Jul 19, 2014 at 3pm UK
Boreham WoodBoreham Wood
FT(HT: 0-0)
Olsson (68'), Afobe (86' pen.)

Live Commentary: Boreham Wood 0-2 Arsenal - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the pre-season friendly in Hertfordshire as Arsenal beat Boreham Wood 2-0.

Arsenal opened their 2014 pre-season with a clash against Conference South side Boreham Wood on Saturday.

The Gunners dominated possession in the first period, but could not make the breakthrough against a stern Boreham defence.

Arsenal had the lead 20 minutes from time when Kristoffer Olsson finished from close range, before Benik Afobe made it 2-0 with a penalty late on.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

2.31pmAfternoon all! Sports Mole's pre-season coverage continues as Arsenal get their preparations for the 2014/15 campaign underway with a clash against Conference South side Boreham Wood. This match will also be the first time that the Gunners have played in their new Puma away kit. Right, let me bring you up-to-speed with the team news from Meadow Park. It is a strong-looking Arsenal XI.


BOREHAM: Russell; Nunn, Morgan, Garrard, Hill; Reynolds, Whichelow, Thomas; Angol, Shakes, Montgomery

ARSENAL: Szczesny; Jenkinson, Ajayi, Hayden, Monreal; Ramsey, Coquelin, Zelalem; Willock; Toral, Sanogo

2.37pmSo there we have it. Wojciech Szczesny, Carl Jenkinson, Nacho Monreal, Aaron Ramsey and Yaya Sanogo all start for Arsenal this afternoon. Meanwhile, there are also spots in the XI for the likes of Jon Toral, Semi Ajayi, Gedion Zelalem and Isaac Hayden. Boreham Wood, meanwhile, have the likes of Lee Angol, Ricky Shakes and Graeme Montgomery in their XI at Meadow Lane. What a test for the Conference South outfit.


2.43pmThis match is the first of four pre-season games for Arsenal, who travel to New York to take on the New York Red Bulls next Saturday before returning to take part in the annual Emirates Cup, which will pit the London club against the likes of Benfica and Monaco in London. Arsenal's first competitive match is the Community Shield against league champions Manchester City on August 10.

2.46pmLooking ahead, Arsenal open their league campaign against Crystal Palace on August 17, before travelling to Everton one week later in what is a difficult start for the club to the league season. The Gunners are without a number of their usual first-team squad this afternoon, but it is a chance for head coach Arsene Wenger to assess the capabilities of a number of his younger players.

2.49pmThe venue – Meadow Park – is familiar to a number of players in the Arsenal squad this afternoon, meanwhile, with the youth team playing their matches in this particular stadium. As expected, there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium with little over 10 minutes until kickoff this afternoon.

2.52pmBoreham Wood, meanwhile, opened their pre-season with a 3-1 defeat to Brentford on Thursday. As mentioned, Boreham play their football in the Conference South, with their campaign getting underway on August 9 against Farnborough – a far cry from their opposition today.

2.55pmThe 2013/14 campaign proved to be fairly solid for Boreham, with the Hertfordshire-based outfit finishing 13th in the Conference South. They won 14 of their 42 matches, drawing 11 times and losing 17. They were 16 points from the playoffs, but a comfortable 13 points from the bottom three.

2.58pmHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the first period. Once the pre-match handshakes have been undertaken, we will be ready to get this match underway on this beautiful afternoon.

0 minJust a reminder that next up for Arsenal is a clash with New York Red Bulls next weekend. Right, the flags have been exchanged and the players are ready. Arsenal get the first 45 minutes underway in Hertfordshire.

2 minIt must be said that the pitch is in wonderful condition this afternoon. There is also a sensational atmosphere for such a small ground. As expected, Arsenal have taken control of the possession in the early moments.

4 minIt would not be an exaggeration to say that Boreham have hardly touched the ball in the opening four minutes here. The Premier League side continue to dominate the ball and have a half-chance as Monreal drives into the Boreham box, but Nunn is across to deal with the danger. It could be a long afternoon for the home side.

6 minAnother half-chance for Arsenal as Jenkinson delivers a deep cross fro the right, but Sanogo cannot make contact under pressure from Russell. Arsenal build from the back once more with the likes of Ramsey, Coquelin and Zelalem seeing plenty of the ball. Still goalless, however, with six minutes on the clock.

8 minSanogo is again involved after collecting a pass from Ramsey on the edge of the box, but his effort is just wide of the post and Boreham have a goal-kick. The home supporters are doing their best to raise their team, but Arsenal are in complete control. In truth, it is like watching a training match at the moment.

10 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments, but Arsenal remain in control. Hayden looks to sweep a pass towards Sanogo, but once more Russell is out to collect. Nothing from Boreham in terms of an attacking threat thus far, but they have got through the first 10 minutes without conceding.

12 minCHANCE! Sanogo has a wonderful chance for Arsenal after collecting a through pass from Ramsey, but Russell is out to make a brilliant save. That is the clearest chance by some distance.

14 minCHANCE! Much better from the home side as Shakes finds some space outside the Arsenal box following a swift counter, but Ajayi is across to make the block. The match has just started to open up in the last couple of moments, with both sides prepared to commit numbers in the final third.

16 minArsenal pressure Boreham with two corners in quick succession, but Nunn and Hill take it in turns to clear the danger. Arsenal continue to dominate the ball, but they have created just one clear chance thus far.

19 minBoreham are just struggling to get out of their own half at the moment as Arsenal continue to work the ball in tight areas with Ramsey and Jenkinson both involved. The latter attempts a long-range strike on goal, but Morgan is on hand to make the block. Still goalless with 19 minutes on the clock at Meadow Lane.

21 minPass, pass, pass from Arsenal, but there is no real end product at the moment. Sanogo has had Arsenal's best chance, but the striker's effort was saved by Russell. Toral attempts to find Ramsey with a chipped ball into the Boreham box, but once more the goalkeeper is out to collect with relative ease.

23 minSlightly untidy period of the match in the last couple of moments with both sides guilty of losing possession in the final third. Arsenal have a free kick just outside the box when Coquelin is chopped down by Morgan, who comes off worse in the challenge. It looked a really painful one for the defender.

25 minThe resulting free kick is taken by Ramsey, but his 25-yard free kick is straight into the wall. Poor from the Welsh international, who is captaining Arsenal in the first half this afternoon.

28 minHill takes a chance just outside his own box by attempting a backwards header towards his own goalkeeper, but it just reaches Russell, who was under pressure from Sanogo. Zelalem is involved for Arsenal moments later as he slides a low pass into Sanogo, but once more the French striker cannot make contact.

31 minAnother half-chance for Arsenal as Ramsey finds some space inside the Boreham box before attempting to slide a low pass towards Sanogo, but Hill is across to make a fine challenge. The pressure continues, however, as Arsenal begin another passing sequence. Little under 15 minutes of the first period remaining.

33 minPOST! Arsenal come close to finding the back of the net as Sanogo sets up Toral just outside the Boreham box, but his low effort clips the outside of the post before moving wide.

35 minLittle over 10 minutes of the first period remaining and Boreham can be pleased with their efforts thus far. Arsenal continue to dominate the ball, but the Gunners have only really had two clear opportunities.

38 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments, but Boreham have started to see more of the ball in the Arsenal half. Whichelow in particular has been dangerous for the home side, but clear chances have been at a premium. Little over five minutes of the first half to play.

40 minCHANCE! Another opportunity for Sanogo after the Arsenal striker finds some space inside the Boreham box, but once more his effort is straight at the goalkeeper. Poor finishing.

42 minBoreham's first corner of the match arrives following a deflected effort from Shakes, but Toral is on hand to clear the danger. Another cross comes into the box from Nunn, but Coquelin is on hand to clear. Good pressure from the home side in the latter stages of the half. Still goalless at Meadow Lane.

44 minNot too much for the Arsenal supporters to get excited about in the last few minutes as Boreham continue to enjoy possession of the ball. Just a reminder that both sides are expected to name a number of changes at the interval. It is understood that Arsenal will field a new XI for the second 45 minutes.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Boreham Wood 0-0 Arsenal

3.49pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with the two sides level at 0-0. Arsenal have had the majority of the possession and indeed created the better chances, but have been frustrated in front of goal. Sanogo in particular has been guilty of missing a number of strong opportunities.

3.54pmBoreham Wood have had their moments, but have largely struggled to create clear openings. That said, they can be extremely pleased with a goalless half against Premier League opposition. Just to re-iterate, both managers are expected to make numerous changes for the second period, which should be fun for me!

3.59pmBENCH WATCH: Arsenal have the likes of Rosicky, Afobe, Akpom, Flamini and Diaby on their bench this afternoon – all of whom are expected to feature in the second period. Boreham, meanwhile, have options in the shape of Callum Donnelly, Ryan Hope, Sam Cox, Charlie Day and Raheem Sterling-Parker.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second 45 minutes. Can Arsenal make their dominance count? Or will Boreham cause a big shock here? Arsenal get the second period underway.

46 minSUBS! As expected, Arsenal have made a host of changes for the second period, with Rosicky, Afobe, Akpom, Flamini, Diaby and Afobe among those entering the field.

48 minAs far as I am aware, there have been no changes from the home side. It is always fun keeping up-to-date with changes in these type of games! It has been a bright start to the second period from Arsenal, with Flamini attempting to slide a pass into Afobe, but the striker was in an offside position.

50 minArsenal have a penalty shout as Akpom goes down in the box under pressure from Nunn, but the referee is not interested and rightly so. Already it is much brighter from Arsenal, with the likes of Olsson and Gibbs involved in the final third. Not too much from Boreham in the second period thus far.

53 minOpportunity for Arsenal to threaten from a set piece as Akpom is felled outside the box. The resulting set piece is taken by Diaby, but his effort is straight into the wall. Still goalless at Meadow Lane.

55 minHalf-chance for Arsenal as Olsson finds some space inside the Boreham box before clipping a cross towards the back post, but Nunn is on hand to head over his own crossbar. The resulting corner is delivered into the danger zone, but Russell is on hand to clear with a powerful punch. Strong pressure from the Gunners.

57 minArsenal continue to dominate the ball in the final third, but they are finding it difficult to produce that elusive pass inside the box. Boreham have not yet looked to their bench this afternoon, but changes are expected in the next five minutes or so. Little over 30 minutes of this pre-season clash to play.

58 minCHANCE! Arsenal's best chance of the second period comes to Diaby as the Frenchman strikes a powerful effort on goal from outside the box, but Russell is on hand to make a fine save.

59 minCHANCE! Again Russell is called into action as Afobe finds some space outside the box before striking on goal, but the Boreham goalkeeper pushes it over the crossbar for a corner.

60 minSUB! Change for Boreham as Shakes is replaced by Sam Cox.

62 minBoreham enjoy a period of possession inside the Arsenal half, but they have not threatened to open the scoring since the first period. Arsenal, however, have started to give away a couple of sloppy free kicks.

63 minAnother half-chance for Arsenal as Afobe drives past two defenders before sliding a pass into Olsson, but his effort is straight into the arms of Olsson. Arsenal's finishing this afternoon has been poor to be honest.

66 minPossession football from Arsenal as they continue to camp inside the Boreham half, but once more it breaks down in the final third when Afobe cannot move past the challenge of Hill. I would be surprised if this match did finish goalless as Boreham begin to tire in the latter stages. Rosicky delivers a low cross into the Boreham box moments later, but Russell is out to collect at his near post.

66 minSUB! Another change for Boreham as Montgomery is replaced by Marlo Noto.

68 minAgain Arsenal threaten as Bellerin drives a dangerous cross into the Boreham box, but the danger is cleared before Noto leads a counter down the other end. The pressure does not last long, however, and Arsenal are back on the attack. Still goalless with little over 20 minutes of football remaining.

68 minGOAL! Boreham 0-1 Arsenal (Olsson)

69 minFinally Arsenal have the lead as Olsson beats the offside trap before clipping his effort past Russell. It was a brilliant through pass from Rosicky. The Gunners lead at Meadow Lane.

71 minIn truth, the goal had been coming. I would not be surprised to see more in the latter stages of this match, with Boreham clearly tiring. Russell, however, takes the pressure off by collecting a deep corner.

73 minOlsson is again involved for the Gunners as the Swede looks for a through pass towards Rosicky, but Russell is out to clear at the vital moment. Boreham manage to broke moments later with Fox, but the striker is brought down by Olsson in the Arsenal half. Little over 15 minutes of football remaining this afternoon.

75 minThe atmosphere has just dropped in the last few minutes, which is not much of a surprise. The Boreham players are clearly tiring as Arsenal continue to dominate the ball in the final third. It would not be a surprise if there were a couple more goals in the latter stages here.

77 minIt's good defending from Reynolds as the Boreham defender comes across to challenge Rosicky, who had broken into the box once more. The resulting corner is delivered by Olsson, but it evades everyone. Boreham break moments later, but Angol is forced inside and the attack comes to an end.

78 minCHANCE! Akpom comes close to adding a second for Arsenal following a mazy run into the Boreham box, but his effort is blocked at the vital moment.

80 minAnother half-chance for Arsenal as Gibbs swings his left foot on the edge of the box, but his effort is straight into the arms of the Boreham goalkeeper. Little over 10 minutes remaining this afternoon.

83 minSlightly untidy period of the match in the last couple of moments with both sides guilty of losing possession in the final third. Boreham will certainly be the happier of the two sides as things stand. Arsenal have played some good football, but it has been a largely frustrating afternoon for the Gunners.

83 minSUBS! Three changes for the home side and I shall try to confirm these ASAP.

84 minThomas, Hill, Morgan and Angol have all departed for the home side, with Donnolly, Hope, Mawyer and Sterling-Parker entering the field.


86 minArsenal have a penalty as Akpom is brought to the ground inside the Boreham box.

86 minGOAL! Boreham 0-2 Arsenal (Afobe, pen)

87 minArsenal have their second of the match as Afobe rolls his penalty into the bottom corner.

89 minIt is not much of a surprise that Arsenal have come through in the latter stages. Fresh legs have proved crucial, with Boreham struggling to match the pace of their Premier League opponents.

90 min+1FULL-TIME: Boreham Wood 0-2 Arsenal

4.52pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to an end with Arsenal winning 2-0 courtesy of goals from Olsson and Afobe. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action. Good afternoon!

Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger during his side's game with Sunderland on February 9, 2013
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