Ten-man Boreham Wood saw their unbeaten start to the National League ended at three games as leaders Tranmere Rovers ran out 1-0 winners.

Wood midfielder Conor Clifford was sent off late on for a second bookable offence in a tetchy encounter.

Connor Jennings settled the game with the only real moment of quality after 33 minutes, arrowing past helpless Wood keeper Grant Smith with unerring accuracy.

Boreham Wood made one enforced change from Saturday’s draw at York City, Clifford replacing Bruno Andrade who was substituted with an injury at Bootham Crescent.

That meant Adriano Moke moved out to the left with Kenny Davis the most advanced of Wood’s central midfielders.

Jordan Chiedozie, re-signed on Monday, was named as a substitute along with youngster Ben Goodliffe who signed his first professional contract this summer.

Tranmere looked sharp from the outset and moved the ball well, working an opening for Connor Jennings to cross after three minutes, but Andy Cook nodded over.

Wood responded just before the quarter-hour mark when Angelo Balanta used his pace to skip away down the left, evading Steve McNulty’s challenge, and whipping in a cross for Davis which Michael Ihiekwe did well to flick clear of the midfielder.

The hosts were struggling to keep hold of the ball in the early stages with their threat coming on the break more often than not.

Tranmere went close again after 21 minutes when Steve Jennings’ corner from the right was nodded over by Ihiekwe at the back post.

But the best chance of the half belonged to Boreham Wood. Ricky Shakes’ cross from the right dropped on the penalty spot for Moke but the midfielder rushed the chance and shot straight at Tranmere keeper Scott Davies.

That chance came during Woods’s best spell of the first half, yet they were undone by a sucker-punch goal in the 33rd minute.

Tranmere broke forward and when the ball was worked out to Connor Jennings on the right-hand side of the area the winger picked his spot and drilled into the corner of the net.

Gary Brabin’s side went close again before the break when Cook knocked the ball down for the arriving Steve Jennings who slammed wide first time.

The Merseysiders went closer still deep in first-half stoppage time when James Norwood forced a good stop from Grant Smith when one-on-one. The loose ball fell to Connor Jennings who looked odds-on to sweep home, only for Danny Woodards to block on the line, keeping the visitors just one ahead at the break.

Wood boss Garrard felt something had to change in the second period and introduced Chiedozie and Morgan Ferrier in place of Davis and Moke at half time.

But neither side really got going after the break and goalmouth action was scarce. It took until the 61st minute for either side to truly bother the opposing goalkeeper, Tranmere’s Steve Jennings seeing another corner nodded over by Cook.

The game became increasingly tetchy with Rovers boss Brabin incensed by referee Anthony Serrano’s decisions. He was eventually warned after overstepping the mark, but it was Garrard who would have most reason to complain when Clifford was sent off.

Booked earlier in the half for what appeared to be dissent, the all-action Dubliner earned his marching orders with six minutes remaining for a foul near the halfway line.

With four minutes of time added on the game finally sparked into life. Rovers twice ought to have killed off Boreham Wood but twice the hosts threw bodies in the path of the ball.

From a Wood free-kick Tranmere broke at pace. Norwood, with no-one in support, rounded Smith and pulled the trigger but Ben Nunn positioned himself on the line to block the winger’s effort.

Seconds later the away side went close again, this time Joe Devera throwing himself in front of Cook’s low strike to ensure Tranmere’s margin of victory would be a solitary goal.

Boreham Wood return to Meadow Park on Saturday with Chester the visitors (kick-off 3pm).

Boreham Wood: Smith; Nunn, Devera, Paine, Woodards; Shakes, Clifford, Ricketts (c), Moke (Ferrier HT); Davis (Chiedozie HT); Balanta.

Substitutes: Boal (GK), Ilesanmi, B.Goodliffe.

Tranmere Rovers: Davies; Vaughan, McNulty, Ihiekwe, Hughes; C.Jennings, Harris, S.Jennings (c), Maynard, Norwood; Cook.

Substitutes: Turner (GK), Ridehalgh, Mekki, Stephenson, Kirby.

Referee: Anthony Serrano.

Attendance: 801 (392 away supporters).