By Giuseppe Muro at the Robin Park Arena
Ryo was on the scoresheet as the Reserves came from behind to beat Wigan Athletic 3-1 on Tuesday afternoon.
Having been cleared to play first-team football in England, the Japanese teenager got a valuable 90 minutes under his belt on the left wing and helped the second string make it two wins from two in the Reserve League South.
Ryo understandably looked a tad short of match fitness but more than played his part in another good win for Neil Banfield’s men.
Arsène Wenger, who has stressed his desire to involve the 18-year-old in his first-team plans this season, will no doubt be pleased to hear of a good work-out when he touches down in Italy ahead of Wednesday’s game in Udine.
Sanchez Watt’s clinical finish cancelled out Danny Redmond’s controversial early opener, Chuks Aneke struck a second midway through the second half and Ryo sealed the three points late on.
As on the opening day against Manchester United, Arsenal started brightly with Aneke and skipper for the day Oguzhan Ozyakup controlling things through the middle.
Luke Freeman, Nouha Dicko and then Tim Chow all had efforts chalked off, they felt wrongly, for offside as the game ebbed and flowed early on.
Confusion then reigned as Wigan went ahead after 20 minutes.
Redmond fired goalwards from range and Vito Mannone, who was visibly suffering from an earlier knock, allowed the ball to squirm underneath his body and trickle into the net. Assistant referee Mr Swallow instantly raised his flag with a sea of Wigan players lurking in an offside position directly in front of the Italian goalkeeper.
But, after consultation with referee Jones and much to Arsenal’s frustration, the goal stood.
The visitors had every right to feel aggrieved but they would be level seven minutes before the break.
Wigan defender Jamie McCormack inexcusably gifted the ball to Watt 30 yards from goal - leaving the former FA Youth Cup winner with the simple task of bursting into the area and slotting past the outstretched left hand of Chris Kirkland.
After spending much of the half on the back foot, the goal injected confidence into Arsenal’s play and they would end the opening period very much in the ascendancy.
That continued in the second half with the unfortunate Freeman having a second, and then a third, goal disallowed by an offside flag.
But Arsenal did go ahead just after the hour mark when Aneke played a neat one-two with Ozyakup inside the area before firing his second goal in as many games.
Ryo, who had been lively without really having an influence on the game, suddenly burst into life. The former Feyenoord loanee raced onto Aneke’s weighted ball down the left only for his cut-back to evade the two red shirts waiting in the box.
Wigan sensed the winger’s threat and dished out a few hefty whacks. But if the hosts thought he would shy away after that they were very much mistaken.
After latching onto a wonderful ball from the ever-impressive Aneke, Ryo showed his lethal touch in front of goal to add a third seven minutes from time and cap a pleasing afternoon.
On the eve of a vital European trip for the senior boys, the goal was enough to ensure Arsenal’s youngsters continued their 100 per cent record in 2011/12.
- Mannone 21
- Ebecilio 86
- Watt Goal!
- Miyaichi Goal!
- Aneke Goal!
- McDermott 21
- Monteiro 86
- Jordan Mustoe
- Tim Chow
- Jamie McCormack
- Michael Girvan
- Danny Redmond Goal!
- Jordan Rugg
- Nouha Dicko
- Callum Morris
- Ryan Watson
- Steven Boothman