By Giuseppe Muro at the New Bucks Head Stadium
Luke Freeman scored another late equaliser as the Reserves came from two goals behind to draw 2-2 with Wolves on Tuesday.
It would have been an injustice if Arsenal had left Telford with nothing and, after getting back on level terms, Neil Banfield’s side will feel unfortunate not to complete the comeback with a winner.
Despite dictating play for large spells, two close-range headers either side of half time from James Spray and Geoffrey Bia Mujangi put Wolves in control.
But Conor Henderson’s stunning free kick got Arsenal back within one and Freeman’s exquisite finish from an almost impossible angle levelled it up.
Arsenal searched for an elusive third, Ignasi Miquel thumped the bar in injury time but, in the end, the second string had to settle for a point.
A torrential downpour greeted the players during the warm up and there was no let up as the game got going.
On a poor pitch and with conditions difficult, Arsenal struggled to impose themselves during a scrappy early period.
After the cagey start, the away side were unlucky not to go ahead when Benik Afobe, granted permission to play despite being on loan at Huddersfield, fired over from close range and Sead Hajrovic’s powerful header went inches above Adriano Basso’s crossbar.
The seemingly telepathic understanding of Chuks Aneke and Afobe fashioned the first serious opportunity when the latter latched onto the former’s through ball and drilled at Basso’s legs from close range.
Apart from a few crosses, that were dealt with imposingly and confidently by Damian Martinez, Wolves hadn’t tested the young Argentine who was making his debut at Reserve level.
But, against the run of play, Wolves went ahead when club captain Jody Craddock nodded a free kick into the path of Spray to head home from inside the six-yard-box.
The lead was doubled when Bia Mujangi found space inside the area to head a second. Despite enjoying much the better of things, Arsenal found themselves two goals down.
If the boys in red felt aggrieved, they responded in the perfect fashion.
Moments later Rhys Murphy was felled right on the edge of the area and Henderson, from just right of centre, wonderfully curled the free kick into the bottom-left corner. It was game on.
Arsenal instantly went in search of an equaliser and thought they had it when Afobe put the ball in the net, only for the striker to be flagged offside.
Two weeks after his blockbuster finish against Chelsea, Freeman was again the hero as he made it 2-2 in the 71st minute.
Aneke slipped a wonderful ball through to the teenager who sprung the offside trap, cleverly rounded Basso and, from the tightest of tight angles, somehow managed to wrap his left foot around the ball and find the net.
But were Arsenal content with a draw? No chance.
The Gunners bombarded the Wolves penalty area in the final 20 minutes and came close to winning it when Miquel thundered the crossbar, which was still shaking when the referee brought an exhilarating game to an end.
- Henderson Goal!
- Freeman Goal!
Wolverhampton W. Res
- Jack Price
- Geoffrey Bia Mujangi 63 Goal!
- Leigh Griffiths
- Spray 76 Goal!
- Cassidy 76
- John Gorman 63
- Michael Ihiekwe
- Louis Harris