Post-Match Report

Boreham Wood 2-6 Arsenal - Match Report

05/06 Boreham Wood 2-6 Arsenal


Meadow Park, Boreham Wood
Pre-season Friendly
Pre-season Friendly
2 6

The thousands leaving Elstree and Borehamwood station on Wednesday night had a choice of two very different attractions - Big Brother or Arsenal.

Some chose to gather around the notorious house but, less than half a kilometre down the road, there was richer entertainment on offer.

Those who opted to watch Arsenal complete their pre-season preparations had to do without evictions and histrionics but they were treated to eight goals and some glittering football.

Jose Antonio Reyes scored a hat-trick, Robin van Persie hit a brace and Robert Pires was also on target as the Gunners won 6-2 against Boreham Wood, for whom Lee Archer and Ian Cooper netted.

It was a productive night all round. The Meadow Park crowd got to see a wealth of international talent, Arsene Wenger got a chance to assess his squad ahead of the big Premiership kick-off and his players got a final opportunity to sharpen up before the visit of Newcastle on Sunday.

Boreham Wood ply their trade in the Southern Counties League and - in the first half at least - the gulf in class was blatantly obvious. On the rare occasions the hosts got the ball, they quickly gave it away. To nobody's surprise, the chances and goals flowed for Arsenal.

Van Persie set the ball rolling in the sixth minute. Alexander Hleb found Reyes after a darting run and the Spaniard cut inside before firing a left-foot shot goalwards. The ball was blocked but span up invitingly for Van Persie, who volleyed past Steve Corry.

Mathieu Flamini went through next but ventured too wide after taking the ball around the keeper. Then Van Persie was denied a second by Mark Smith's timely block.

The Dutchman didn't have to wait long to double his tally, checking back onto his left foot before curling a perfect shot into the corner. Seconds later Van Persie so nearly completed a quickfire hat-trick. Reyes squared the ball after another slick move but the Dutchman's shot was well saved by Corry.

Pires was next to try his luck. He slid the ball just wide after a neat interchange with Van Persie and was off target again a minute later.

It was as one-sided an opening as you'll see. Boreham Wood stemmed the flow temporarily but Arsenal turned the screw again as half-time approached. Reyes had gone close on a number of occasions and finally opened his account from the spot after Marvin Samuel's trip.

Goals four and five quickly followed. First Pires applied the finishing touch, slotting home a loose ball after Corry had parried a free-kick from Van Persie and Flamini's follow-up. Then Reyes curled a delicious shot into the corner.

A thrashing looked on the cards but a raft of Arsenal substitutions and Boreham Wood's admirable second-half response gave the scoreline more respectability.

Ten minutes after the restart Greg Morgan picked out Chris Bangura and he played a perfect through ball to Archer. The striker outpaced the Arsenal back four, won a challenge with Michael Jordan and rolled the ball into an empty net.

Boreham Wood's sterling efforts were soon rewarded with a second goal. Cooper was brought down by substitute Sean Kelly and netted the penalty himself.

Samuel lashed over soon after but that was as good as it got for the hosts. Pires, Van Persie and Hleb were all withdrawn but Reyes stayed on and continued to enjoy himself. He completed his hat-trick with his second penalty of the night.

Arsenal could have had more. Patrick Cregg lifted Quincy's low shot over the bar and another sub, Arturo Lupoli, almost squeezed a shot in at the near post. The Italian went close again before Quincy fired wide with the last chance of an entertaining night.

Not surprisingly, the crowd left happy - after all, who needs Craig when you've got Cregg?

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