Boreham Wood 1 – 1 West Ham United
Tuesday 12th July 2022
LV Bet Stadium, Meadow Park – Pre-Season Friendly
WOOD HOLD OUT FOR HARD-EARNED DRAW
Strikes at both ends of the first half from Saïd Benrahma and Will Evans cancelled each other out to see the Wood come out with a 1-1 draw against Europa League semi-finalists West Ham United, as they got another important 90 minutes in the bank with their second game in just four days.
Benrahma got the game up and running with a stunning free kick after 20 minutes, giving West Ham control of the game for much of the first half before Will Evans netted an equaliser against the run of play when Darren Randolph was unable to deal with a corner. The two sides went close to finding a winner late on with both defences kept busy, but the non-league outfit was able to hold out for the draw against a West Ham side that included Benrahma, Randolph, Manuel Lanzini, Issa Diop, Arthur Masuaku and Angelo Ogbonna.
The Wood held their own during the opening stages as they limited West Ham to very few clear cut chances, allowing the Hammers to boss possession but staying firm in midfield, and this was clear in their performance. Although both sides were able to create openings with little success early on, the game had to wait until the tenth minute to see its first shot which fell to Josh Rees, who picked up the ball on the edge of the box before getting it under control and firing into the heavens.
Nonetheless, the Wood were able to build some momentum and enjoyed a positive spell of pressure, with some neat interplay between Dennon Lewis and Danny Elliott leading to the latter getting a shot away that Darren Randolph was able to easily gather, before the former tested the Republic of Ireland international moments later after an excellent solo run.
The Hammers showed their Premier League class as they took the lead though, as a stunning free kick from Benrahma opened the scoring with a strike that gave Nathan Ashmore no chance as it flew past him.
This seemed to be just what the visitors needed to take control of proceedings, with the Hammers starting to dominate. Some good close control from Manuel Lanzini allowed him to evade the defender before laying it off to Keenan Forson, who’s effort from distance brought a crucial outstretched save from Ashmore.
Benrahma was almost gifted a second goal shortly after when the Wood stopper kicked his clearance straight into the path of former Brentford man, but he will have been extremely disappointed to see his effort curl inches wide of the far post.
Ashmore’s opposite number had to be at his best himself at a set piece though, with Jacob Mendy Mendy’s deep corner being put back across goal by Ricketts with Randolph needing to be alert to claw it away before it dropped over the line.
The hosts did have their equaliser though on the stroke of half time, with Forson and Pierre Ekwah paying the price for not taking advantage of two glorious chances moments earlier. Another corner proved difficult to deal with, as Randolph parried it into the path of Evans who tapped into the bottom corner to level.
HT: Boreham Wood 1-1 West Ham
The second half began in a similar to the vein to the first with little clear opportunities for either side. Divin Mubama was the first to go close after the break as some lovely build-up play from West Ham put a chance on a plate for the Hammers youngster to volley home, but Ashmore made an excellent parry to deny him. Mubama would have a second bite of the cherry though when he was picked out by Lanzini’s pull back moments later, but his shot looped up after a deflection before falling into the grateful arms of Ashmore.
Substitute Danny Newton showed his willingness to shoot when he drove towards goal before firing a low shot from distance that Nathan Trott had to deal with, but this summed up a second half that saw little action.
Benrahma was certainly the danger man for the visitors and went close once more when he tried to work an opening on the edge of the box, but he could only fire over the crossbar with 15 minutes to go.
The Wood went up the other end and caused problems in the box that saw Lee Ndlovu taken out right on the edge, with Mendy Mendy testing Trott with the subsequent free kick that requires the young goalkeeper to push away from trouble.
Despite the rest of the half giving the defences of both sides little to do, the end of it certainly made them busy. Another chance for Mubama saw him slid through on goal after a Benrahma-led counter attack but Ashmore was able to get there first, before the Algerian went close himself from a free kick where lightening didn’t strike twice, as he could only direct his effort over the crossbar.
Trott would be forced into another important save when Ndlovu got in behind, and moments later they went even closer as a deep free kick right at the death almost caught the West Ham keeper out, but Ilesamni’s header went onto the roof of the net with the last kick of the game.
FT: Boreham Wood 1-1 West Ham
Boreham Wood: Ashmore, Evans (Stevens 45’), Stephens, Fyfield (Ilesamni 45’), Kelly-Evans (Ndlovu 45’), Rees, Ricketts, Mendy Mendy, Marsh (Egan 45’), Lewis (Joyce 80’), Elliott (Newton 45’).
Subs Not Used: Murphy.
West Ham: Randolph (Trott 45’), Laing, Baptiste (Ogbonna 67’), Diop, Masuaku, Ekwah, Lanzini (Swyer 63’), Nevers (Coddington 85’), Forson, Benrahma, Mubama.
Subs Not Used: Greenidge.
Star Man: Nathan Ashmore
OUR CLUB. OUR TOWN. OUR COMMUNITY