Daniel Crowley, Arsenal’s 18-year-old creative midfielder, started for Barnsley on Wednesday night, but his impressive display was not enough to see his side progress to the third round of the Capital One Cup at the expense of Everton.
At Oakwell, the hosts were bright and deservedly found themselves two goals ahead before the interval as Crowley looked exciting with the ball at his feet from the offset. He could have easily created an assist within the first 60 seconds of play; a bursting run forward from midfield before the ball was squared into the feet of Josh Scowen on the edge of the area. However, his effort towards goal flashed wide of the far post.
He used his dribbling skills to good effect by weaving his way out of trouble a few times with the visitors pressing fiercely towards the end of the first-half in order to win the ball back.
Given the occasion, you could forgive the teenager for his over enthusiasm. He could have released the ball earlier or taken one less touch to avoid any danger in the first place, something you hope he will learn as he matures.
Despite a two-goal lead intact going into the interval, Everton went on to win the game in extra time, albeit not without a spirited performance from Barnsley who ultimately had nothing to lose against a stronger side on the evening.
Crowley, who was one of their driving forces going forward, grabbed a well-taken goal to push the Tykes back ahead on the hour mark after Everton had clawed two goals back. A combination of poor defending from Everton, and an efficient counter-attacking move from the hosts, saw the midfielder dispatch a close-range effort into the bottom corner.
— indocannon (@indocannon) August 27, 2015
Alas, it was not enough for Barnsley as fatigue got the better of them but displays such as Crowley’s will have Arsenal fans beaming with pride as he continues to develop, gaining experience away from the Emirates.