Photography by Alan Becker
Boreham Wood kicked off pre-season with an entertaining 3-3 draw against an Arsenal XI at Meadow Park.
It was a tale of two halves as goals from new signings Tyrone Marsh, Piero Mingoia and Adam McDonnell gave the Wood a healthy 3-1 lead at the break before the visitors called upon fresh legs to grab a draw.
Wood boss Luke Garrard handed all four of his new recruits a place in the starting line-up as Tyrone Marsh, Kabongo Tshimanga, Adam McDonnell and Piero Mingoia all looked to make an impression in front of a packed-out Meadow Park.
One of the aforementioned new signings made an instant impact on his debut as Tyrone Marsh, who signed for the club only on Friday, bundled over the line from close range after Jamal Fyfield flicked down a Ryan Huddart free-kick.
It was an extremely lively start by Boreham Wood who dominated the opening stages with fast and exciting attacking football, and it wasn’t long before they doubled their lead. It was all about the new signings once again as Kabongo Tshimanga drove at the Gunners defence waiting patiently for the run of Piero Mingoia, and he timed his pass perfectly to the former Accrington man who fired under Karl Hein for his first goal for the club.
The Wood were certainly looking the sharper and hungrier of the two outfits displaying that bit of bite to their play, and Luke Garrard was pleased with what he was witnessing. The young Gunners, who are managed by Steve Bould, had a couple of opportunities as the first half wore on but Nathan Tormey and Flo Balogun failed to hit the target.
Trae Coyle should have done better shortly after the half hour mark with only Huddart to beat but the forward couldn’t beat the former Gunner. However, Steve Bould’s side did reduce the arrears five minutes before the interval as Zech Medley cleverly reversed a ball in behind releasing Matt Smith who swept into the bottom corner.
Nevertheless, the first half belonged to the hosts as they restored their two-goal cushion right on the whistle. Believe it or not, it was another new signing that found the net as Tshimanga picked up his second assist rolling an inch perfect pass into the path of Adam McDonnell and the Irishman fired home via a slight deflection.
Half-Time: Boreham Wood 3-1 Arsenal XI
The Gunners made a flurry of changes for the second 45 and were improved from the off as Tyreece John-Jules’ close-range effort was somehow hacked out of the goal mouth. They went even closer from the resulting corner though as Dominic Thompson had a go from all of 30 yards but his piledriver crashed off the post.
The highly regarded Tyreece John-Jules was causing the Wood problems since entering the field and moments after he slid marginally wide, he did find the back of the net. An instinctive low drive into the bottom corner saw the score change once more.
The Wood weren’t quite hitting the heights of their first half display as the fresh legs of Arsenal only seemed to make them stronger. With 20 minutes left on the clock, the away side were back on level terms for the first time since the fourth minute. Tom Champion was adjudged to have pulled back Mark McGuinness in the box, penalty given. That man again Tyreece John-Jules stepped up coolly stroking the penalty down the middle.
As the contest drew to a close, Luke Garrard’s men almost pinched it at the death as Sorba Thomas’ corner kick floated onto the head of Jamal Fyfield but he just couldn’t make the desired connection.
Full-Time: Boreham Wood 3-3 Arsenal XI
Boreham Wood: Huddart, Smith (Shakes 55), Ilesanmi (Ilesanmi 68), Champion©, Stephens, Fyfield, McDonnell (Ricketts 55), Murtagh (Trialist 83), Mingoia (Thomas 68), Marsh (Trialist 77), Tshimanga
Arsenal XI: Hein, Swanson, Thompson, Smith, McGuiness, Medley, Tormey, Burton©, Balogun, Olayinka, Coyle
Subs: Dennis, Hillson, Azeez, Olowu, Clarke, Amaechi, Cottrell, John-Jules, Greenwood, Alebiosu, Ogungbo, Matthews