Arsenal’s youngsters were beaten 2-1 by Hitchin Town on Wednesday evening.

Before the Gunners’ u23s thrashed Boreham Wood FC 4-0 on Thursday night, Arsenal XI were beaten 2-1 by Southern Premier side, Hitchin Town.

20-year-old Tafari Moore captained the side, as he was the most experienced man on the night.

With the majority of Arsenal’s rising starlets set to be deployed against Boreham Wood the following night, the match against Hitchin gave some of the younger, less experienced academy members a chance to have a run out.

The squad was as follows:

Unfortunately, however, while the Young Guns created some good chances, it was Hitchin’s  Liam Brooks who opened the scoring before half-time.

18-year-old Jordi Osei-Tutu, who played on the right wing, brought the score level before the break. However, Dan Webb headed home a corner, allowing the Canaries to creep back in front, where they stayed.

While the result wasn’t what the youngsters wanted, it was only a friendly and, as 18-year-old Dominic Thompson pointed out, valuable experience against a competitive team.

“When I came on I think I tried very hard to make an impact but unfortunately the result wasn’t what we wanted,” he said, reports the Islington Gazette.

“The team did their best and gave their all but it wasn’t to be.

“Playing against a team like Hitchin is great for our development as you learn more from playing against tough men’s teams.

“We’ve all started from grass-roots level so coming to places like Top Field is a nice experience.

“To play against older players is a good experience.”

Tafari Moore v Hitchin Town (Picture: Peter Else)

Arsenal u18 coach, Kwame Ampadu, was also unfazed by the loss at Top Field, even taking the time to compliment the Canaries’ pitch.

“It was a really good exercise for our boys to come to Hitchin,” Ampadu said.

“It’s a really good pitch, they try and play football too and pass the ball around.

“It was a really good test for us as they’re playing against men.

“Games like this are very important for our players development because they have to see all aspects of the game – tackles that are going to come in, the physicality of it, the aggression – and then they’ve got to work out where spaces and angles are so it was a really good game for us.”

When someone from Arsenal compliments your pitch, you know you must be doing something right.

Arsenal u23’s next match is a friendly against Leyton Orient FC at Brisbane Road on 1 August.

The O’s were relegated from League Two last season and will be looking to get their campaign off to a strong start. Therefore, even though it’s just a pre-season match against Arsenal’s kids, it’s bound to be another big test.