Tyreece John-Jules and Charlie Gilmour found the back of the net as our under-21s slipped to a 6-2 defeat against Cheltenham Town in the Checkatrade Trophy.
The game’s first chance fell to the hosts when Liam McAlinden dispossessed Ben Sheaf and fired at goal, but Deyan Iliev was quick to react by making a fine save down to his right.
Moments later, however, Robbie Burton brought down Jacob Maddox on the edge of our box in a dangerous position and the referee was left with no other choice than to show a straight red card. Chris Clements fired the resulting free-kick into the top right corner.
John-Jules’ goalbound effort was then turned behind for a corner, before Daniel Ballard made a stunning goal line clearance to deny McAlinden.
But on the half hour mark the hosts doubled their advantage through William Boyle, who found the back of the net with a thumping header at the far post.
We eventually calmed our nerves, though, and following a spell of promising play, we clawed one back through a blistering counter-attack. John-Jules raced through on goal and rounded Scott Flinders with great composure, before slotting the ball into an empty net.
We finished the first half as the stronger of the two sides, but the opening exchanges of the second proved to be quite the opposite.
Jacob Maddox found space behind our defence and slotted the ball under Iliev, before the midfielder grabbed his second of the evening with a powerful header into the top left corner.
Once again though, we eventually wrestled back control of the game - and following a slick passing move, Flinders brought down John-Jules inside the box. The referee pointed to the spot and Gilmour made no mistake in converting from 12 yards.
However, as we entered the final 10 minutes the hosts were back on top. Kelsey Mooney curled the ball into the top corner from a tight angle, before Ryan Broom rounded off the scoring with a powerful effort into the top left corner.
WHAT IT MEANS
We’ve dropped down to third place in Group E of the Checkatrade Trophy
Our under-21s are back in Checkatrade Trophy action on Wednesday, November 7 against Forest Green Rovers.
The game will take place at The New Lawn with kick-off at 7pm (UK time).
Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.