Boreham Wood fell to a disappointing 3-0 defeat away to Wrexham on Saturday, despite enjoying a whole host of chances.
New strike partnership Josh Umerah and Justin Shaibu looked bright upfront together, but Sam Ricketts’ side took the lead in the 25th minute through Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Jordan Maguire-Drew.
The killer second goal was snuck home by Rekeil Pyke during a goal-line scramble, before Mike Fondop added a third late on.
Umerah came straight into the side, having joined on loan from Charlton Athletic in midweek, and he partnered Shaibu up front, in an otherwise unchanged line-up.
Inside of the first ten minutes, Shaibu got in front of his marker in the area, but sliced his strike over the crossbar.
There was a very open start to the game – which was live on BT Sports – and both sides were deploying a more direct approach in the opening exchanges.
Fondop, who scored against the Wood for Halifax last season, broke through the Wood backline, but Ellery Balcombe was quick off his line to claim, as Fondop saw calls for a foul waved away.
Umerah then towered above his marker at a corner, but could only send his header into the ground and over the crossbar.
Wrexham opened the scoring against the run of play, having seen the Wood begin to dominate. James Jennings’ excellent whipped delivery was met by the head of Maguire-Drew, who had escaped marker Manny Parry, and sent past Balcombe.
Umerah reacted for Wood and nearly capitalized on a mix-up amongst the Wrexham backline, but he couldn’t flick his headed effort past Rob Lainton. The hosts countered, but Fondop fired over the bar on the turn.
Still edging the affair, Keiran Murtagh fought the ball from Jennings and thumped it on the half volley, but it soared over.
Femi Ilesanmi received the ball on the edge of the area, dropped his shoulder right and ambitiously fizzled an effort inches wide.
Goalscorer Maguire-Drew drove forward for the hosts and fed the ball into the box, but Parry was there to make a vital interception, before Maguire-Drew fired the loose ball over.
Wrexham’s defence were struggling to handle the physicality of the Wood attack and Umerah won the ball high up the park and played a one-two with Balanta. The Columbian fed the ball back between the Wrexham defenders and onto the feet on Umerah, but Lainton made an excellent low save to push wide.
A frantic few minutes of action at both ends of the field then somehow ended with the score staying at 1-0. Champion leapt highest at a corner, but his header was cleared off the line by Luke Summerfield, before Ilesanmi saw a backpass almost intercepted by Paul Rutherford, with Balcombe coming to the rescue to clear.
Umerah then countered for the Wood, but his curled strike from the edge of the area was pushed wide by Lainton.
For all of the Wood’s chances, Wrexham were clinical when it counted and doubled their lead on the 66th minute. Parry had cleared an initial header off the line, but Pyke snuck between the Wood defence and poked home the rebound from close-range.
Substitute Ricky Shakes reacted with a powerful effort from 20-yards that crashed off the crossbar and Shaibu was then beaten to the rebound by Lainton.
Fondop charged forward on the counter for Wrexham, and weaved around Parry, but he didn’t see the unmarked Maguire-Drew to his right and was dispossessed by Champion.
Murtagh played a stunning long through ball to Balanta who took it down on the by-line, but his cross was blocked.
With Garrard’s side chasing the game, Wrexham caught them out with too many men forward and netted a third. Maguire-Drew’s cross was headed past Balcombe by Fondop.
The Wood: Balcombe, Woodards (Shakes 50′), Ilesanmi, Ricketts (C), Parry, Stephens, Champion, Umerah (Ash 78′), Murtagh, Balanta, Shaibu (Smith 78′)
Subs not used: Fyfield, Thomas
Wrexham: Lainton, Roberts (Carrington 45’), Jennings, Smith, Pearson ©, Summerfield, Young (Rutherford 38’), Fondop, Maguire-Drew, Wright, Beavon (Pyke 56’)
Subs not used: Dibble, Tharme