In a pre-arranged late kick-off, a late drop-out meant Hertswood only had a starting XI, with Emanuel myself being named as the only substitute.
Hertswood were "very poor during the first half" but the Pirates were unable to punish them as the teams went into the break level.
Both sides created very little in the way of chances, with the respective goalkeepers probably having one shot on target each to save in a dire first 45 minutes. Cohen came close for Hertswood with a pair of headers from corners but neither tested the keeper.
SHP started the second half strongly and following a period of dominance, the hosts finally broke the deadlock on 64 minutes.
However, their goal was the impetus Hertswood needed to step up their game. They equalised eight minute later - Cohen came deep into midfield, shrugged off two challenges before playing a beautiful chipped through ball to captain Wood who took an exquisite touch on the outside of his right foot before burying a shot under the onrushing keeper. A huge goal from the captain who did not put a foot wrong throughout.
The visitors forged ahead four minutes later through a moment of brilliance from Elia. Vale's answer to Laurent Robert floated in an inch-perfect free-kick wide right of the penalty area by the touchline - the ball ran through a host of players and nestled into the far corner, away from the keeper's reach. A quiet game from Elia today, but his ability to play an incredible ball from a set piece stood out throughout.
The rest of the game saw more arguments than chances, but Hertswood secured the victory in the 88th minute. A through ball from Johnny Schogger found Cohen who skipped past the onrushing keeper, dribbled along the byline before slotting into an empty net - great skill from the big man for his seventh of the season.
Hertswood joint-manager Jacob Emanuel told JC Sport: "It wasn't at all pretty, but a deserved win on the balance of play.
"The lads showed exceptional mental strength to come from a goal down in the 64th minute, turn the game around, and secure the three points.
"We welcome the fallen league leaders, MH Dons, to Borehamwood next week."