Boreham Wood suffered a 2-0 defeat to Hartlepool United away from home on Saturday, in the National League.
A brace from Adam Davies either side of half time secured the win for the Pools, leaving Boreham Wood in 14th place.
The Wood were down to bare bones in their matchday squad, missing captain Mark Ricketts and Club Captain David Stephens, as well as Danny Woodards, Angelo Balanta and Reeco Hackett-Fairchild.
The injuries saw Tom Champion return to the Wood backline, with Sorba Thomas at right wing-back, and Connor Smith, Keiran Murtagh and Ricky Shakes in midfield.
Despite their injury woes, the Wood started the brighter of the two sides, looking determined to get their first win in four.
Josh Umerah fought his way between two Pools’ defenders to attempt a diving header in the box from Murtagh’s cross, but sent his effort wide
Murtagh adds both an elegance and a steel to the Wood midfield and he showed his class with a lovely dummy and turn to slide the ball to Umerah in the area. Umerah twisted an effort at Scott Loach, but it was saved by the former England youth international.
Thomas had been forced to slot into an unfamiliar wing-back position but showed his attacking capabilities when he dummied Murtagh’s corner. The ball came to Smith, who launched an effort at Loach, but it struck a sea of Pools’ defenders and they eventually scrapped it clear.
Shakes drove forward with the ball at his feet and lashed an effort from 20-yards, but it was pushed wide by Loach.
The first real Hartlepool United attempt came on 25 minutes and Ellery Balcombe had to be at his best to keep it out. The chance fell to Liam Noble after good work from Luke James and Mark Kitching down the right, but Balcombe pulled off a superb save to stop him from close range.
Umerah took down a pass from Murtagh and struck it on the bounce from 25-yards, but it crashed against the woodwork.
The home side then took the lead against the run of play when Andrew Davies beat Connor Smith to the ball at a corner and headed past Balcombe.
Luke Garrard’s side started the second half in a similar vein to the first and Umerah thought he’d scored within three minutes of the restart. The striker got himself around the outside of Peter Kioso and had just the ‘keeper to beat, but slid it across the face of goal and out.
A training ground routine style free-kick caught the home side off-guard, but Jamal Fyfield couldn’t time his cross right and it went out of play.
Looking to react to the Wood’s impressive start to the second period, James took down a long-ball in the Wood area, cut inside, and fired at Balcombe, but it was wide of the far post.
Goal scorer Davies then went down in the Wood area and was calling for a penalty, but the referee waved play on.
Loach kept his side in-front with a match-saving stop with 20 minutes remaining. Gozie Ugwu had been found in the box with a low driven cross and struck it first time, but somehow, Loach kept it out.
At the other end, Balcombe was forced into a similarly impressive stop. A lovely turn in the area from James took Champion out of the game, but the on-loan Brentford goalkeeper was on hand to push it wide.
With the Wood pushing for an equaliser, Hartlepool were able to catch them on the front foot and double their lead. It was another header from Davies after he had gotten onto the end of a cross from the right and nodded past Balcombe at close-range.
The second goal left the Wood with too much to do in the remaining eight minutes and they were unable to earn anything from the game.
The Wood: Balcombe, Ilesanmi, Parry, Shakes, Champion ©, Umerah, Murtagh, Fyfield, Thomas (Shaibu 66’), Ugwu, Smith
Subs not used: Huddart, Morgan, Gibbs, Ndiaye
Hartlepool United: Loach, Donaldson, Kioso (Anderson 85’), Davies ©, Magnay, Kitching, Featherstone, Noble, Woods, James, Muir
Subs not used: Hawkins, Hawkes, McLaughlin, Dinanga
Goals: Davies 34’, 82’
Attendance: 2,988 (22 away)