Emile Smith Rowe scored for the Arsenal u23s as he continued his comeback in a win over Brighton on Friday night.

Arsenal u23s warming up before their PL2 match against Brighton on Friday, 16th August 2019
Arsenal u23s warming up before their PL2 match against Brighton on Friday, 16th August 2019

Emile Smith Rowe continued his comeback from injury with another appearance for the u23s on Friday, starting against Brighton in Arsenal’s first home PL2 fixture of the season.

Arsenal u23s defeated Blackburn 3-1 in their opening league game away from home, so they were looking to add a second win on their return to Meadow Park.

They started the quicker of the two sides, with Folarin Balogun and Tyreece John-Jules linking up nicely for an early chance before Emile Smith Rowe fired just wide from a free-kick a few minutes later.

Balogun also had a pretty good penalty appeal turned down, as he proved the team’s most threatening player in the first half.

Brighton had plenty of chances of their own though, with Arsenal’s centre-back pairing of Joseph Olowu and Harry Clarke regularly tested. For the most part they did very well, particularly Olowu, though they did also need a little luck to ensure they went in with the scores 0-0 at half-time.

Thankfully, it was Arsenal who ended up taking the lead after the break. Balogun made another threatening run into the box and this time managed to set up Nathan Tormey for the opening goal.

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Arsenal u23s after Nathan Tormey’s goal against Brighton

Smith Rowe then got on the scoresheet to make it 2-0, finishing confidently with his left foot after a nice run from midfield. The 19-year-old was promptly withdrawn for Jordan McEneff.

Arsenal had a few chances to increase their lead in the following minutes, with Balogun and Burton shooting narrowly wide.

Ben Cottrell, who has been impressive for the u18s this year, then came on for goalscorer Tormey. John-Jules should’ve scored soon after, creating his own chance winning the ball in the final third as Arsenal continued to put the pressure on late in the game.

Unfortunately, it was Brighton who ended up scoring the next goal in injury time, heading home a corner after doing very little in the rest of the half. They didn’t have time for another though, and Arsenal took the 3 points.