Report – Folarin Balogun scores brace but Arsenal U23s lose to Brentford B in friendly

Friendly

Brentford B 3 (Pressley 30 (pen.) 89, Brook 37) Arsenal U23s 2 (Balogun 45 (pen.), 63)

Arsenal U23s suffered a 3-2 defeat away to Brentford B in a friendly today despite a brace from Folarin Balogun.

There were several changes to the side that were thrashed by England U19s, with Jonathan Dinzeyi replacing Alex Kirk in defence, while Miguel Azeez came in for Catalin Cirjan in midfield and Balogun also started at the expense of Trae Coyle.

Goalkeeper Tom Smith, who could be on the bench for the first-team against Slavia Prague next week, captained the side instead of Balogun.

Omari Hutchinson, who has yet to make his competitive debut at this level, was named amongst the substitutes after some excellent performances for the U18s recently.

T. Smith

Alebiosu-Dinzeyi-Monlouis-Lopez

Akinola-Azeez

Lewis-Taylor Hart-Balogun

Moller

Subs: Graczyk, Bola, Cirjan, Coyle, Hutchinson, Henry-Francis.

Brentford started well, with Lachlan Brook shooting just over before Kido Taylor-Hart responded with an effort for Arsenal that was saved.

The hosts continued to threaten and eventually took the lead in the 30th minute from the penalty spot as Aaron Pressley converted his spot-kick.

Brook missed a chance to make it 2-0 but made no mistake shortly afterwards as he placed the ball beyond the reach of Smith.

Arsenal managed to reduce the deficit before half time with Balogun scoring a penalty.

Balogun pulled Arsenal level with a header in the 63rd minute, but Brentford struck late as Pressley got his second of the game in the 89th minute.

Including friendlies, Arsenal U23s have now gone ten games without a victory, which isn’t ideal preparation for their final four games of the season as they look to stave off the threat of relegation.

One positive from this encounter is that Hutchinson came on for his non-competitive debut.

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