Post-Match Report

U-21s: Arsenal 0-1 Stoke City - Report


Stoke City U23 -

Mangata Pay UK Stadium, Meadow Park
Barclays U21 Premier League
Barclays U21 Premier League
  Arsenal U23
Arsenal U23
0 1
  Stoke City U23
              0 (31)
Stoke City U23
0 (31)

By Lloyd Webb at Meadow Park


Arsenal Under-21s' unbeaten league run came to a end at the hands of a resilient Stoke City side at Meadow Park on Friday.

Ollie Shenton scored the only goal of the game when he capitalised on a defensive error to put the visitors ahead just after the half-hour mark.

The Gunners fought back in the second half as Stephy Mavididi and Dan Crowley came close but they were unable to find a equaliser.

Setting the Scene

Steve Gatting made one change to the side that beat Wolves almost two months ago, with Crowley returned in place of Tafari Moore.

Steve Sidwell - part of Arsenal’s FA Youth Cup triumphs in 2000 and 2001 - started in Stoke’s midfield.

First half

Shenton gave the Gunners an early warning in the 12th minute when he found space for a shot but Julio Pleguezuelo produced a fantastic block.

Matt Macey was called into action shortly afterwards when he had to get down low to save Shenton’s free-kick.

Mavididi then had a chance to give Arsenal the lead when Chris Willock beat his marker and pulled the ball back to the striker, but his shot was deflected wide.

Stoke went ahead just past the half-hour mark after Krystian Bielik was dispossessed on the edge of the box, allowing Shenton to race through and fire past Macey.

Second half

The Gunners started the second half reinvigorated and almost equalised seven minutes after the restart when Mavididi fired a volley just wide.

Crowley then forced Daniel Gyollai into a good save when he cut inside and curled the ball towards the top corner two minutes later.

Mason Watkins-Clark threatened to double Stoke's advantage late on when his header called Macey into action.

Arsenal continued to attack until the final whistle but were unable to draw level.

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