Post-Match Report

Match report: Derby 1-1 Arsenal U-23s

Ovie Ejeheri saves a penalty for Arsenal U-23s

Derby County Under 23 -

Loughborough University Stadium
Premier League 2 - Division One
Premier League 2 - Division One
  Derby County Under 23
   crest
Derby County Under 23
1 1
  Arsenal U23
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Arsenal U23

WHAT HAPPENED

We came back from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Derby County in what was a tale of two penalties on Friday night.

Despite a number of injuries and first-team commitments, Kevin Betsy was boosted by the return of Jordan McEneff to the matchday squad after more than a year out through injury.

The home side had the game's first big chance, Max Bardell looked certain to score after finding himself unmarked at the back post from a corner, but his goalbound header was somehow saved by Ovie Ejeheri from point-blank range.

Derby continued their early dominance and made it pay moments later, Isaac Hutchinson scoring on the rebound after Louie Watson's free-kick from 20 yards was blocked and fell invitingly into his path.

We grew into the half and forced Harrison Foulkes into a series of remarkable saves before the break, first to deny Ben Cottrell from close range, before Joel Ideho's curling effort at the end of an impressive solo run was somehow turned on to the post.

We started the second half how we finished the first and drew level through Cottrell's penalty, our midfield cooly dispatching his spot-kick down the middle after Zach Awe was bundled over in the box by Bardell.

McEneff replaced the goalscorer with half an hour remaining and came agonisingly close to marking his return to action with a goal, but dragged his effort wide of the post after taking up a good position in the box.

With five minutes remaining, the hosts were awarded a penalty following Joel Lopez's late challenge on Kornell McDonald. 

Watson's spot-kick was saved well by Ejeheri, with Zak Swanson then performing heroics to deny Hutchinson a certain goal on the rebound and help secure us a point on the road.

WHAT IT MEANS

We stay fourth in the Premier League 2 table after 17 matches, six points behind the leaders West Ham.

WHAT'S NEXT

We're back in Premier League 2 action on Friday, February 4, when we host Chelsea.

Kick-off at Meadow Park is 7pm.

Members of Friday's squad could also be involved in our Papa John's Trophy quarter-final against Wigan Athletic on Tuesday, January 25.

Our clash with the League One side takes place at the DW Stadium and kick-off is at 7pm.

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