Matt Palmer's second goal of the season was enough to earn us victory in a strong performance over promotion rivals Boreham Wood.
Palmer finished into the top corner in the first half to secure a victory which sees us leapfrog the Wood into sixth.
With Vitezslav Jaros and Kairo Mitchell both away on international duty and Richard Brindley missing his first game with a fractured arm, Ian Burchnall had to shuffle his pack once again.
Alex Lacey was deemed fit enough to take his place in a back three alongside Adam Chicksen and Connell Rawlinson, with Dion Kelly-Evans getting the nod to fill in at left wing back.
Jayden Richardson continued down the right, while there was a home debut for Harry Arter alongside fellow midfielders Matt Palmer and Frank Vincent.
Ruben Rodrigues returned up front alongside Kyle Wootton, with Cal Roberts still absent from the squad.
The sides exchanged tentative attacks in the game’s early stages before we created a golden opportunity on 11 minutes when Rodrigues played a sensational through ball to release Richardson in on goal. He tried to take the ball round the keeper but pushed it too far and the chance was gone.
We only had to wait another three minutes to have the ball in the net, though, and Richardson was heavily involved once again after being played into space down the right. The Nottingham Forest loanee’s dangerous low cross looked set to be turned home by Kelly-Evans but he was shoved off the ball at the crucial moment. Palmer was first to it, however, finishing into the top corner.
Taye Ashby-Hammond was then called upon to make two outstanding saves, blocking Rodrigues’ well-struck shot moments before Kelly-Evans’ curling right-footed effort was brilliantly tipped over by the visiting keeper.
Slocombe responded with two far more comfortable saves in quick succession, pushing efforts from Danilo Orsi and Tyrone Marsh wide, before Rodrigues wrapped up the half with a powerful effort which flew just over from the edge of the area.
We emerged for the second half unchanged and, after Arter had seen yellow for a cynical foul, Wootton’s brilliant hold-up play eventually led to a long-range shooting chance for Vincent, who bent the ball wide.
Two minutes later, Rodrigues showed brilliant feet to supply Lacey after we’d kept a corner alive but the defender could only send the ball high and wide after opening up his body to shoot.
Arter was withdrawn on 65 minutes, with Francis replacing him, and we continued to look the more likely side to bag the next goal as more excellent work from Wootton released Rodrigues into the area. The Portuguese produced a powerful shot towards Ashby-Hammond’s near post but the keeper got down well to push it wide.
The visitors responded almost immediately with two opportunities in quick succession for Josh Rees, who first headed straight at Slocombe from six yards before, moments later, he lashed a bouncing ball wide from the edge of the area.
But an equaliser would have been very harsh and, shortly after Richardson had cut into the area on his left and seen a shot saved, Palmer was also denied with a first-time left-footed effort.
We continued to defend our box brilliantly heading into the game’s final throes, with Rodrigues sending a difficult first-time shot wide shortly before the playmaker won the ball back high up the pitch, allowing Wootton to lay it off for Palmer in the area only for a heroic block to divert his shot wide.
But one goal proved to be enough as four added minutes passed without incident.
STARTING XI: Slocombe; Chicksen, Lacey, Rawlinson; Kelly-Evans, Richardson; Palmer, Arter (Francis 65'), Vincent; Rodrigues, Wootton
UNUSED SUBS: Taylor, Nemane, Brunt, Sam
BOOKINGS: Arter 49'
ATTENDANCE: 5,010 (100)