Boreham Wood went down to two second-half goals from FA Cup holders Arsenal at Meadow Park on Saturday, as the Gunners helped open the club’s new West Stand.
In front of a capacity attendance of 3,000, a 68th minute strike from Kris Olsson handed the Premier League visitors the lead before the win was secured from the penalty spot in the 86th minute by Benik Afobe.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger brought a strong side to Hertfordshire, with the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Tomas Rosicky, Wojciech Szczesny, Kieran Gibbs, Abou Diaby, Nacho Monreal and Carl Jenkinson all included.
Powerful forward Yaya Sanogo had the Gunners’ first chance when he was played through by Jon Tora but Wood goalkeeper James Russell was quickly off his line.
Matty Whichelow replied for Wood, curling an effort narrowly wide following a quick counter-attack from the hosts.
Whilst the Gunners were on top, Ian Allinson’s resilient Wood set about making life hard for their illustrious visitors, succeeding for the most part.
Ramsey came close after half an hour when he drove just wide, before Toral curled beyond the post by a matter of inches.
Sanogo tried his luck once more before the break, seizing on a defensive mistake before drawing another good stop from Russell in the Wood goal.
The Gunners made 11 changes at half-time, with French international Diaby among those introduced at the break.
It was Diaby who nearly opened the scoring shortly after the restart, drawing another stop from the increasingly-impressive Russell, who tipped his fierce drive over.
Chuba Akpom then came close; Russell again in the right place to palm the forward’s effort to safety.
Arsenal eventually made the breakthrough in the 68th minute when Rosicky’s pass picked out Olsson inside the Wood area, the Swede clipping the ball past Russell to open the scoring.
With time running out, Akpom again found Russell blocking his route to goal, the French forward seeing his curling effort pushed to safety.
Four minutes from time, the decisive second finally came when the Gunners won a penalty.
Luke Garrard was the guilty party, penalised for a push on forward Afobe. From the resulting kick, the forward secured the win for the Gunners.
Boreham Wood: Russell; Nunn, Morgan ( Mawer 82), Garrard, Hill ( Hope 81), Reynolds, Whichelow, Thomas ( Donnelly 81), Angol ( Sterling-Parker 84), Shakes ( Cox 59), Montgomery ( Noto 65).
Subs not used: Day and Courtnage.
Arsenal First Half: Szczesny; Toral, Willock, Hayden, Ramsey, Monreal, Sanogo, Jenkinson, Ajayi, Zelalem, Coqueli.
Arsenal second half: Martinez; Bellerin, Miquel, Pleguezuelo, Gibbs; Flamini, Diaby; Rosicky, Olsson; Afobe; Akpom.