The Arsenal u23s played a friendly match against Brentford B over the weekend, but they slipped to a late defeat despite a two-goal comeback.
The Arsenal u23s had over a fortnight between competitive matches, playing their last game on March 21st and not having another scheduled until April 12th. To keep the side ticking over, they scheduled a friendly against Brentford B this weekend.
The last time the two sides had met in 2019, Arsenal eased to a 5-0 victory, but Steve Bould’s current side are much lower on confidence.
As a result, it was no real surprise that Aaron Pressley made it 1-0 to Brentford from the penalty spot in the first half-hour and Lachlan Brook added another in the 37th minute.
Arsenal found themselves with a lifeline after Folarin Balogun was brought down by Ethan Robb in the penalty area, and Balogun stepped up to make it 2-1 at the half-time break.
The Gunners started to take control of the match, and Balogun made it 2-2 by heading in a cross from the right-hand side. But Pressley put Brentford ahead again late on, firing home from a loose ball in the box following a corner.
It was another disappointing defeat and another in a long run of games without a win. The u23s’ last victory came against Brighton in January.
The only real positives were that Balogun is scoring goals again and Omari Hutchinson made his first appearance at u23 level after his strong u18 form.
With only a narrow gap to the relegation zone, Bould needs to drum up a couple of wins in their final four competitive matches of the season.
Lineup vs Brentford: Smith, Alebiosu, Lopez, Dinzeyi, Monlouis, Akinola, Lewis, Azeez, Moller, Taylor-Hart, Balogun
Subs: Bola, Graczyk, Coyle, Cirjan, Hutchinson
At the time of writing, there has still been no resolution to the Balogun contract saga.