By Giuseppe Muro at London Colney
A cool finish from Roarie Deacon gave the Reserves a 1-1 draw with West Brom on Tuesday.
After falling behind to George Thorne’s first-half thunderbolt the second string had to come from behind, for the third successive game, to earn a point.
Arsenal played a lot of good football in front of the watching Arsène Wenger but struggled to create much in the way of clear-cut opportunities on a largely disappointing afternoon at London Colney.
The game failed to ever get going, with a piece of individual brilliance or a mistake looking most likely to provide a goal.
In the end, the game gave us one of each.
The individual brilliance came midway through the first half when a spectacular long-range strike from George Thorne put West Brom ahead.
Deacon pounced on a mistake, from Donovan Daniels, 15 minutes from time and calmly slotted home to give Arsenal a share of the spoils
In the end, a draw was probably a fair result.
After making his debut for the first team at Leyton Orient on Sunday, skipper Ignasi Miquel was rested with Thomas Cruise replacing him at centre half.
In the Spaniard’s absence, Rhys Murphy was given the captain’s armband.
The first half proved to be a lethargic affair with very few chances of note.
The best either side could muster in the opening 20 minutes was a speculative long-range effort from Saudo Baramino that sailed high over the bar.
The only time Damian Martinez, continuing between the posts with James Shea on loan, was called into action was to expertly claim a couple of hanging corners.
But the Argentinian goalkeeper could do nothing about the West Brom opener just after the half-hour mark.
Thorne was allowed space 25 yards from goal - what he did next was spectacular.
With seemingly little on the big central defender let fly, and then some, and his rocket found the top-left corner. In the blink of an eye, Arsenal were behind.
It was some strike, you had to say.
That flash of brilliance was the difference at the break.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first with a lot of good football from Arsenal but little in the way of openings.
Murphy’s arcing header landed on the roof of the net and it looked increasingly likely that a stubborn West Brom outfit would frustrate Neil Banfield’s side and hold on.
But, 15 minutes from time, Deacon grabbed his third goal of season to level things up.
Daniels was caught on the ball just outside his own penalty area and Deacon nicked in, composed himself and side-footed past Ryan Allsop to make it 1-1.
Both sides searched for a winner in the final 15 minutes with West Brom coming closest to snatching victory when Thorne poked over from six yards.
Arsenal had to settle for a point.
- Hajrovic 76
- Ozyakup 48
- Murphy 81
- Deacon Goal!
- Rees 81
- Angha 76
- Webb 48
West Brom Res
- Thorne Goal!
- Luke Connolly
- Donovan Daniels
- Akil Grier
- Liam O'Neil
- Saudo Baramino
- Kemar Roofe
- Romine Sawyers
- Kayleden Brown
- Cameron Gayle
- Manni O'Sullivan
- Charlie Fowler
- David Goldsmith
- Simane Lewis