Barnstaple Town can take plenty of positives from their defeat to National League play-off finalists Boreham Wood last night (Thursday).

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart

Barum were beaten 4-1 at Mill Road in their latest pre-season friendly – a scoreline that doesn’t quite do them justice.

Billy Hopcroft’s penalty had given Barum the lead before an equaliser from David Stephens right on the stroke of half-time.

A brace from Ricky Shakes and a strike from Femi Ilesanmi wrapped up a win for the visitors.

Barnstaple co-manager Kevin Darch said: “It was a nice good little workout - I’m quite pleased.

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart

“Obviously they’re a full-time professional side who are tough to beat, but it was a good game for them and for us.

“We put in a decent performance and I think there’s lots to be pleased about.

“We worked on our shape and getting the ball when we could and we did that well, and obviously went 1-0 up.

“They were always going to come back into it, but we didn’t disgrace ourselves.”

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart

The visitors were as good as camped in Barnstaple territory in the opening half, but struggled to create clear cut chances in behind an organised and disciplined Barum defence.

Against the run of play it was the hosts who took the lead on 31 minutes. In what was only really their second foray into the Boreham Wood third, Hopcroft was dragged down by Stephens.

The striker dusted himself down and stuck the penalty to the left of the Wood’s on-trial goalkeeper.

The visitors upped the pressure after the goal, and finally got their goal with the final kick of the first half.

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart

A cross from Kevin Murtagh wasn’t cleared, and Stephens was able to capitalise with a low shot past Rob Holmes.

It wasn’t until midway through the second period that Boreham Wood took the lead, with Shakes getting on the end of a ball from Ilesanmi to blast in.

From there the National League side looked comfortable. Ilesanmi got his goal with 10 minutes remaining, and Shakes got his second with the final kick of the match.

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town: Holmes, Matic, List, Dart, Montague, Nancekivell, Reay, Middleton, Kelly, Hopcroft, Stevens. Subs: Pinnick, Darragh, Welch, Moulden.

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Boreham Wood. Picture: Matt Smart