A SECOND-half penalty from substitute Danny Kedwell was enough to earn visitors Ebbsfleet United all three points against Boreham Wood at Meadow Park.
The former AFC Wimbledon and Gillingham striker sent keeper Grant Smith the wrong way when converting the spot-kick, awarded after Darren McQueen went down under a challenge from Wood centre-back Dean Wells.
This fixture brought a return to Meadow Park for Fleet boss Daryl McMahon, a familiar face here, after two spells with Wood as a player, during which he also served as an academy coach and first team assistant manager.
Wood manager Luke Garrard gave a start to new striker Dan Holman, signed just yesterday on a three-month loan from Cheltenham Town.
And it was Holman who had the first clear sight of goal, forcing a smart save low down by Fleet keeper Nathan Ashmore, after latching onto Kieran Murtagh's through ball.
Moments later, Kane Smith cut in from the right and fired over, as Wood started to look the more likely side to break the deadlock.
Four minutes before the break, Blair Turgott's dipping shot from the edge of the box found the side netting, before an opening half of few clear scoring chances came to an end.
A double substitution for the visitors at the start of the second half, with Dean Rance and leading scorer Kedwell introduced, gave the Fleet an initial boost.
Wood almost fell behind just before the hour mark. Steaming in to meet Luke Coulson's cross from wide on the left, Jack Powell could only drive the ball wide of Smith's near post.
Four minutes later Holman thought he had marked his Wood debut with a goal but was ruled offside when tapping in from close range after a combination of Ashmore's parry and the post had kept the ball out of the net.
At the other end, Fleet substitute McQueen was narrowly denied when Smith touched his fierce shot onto the near post, following a swift break out of defence during a spell of Wood dominance.
But the game was to be decided by a penalty in the 77th minute. It was McQueen who went down in the box when sandwiched between Wells and David Stephens, the referee having no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Kedwell stepped up and sent Smith the wrong way to put the visitors in front.
Despite the introduction of strikers Paul Benson and Shaun Jeffers, Wood were unable to find a way back into the game, and are left to reflect on a third home defeat of the season.
Wood drop one place to 12th in the table but still sit just three points outside the top seven, as they now look ahead to the long trip up the A1 to Gateshead next Saturday.
BOREHAM WOOD: G Smith, K Smith, Ricketts (Turley 85), Wells, Stephens, Shakes, Champion, Murtagh, Andrade, Turgott (Benson 63), Holman (Jeffers 85). Sub not used, Woodards, Thomas.