left-hand side before taking advantage of the fact David Stephens had blocked Beasant’s view to shoot into the bottom corner at the near post.

Wood laboured but could not break down the Saints and struggled to carve out any real chances. That was until just before half time when Joe Devera met an Andrade corner with a solid contact but sent his header spinning wide of the top corner.

Andrade then rounded Russell but, as he went to shoot with the goal gaping, was robbed by a superb last-gasp challenge and the ball ran out for a corner.

Garrard made five changes at the break, introducing trialists Balanta and Jeffers, as well as Ricky Shakes, Conor Clifford and newly-signed goalkeeper Smith.

The changes almost worked after eight minutes of the second half. Andrade, arguably Wood’s biggest threat, burst down the left and cut back for Jeffers. The former Yeovil Town forward made a solid connection but Saints defender Tom Bender slid in superbly to block for a corner.

End product was lacking for both sides, something typified when Saints’ Rhys Hoenes and Wood’s Shakes both wasted good opportunities to cross within a minute of each other.

With time running out Boreham Wood squandered their best chance to level. Jeffers received the ball in a good position but side-footed against the post and the ball rebounded into the arms of Russell with the forward poised to pounce.

That chance livened the visitors up and they went close again a couple of minutes later when centre-back Paine guided a half-volley narrowly wide of Russell’s left-hand post following a corner.

Saints left-back Lee Chappell was then called upon to snuff out another Wood chance, sliding in to divert Jeffers’ dangerous low cross over his own bar with Balanta lurking in the middle.

St Albans City: Russell; Ngala (Green 61), Hill, Bender, Chappell; Rees (Trialist No.19 61), Ball (Hoenes HT), Thomas (Gibson 61); Lucien (Whichelow 61), Morias (Merson 61), Theophanous.

Substitutes: Trialist.

Boreham Wood: Beasant (Smith HT); Nunn, Stephens, Paine, Devera; Moke (Shakes HT), Davis (Clifford HT), Ricketts, Andrade; Oyenuga (Jeffers HT), Uchechi (Balanta HT).

Substitutes: Coldicott-Stevens, B.Goodliffe.

Referee: Steve Bates.