Boreham Wood 1-4 West Ham Utd

  • by Staff Writer
  • Tuesday, 11th July 2023

An experimental West Ham side opened the club's pre-season campaign with a comfortable win against Boreham Wood tonight.

Those supporters who made the trip to Meadow Park were rewarded with a couple of goals either side of the interval; two from Academy players and two more from firmly-established, first team stars Danny Ings and Jarrod Bowen.

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The absence of the club's captain - who is set to complete a record-breaking £100million move to Arsenal upon returning from holiday later this week - was not a major surprise, although it afforded watching Hammers fans a first glimpse at how a post-Declan Rice team might look to adapt tactically.

Yet Rice was not the only notable omission from the matchday squad, as fellow midfielders and Prague heroes Lucas Paqueta and Tomas Soucek were also afforded the night off which granted valuable game time for Flynn Downes, Conor Coventry and Kamarai Swyer instead.

Others such as Nayef Agurd, Thilo Kehrer and Michail Antonio were also left at home, although returning to generous applause was Italian striker Luca Scamacca, making his first appearance since succesfully returning from an operation.

It was his strike partner however who was to open West Ham's account on the night, as Ings converted a low cross from the right by Laing with 24 minutes on the clock. And even though there were some worrying moments for the Hammers as the half progressed, Kamarai Swyer doubled United's advantage on the stroke of half time when nodding home a Pablo Fornals delivery.

Following a slew of substitutions from both teams at the interval, it was West Ham who were to score the game's third goal - eventually - with 12 minutes of normal time remaining. Bowen, who was introduced at half time had gone close to opening his account for pre-season on a couple of occasions but he could barely miss when poking a toe out to convert Coventry's cross into the six-yard box.

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West Ham's fourth and final goal arrived in the 87th minute, a quality finish on the turn by Gideon Kodua, before the hosts grabbed a last minute consolation to give their fans something to cheer following a fumble by Hammers 'keeper Joseph Anang.

While first team coach Billy McKinlay was naturally pleased with the win, he was just as satisfied by the "workout" it provided the squad with. "The fitness aspect was really good, we got a decent performance and a good win too," he told West Ham's website.

"Fitness is the key element in early pre-season. The game being a couple of days earlier than in previous seasons means there could be a bigger risk of injury, so we have to be careful on a number of aspects. Physiologically it’s good for the players to get that first action over and done with, now they can concentrate on progressing their fitness levels.

"The close season always goes quickly and the boys have come back on a high. We’ve had a really good first few days and it’s great to be back ready to go again this season. We go to Australia tomorrow where we have two games coming up quickly, so tonight’s game is little bit earlier on in pre-season than in previous years."

Meanwhile goalscorer Swyer was delighted - on a personal level - by the chance afforded to him by the absence of several senior players. "There’s nothing quite like being on the pitch," he told "We do the training, runs and work in the gym but when you’re playing in a game it’s just a different experience. It was great to be out there tonight.

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"For me personally I have to keep building, working on my game, working hard and keep doing the same things that I’ve been doing recently. You don’t get many chances in the first-team squad because we have some many talented players, so when you do get an opportunity you have to take it."

West Ham Utd: Fabiański (Anang 46), Laing (Luizão 62), Zouma (Emerson 46), Ogbonna (Kasey 62), Cresswell (Potts 46), Downes (Chester 79), Coventry (Forson 87), Swyer (Earthy 46), Fornals (Kodua 79), Ings (Bowen 46), Scamacca (Mubama 46)

Subs not used: Hegyi, Scarles

Goals: Ings (25), Swyer (45), Bowen (78), Kodua (87)

Boreham Wood: Ashmore (Trialist F 78), Bush (Ilesanmi 46), Stephens, Whelan (Payne 46) (Miller 57), Sagaf (Balanta 46), Marsh (Trialist C), Abraham (Trialist D), Agbontohoma (Fyfield 46), Trialist A (Coxe 46), Trialist B (Ndkovu 46), Sousa (Trialist E)

Goals: Ilesanmi (89)

Attendance: 2,696

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