Boreham Wood 3 – 2 Arsenal XI
Friday 29th July 2022
LV Bet Stadium Meadow Park, Pre-Season Friendly


The Wood’s final pre-season friendly of 2022/23 ended victorious against an Arsenal XI, as goals from Jamal Fyfield and Josh Rees either side of half time was cancelled out by second half strikes from Khayon Edwards and Charles Sagoe Jr, before Danny Elliott struck five minutes from the end to succumb the visitors to a 3-2 loss, following an end-to-end affair.

Zach Awe’s handball on 22 minutes gifted the Wood the opportunity to take the lead, with Zak Brunt’s delivery meeting Fyfield at the back post who broke the deadlock with a bullet header, but Edwards got on the end of Nathan Butler’s low cross to equalise mere seconds after the break.

Butler would be involved once more when he showed good strength to get to the byline playing a low cross into the danger area which was cleared as far as Sagoe Jr who fired into the back of the net to give Arsenal the lead just after the hour-mark. This was cancelled out a little over ten minutes later though, with Danny Newton getting down the left before sending a low cross into the path of Rees, who opened his body up to calmly slot the ball into the bottom corner.

And it got even better for the hosts, with George Williams getting down the right flank with his low centre being converted by Elliott to send the Wood army into raptures.

Although there weren’t too many clear cut chances it was the visitors who enjoyed the better of proceedings early on, with plenty of possession as they attacked with intent. Matt Smith had the first shot of the game after just three minutes after Amario Cozier-Duberry picked him out following a tremendous solo run, forcing Nathan Ashmore into a good low stop. Smith would have another opportunity moments later after the ball came out to him from the resulting corner, but his effort flew over the crossbar.

The Wood slowly grew into it and began to enjoy a bit more control, with Arsenal needing to regroup and defend. Tyrone Marsh looked to set Lee Ndlovu through on goal with the chance breaking down, shortly before the striker sent in a cross from the left that was too close to Hubert Graczyk.

Smith would go close once more from close range after some neat footwork from Charlie Patino saw him get beyond the Wood defence, but Ashmore was behind the Hale End captain’s low drive. The Wood stopper would then need to be alert moments later when Charles Sagoe Jr got in behind and tried to round him, but Ashmore was equal to it.

Despite Arsenal’s positivity it was the Wood who took the lead against the run of play. A free kick was sent in by Brunt towards the far post, where Fyfield was waiting to put the ball beyond Graczyk.

The young Gunners did have a chance to equalise almost instantly with a free kick of their own, but Miguel Azeez was unable to keep his effort on target as it flew just wide.

Lino Sousa saw a strike from distance whistle just over the crossbar when he found an opening on 39 minutes, shortly before another free kick offered Azeez the opportunity to equalise on the stroke of half time, but it flew over the crossbar once more to send the Wood into the break in front.

HT: Boreham Wood 1-0 Arsenal XI

The young Gunners got off to a lightening quick start after getting the second half underway with substitute Butler causing problems on the right flank, and it was his delivery that gave Edwards the chance to tap home the equaliser almost immediately into the half.

Erico Sousa showed his quality on the ball as he drove down the left-hand side with pace and power. His high delivery flew towards Ndlovu who wanted a penalty after going down in the box but the referee waved away the appeals, with the ball falling to Marsh on the right who’s cross was headed goalward by Danny Elliott, but Graczyk was able to gather comfortably.

Sagoe Jr will have been disappointed when he missed a golden opportunity on the hour-mark after being played in behind, but Ashmore denied him with a crucial low save.

However the Arsenal youngster made amends moments later, with Butler at the heart of it again. The right back was able to work an opening with his delivery causing havoc in the box, but Sagoe Jr was well-placed to meet a clearance and fire past Ashmore.

The hosts refused to give up though, as Danny Newton had a great chance to immediately equalise when he found himself with plenty of room to shoot, but Graczyk was behind it.

It would be his cross that created the leveller though, with Rees waiting to roll the ball past Graczyk to 71 minutes.

Chances seemingly dried up as the game reached its end, but Elliott was waiting to tap home the winner from close range just five minutes from the end.

FT: Boreham Wood 3-2 Arsenal XI

Boreham Wood: Ashmore, Kelly-Evans (Evans 62’), Ilesamni, Ndlovu (Newton 62’), Marsh (Rees 62’), Fyfield (Stephens 73’), Elliott, Stevens, Sousa, Brunt (Egan 62’), Payne (Ricketts 62’)

Subs Not Used: Murphy, Joyce

Arsenal XI: Graczyk, Lannin-Sweet, Sousa (Jeffcott 45’), Monlouis (Ibrahim 45’), Awe (Foran 45’), Azeez, Cozier-Duberry (Olayinka 45’), Smith (Cirjan 45’), Edwards, Patino (Butler 45’), Sagoe Jr (Taylor-Hart 45’)

Subs Not Used: Hillson, Bandeira

Star Man: Erico Sousa



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