Boreham Wood were beaten 3-0 at home to West Ham United in their friendly last night.
Understandably James Russell in the Wood goal was the busiest of the squad on the night, turning in an excellent performance.
It was another gruelling night for the Wood defence who were held together by another superb performance from Luke Garrard who was outstanding against the likes of Ricardo Vaz Te, Jack Collison, Joe Cole and Matt Jarvis.
Early action centred around the Wood goal mouth, a trend that was to continue throughout the game.
Blocks from Charlie O'Loughlin, Garrard and Greg Morgan denied the Hammers an early goal, before Graeme Montgomery's deft flick put him beyond Winston Reid running through down the left channel. His end product flew just wide of Adrian's left hand post.
Welsh international Collison pulled all the strings up front for the visitors and drew a fine save from Russell, before the hosts took the lead after 20 minutes. Former Shaktar Dhonetsk player Razvan Rat hit an innocuous cross from the left which led to an miss hit clearance from O'Loughlin forcing Russell into an acrobatic save. The loose ball was guided home by Ravel Morrison.
From the restart Collison had his shot cleared behind by Callum Reynolds for a corner on the left. The ball was played short to Mark Noble whose cross was met perfectly by Vaz Te who looped an unstoppable header beyond Russell making it two goals in as many visitors for the Claret clad visitors.
Simmonds showed the sparks of a dangerous forward on his Wood debut, but up against such competent opposition real chances were at an absolute premium for Ian Allinson's men.
Benn Nunn allowed Rat a cheap sight of the target, yet again Russell rescued Wood with a fine stop.
Russell then denied Paul McCallum saving his header, before Vaz Te ended the first half curling a free kick over the crossbar.
Fresh personnel flooded the field of play for the Hammers with Liam Enver-Marum replacing Simmonds up front for Wood.
The half was less frenetic from a Wood perspective who defended well. Jarvis hit a effort across gaol that was just wide of the top right hand corner of the net, before hitting the crossbar allowing Cole a shot that was blocked by O'Loughlin.
Substitute Charlie Moone did well to get his cross over from the left but Jussi Jaaskelainen was equal to it.
Callum Willock was introduced by Allinson and did well along with Corey Whitely. The former is revered for his days at Ebbsfleet United, having spent last season with Dover Athletic, whilst the latter is a Wood PASE product who scored twenty one goals for Cheshunt last season.
The introduction of Raheem Sterling-Parker and Karl Brown , both Wood elite players, with nine minutes remaining sparked the half back into action from a Wood perspective, with both players seizing the opportunity to enjoy and express against such revered opposition.
The scoring was completed in the 84th minute when Cole's cross from the right was hit on the half volley by Nolan whose execution was perfect and left the superb Russell no chance.
Wood Boss Ian Allinson said: “The passing of Ryan Moran really puts everything into perspective. This game was all about getting match fit through playing games rather than training hard. We chased the ball for most of the night as you would expect. I was pleased with the effort and discipline the whole squad showed. They stuck to their tasks and did not let me down.”
He added: “I was pleased with Donovan in the first half and both Liam and Callum second half. Playing against that level of opposition they did as well as can be expected.”