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Arsenal Reserves Goalless Against Wolves

by on November 23, 2011

Arsenal Reserves took on Wolves on Tuesday evening at New Bucks Head, it ended in a goalless draw at Telford. Both sides had their opportunities to win the game but neither could take them. This result makes it three games unbeaten for Neil Banfield’s side against an experience Wolves team.

With duo Luke Freeman and Chuks Aneke both joining League One Stevenage on loan until January and Reserve captain Ignasi Miquel still absent through injury it meant their would be changes. Arsenal’s third choice goalkeeper Vito Mannone came in for Almunia in the Arsenal goal, first-team defender Sebastien Squillaci dropped down to the Reserves. Squillaci partnered stand in captain Daniel Boateng in the heart of the defence.

Sead Hajrovic came in at right-back and Martin Angha continued at left-back. Which meant Nico Yennaris would start in his preferred midfield position, partnering Craig Eastmond as the two deeper center midfielders. Neil Banfield handed a start to Zak Ansah who operated from the right and Jernade Meade moved up to left-wing. This meant Oğuzhan Özyakup would start in the advanced attacking midfield role behind Sanchez Watt.

Arsenal’s bench had Martinez as the back up goalkeeper, with young Dutch midfielder Kyle Ebecilio on it as well. Two players from Steve Bould’s U-18’s were also on it Josh Rees and Samir Bihmoutine. Wolves starting line up had first-team players Dorus de Vries, George Elokobi, Jody Craddock, Adam Hammill, Steven Fletcher and Sylvain Ebanks-Blake. A very experience line up you could say this meant it was going to be a tougher game for Neil Banfield’s side.

The first real chance of the match was from Fletcher who connected from the ball over the top and struck a powerful strike which Mannone made an excellent stop from. Meade picked up a loose ball and found Watt who played a one two with Özyakup but the reserve forward fired over. Wolves had a goal disallowed after Fletcher met Forde’s cross but he was offside.

Adam Hammill tried the spectacular, after attempting a long-range volley which went well past Mannone’s post. Good work from Watt who won a free-kick for Arsenal in a dangerous area but Ozyakup’s effort went over. Forde’s deflected cross caused a slight problem but Mannone collected reasonably well. A last ditch touch from Boateng to clear a Wolves cross away. Smart thinking from Yennaris who played a quick throw-in to Watt in the Wolves box and had room but his effort was off target.

Sanchez Watt was fouled again just on the edge of the Wolves box and decided to step up to take the free-kick. De Vries made a vital save from Watt’s curling effort and both sides went in at half-time goalless.

Early in the second-half great link up play between Watt and Özyakup once again and Watt’s strike went out for an Arsenal corner. Fletcher tried his luck from distance but it was always sailing over the bar. Wolves hit the post from Guedioura’s header after meeting Hammill’s pin point cross.

Watt was gifted a perfect chance after a loose back-pass but Watt couldn’t beat De Vries in the Wolves goal. Arsenal were defending in the early parts of the second-half but growing in to the half the more it went on. Showing signs of their attacking style, with good build up play to Ozyakup and the Dutch midfielders shot was saved by De Vries.

The Arsenal players thought they should have had a penalty after a handball from a Wolves player but the referee waved away the protests from the Arsenal players. Neil Banfield made a double substitution on the 68th minute with Josh Rees and Kyle Ebecilio coming on for wide-men Ansah and Meade.

Watt thought he had scored after putting it past De Vries but it was ruled out after the linesmen put his flag up for offside. A minute later Watt was involved again this time playing the ball back to Rees in a great position but the midfielder blasted his effort over. This time it was Craddock making a brilliant block from a powerful Watt strike. Second-half substitute Ebecilio made room but the Dutchman’s chip shot went well wide.

It ended up as a stalemate between the two sides but Neil Banfield will be pleased with Arsenal’s defending throughout the match and their efforts especially in the second-half going forward. Arsenal Reserves next played next Wednesday away to Aston Villa. But players like Watt and Özyakup could be called up to the first-team squad for the Carling Cup quarter finals against Manchester City. The Carling Cup tie is next Tuesday which would mean any player from the Reserve side called up will miss the Aston Villa game the following day.

You can follow me on twitter @AFC_93.


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One Comment
  1. garrymoore permalink

    hi to all savagegooner.wordpress.comers this is my first post and thought i would say hi –
    speak soon

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