Boreham Wood battled to a hard-fought 0-1 victory over Dover Athletic at the Crabble Athletic Ground.

It was a game bereft of many chances, with Blair Turgott pouncing on a mistake from Connor Essam to put the Wood ahead.

Luke Garrard’s side then dug in deep to earn their second clean sheet in as many matches, with Grant Smith pulling off a spectacular save in the dying embers of the game. 

Dover had sat in first place prior to the fixture, and with victories over Aldershot Town and joint-top Leyton Orient, it is the third time this season that the Wood have knocked a side off the top-of-the-table.

Garrard fielded an unchanged XI from the 2-0 win over Leyton Orient on Saturday, with Turgott sitting behind the duo of Shaun Jeffers and Bruno Andrade.

It was a quiet start to the match, with the earliest chance of the game falling to Turgott on the edge of the area, the forward twisted around the outside of Josh Passley and attempted to poke the ball past Mitch Walker, but the stopper held.

The Wood were awarded an early free-kick, but Turgott curled it straight into the wall and Andrade could only blast the rebound wide.

Top-of-the-table Dover were struggling to get into their stride and Passley dragged the ball back for Ryan Bird, but he fired his shot straight at Mark Ricketts, who blocked.

The resulting corner was met by the head of Bird, but his goal ward attempt was thumped off the line.

Kane Smith found himself on the left-wing following a corner, he picked up the ball, cut inside and blazed it at Walker goal, but the Athletic ‘keeper held.

Andrade won a free-kick down the left-side and he curled a dangerous effort into the box, but it was headed behind by Bird.

Dover then won their own free-kick in a similar area, but Mitch Brundle’s effort was comfortably headed clear by David Stephens.

The Wood broke the deadlock just before the break; Turgott snatched the ball from Essam following a failed clearance and fired at goal, however, Walker blocked his first attempt. But, the forward picked up the rebound and struck into the empty bottom left corner.

Dover returned from the break desperate to make a comeback, but Brundle’s edge of the area effort was deflected over the crossbar.

The Wood’s authority was growing and Walker had to be at his best to deny Rickett’s header from a corner.

It could have been two for the Wood when Danny Woodards glanced a header across goal from a corner, but Walker palmed it against the crossbar and it bounced off the line and out.

Andrade danced around the Dover defence on the edge of the area, and pulled the ball onto his left boot before fizzling a shot just over the crossbar.

Jeffers battled on the right-wing and whipped in a low cross, Andrade broke forward to meet it, but Walker punched it away from the striker’s boot. The 23-year-old then saw a powerful free-kick punched over by Walker.

Dover had struggled to break down the stubborn Wood defence, but a free-kick from Mitchell Pinnock’s was curled straight into the top left corner, however, Smith superbly tipped wide to claim the three points.

The Wood: G Smith, K Smith, Champion, Stephens, Wells, Woodards, Murtagh, Ricketts (C), Turgott, Andrade, Jeffers

Subs not used: Bozkurt (GK), Benson, Sach, Keita, Thomas

Dover Athletic: Walker, Passley, Ilesanmi (Richards 93’), Gallifuoco, Parry, Essam, Brundle (C), Allen (Sho-Silva 57), Pinnock, Bird, Nortey (Daniel 67) 

Subs not used: Fazakerley, Lewington

Goals: Turgott (43’)  

Attendance: 1,012


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