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Arsenal Reserves Draw Against Aston Villa

by on January 11, 2012

A second-half Josh Rees strike was enough to get Neil Banfield’s a point at London Colney this afternoon against Aston Villa Reserves. Young Irish striker Michael Drennan opened the striker for Aston Villa three minutes in to the match but Arsenal responded well to get a draw in the end. Arsène Wenger was present watching the Gunners’ second string side with the likes of Ryo and Park Chu-Young starting for the Reserves today.

Damián Martínez, Nico Yennaris and Ignasi Miquel were all involved in the first-team’s F.A Cup victory against Leeds United on Monday evening. Spanish defender Miquel started at left-back, Francis Coquelin was forced with a hamstring injury which meant Nico Yennaris came on at right-back. And Martínez was an unused substitute, all three weren’t included in Neil Banfield’s team today.

James Shea returned in-goal with a back four of Sead Hajrovic, Gavin Hoyte, Daniel Boateng and Martin Angha in front of the English goalkeeper. With Ignasi Miquel being involved in the first-team recently, Daniel Boateng captained the side in the Spaniards absent. Craig Eastmond started in midfield for the Gunners looking to impress the watching scouts, ahead of an expected loan deal this month. Dutch youth international Kyle Ebecilio returned after impressing for Steve Bould’s side on the weekend in their victory over Norwich U-18’s. Former Barcelona youth player Jon Toral was handed a first start at reserve level. The front three were Ryo, Park Chu-Young and Ireland U-21 Rhys Murphy.

A youthful Arsenal bench which had four players from Steve Bould’s side on it, Reice Charles-Cook was the back-up goalkeeper. After an injury hit season so far George Brislen-Hall was continuing his come back on the bench. Other players also on the bench where Elton Montelro, Josh Rees and Zak Ansah.

Aston Villa opened the scoring when Drennan headed past James Shea in the Arsenal goal three minutes in to the match. Moments later Shea made a wonderful save to deny England U-21 midfielder Gary Gardner’s free-kick. Good football between Park Chu-Young and Jon Toral which saw the young Spanish midfielder play in Ryo but the Japanese forward’s effort was saved.  Rhys Murphy laid the ball off to Park and his strike was saved on to the post from 20 yards out.

Neil Banfield’s side went in at half-time one nil down and made one change at half-time taking of Park Chu-Young for Josh Rees who scored the only goal of the game for Steve Bould’s side against Norwich U-18’s last weekend. Murphy’s cross found Daniel Boateng’s header which was well saved but second-half substitute Rees scored the rebound. Arsenal last two changes were Kyle Ebecilio and Jon Toral going off for Zak Ansah and Elton Montelro.

Arsenal Reserves next play later this month away to Fulham on Tuesday 24th January.

You can follow me on twitter @AFC_93.

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