By Nick Teale
An Arsenal XI secured a comfortable 3-0 victory over Boreham Wood on Tuesday evening.
Neil Banfield's young team controlled a one-sided match in Hertfordshire. The newly-promoted Blue Square South side managed just two shots on target all evening.
Mark Randall bagged the first, beating the keeper from 50 yards. Benik Afobe added a second after being played through by Chuks Aneke at the end of the first half.
An own goal concluded matters in the final minutes of the game.
Wojciech Szczesny started in goal for Arsenal and Kyle Bartley made his first pre-season appearance at centre back. Havard Nordtveit was at right back.
Also in the squad were two players who are currently training with the club. Ryo Miyaichi started and Wellington Silva was on the bench.
If Szczesny was looking for a chance to impress, this wasn't it. The Pole didn’t have a save to make in the 60 minutes he played.
Arsenal asserted their superiority as early as the second minute when Randall stunned those who had come through the turnstiles.
The midfielder received the ball just inside the Boreham Wood half and noticed keeper Gareth Williams off his line. From within the centre circle the Arsenal midfielder audaciously went for goal.
His kick was perfect, and the out-of-position keeper was left stranded as the ball dipped into the back of the net in front of a bewildered Meadow Park crowd.
In the 16th minute Miyaichi burst into the area from the left and his ferocious effort cannoned off the crossbar, falling too wide of Rhys Murphy for the striker to reach.
As the half progressed Williams had a curling Randall shot to contend with and Miyaichi, lively on the left flank, flashed a low shot wide of the far post.
Three minutes before the break the lead was extended. Aneke and Afobe combined on countless occasions for the Under-18s last season and they did so again at Boreham Wood.
The latter was played through the middle by the former and took one touch before slotting home the Gunners' second of the evening.
Arsenal started the second half brightly and it seemed only a matter of time until they found the net.
Aneke had a brace of chances but Williams did well to deny what looked likely to be a third Arsenal goal and then held a 20-yard effort from the midfielder. A Miyaichi miss-kick then presented Afobe with a chance but his close-range effort was blocked.
The Boreham Wood keeper then did well to deny Afobe after Aneke chipped the ball into the area as the Arsenal onslaught continued.
Wellington, a half-time substitute, came very close with a top corner-bound strike which was palmed away by Williams in the 66th minute. Hoyte hit the bar with a volley from the resulting corner.
Minutes later Wellington could, and probably should, have provided the third Arsenal deserved. But he dragged wide after exchanging passes with Afobe.
With three minutes remaining the third finally arrived. Substitute Roarie Deacon delivered from the left and Ryan Moran turned into his own net.
- Szczesny 60
- Nordtveit 60
- Miquel (C) 46
- Randall 46 Goal!
- Aneke 60
- Afobe Goal!
- Ryo Miyaichi
- Murphy 46
- Shea 60
- Boateng 60
- Evina 60
- Hoyte 46
- Barazite 46
- Wellington Silva 46
- Bradley Fraser
- Luke Garrard 65
- Ryan Moran
- Ryan Kirby 46
- Sherwin Stanley
- Mario Noto
- Claude Seanla 46
- Lee Allison 46
- Elliot Godfrey
- Greg Morgan 65
- Charlie Hunter 65
- Bobby Highton 46
- Cochrane 46
- Jon Clements 65
- James Hawes 46