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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

06 December 2019 Venue Meadow Park Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

Arsenal PL2
3 - 1
Blackburn Rovers PL2

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Match Previews

Preview: Arsenal Under-23s v Rovers Under-23s

It's back to Premier League 2 action this evening as Rovers head south to tackle The Gunners at Boreham Wood

6 December 2019

Ben Gladwin is expected to get more minutes under his belt when Rovers Under-23s take on Arsenal's Under-23s this evening.

The midfielder played his first game in over two years as he got through the first half against Burnley Under-23s a week ago in the Premier League Cup at Ewood Park.

He could line up alongside Richie Smallwood, who could head south in a bid to boost his fitness having failed to feature for the first team since featuring against Sheffield United in the Carabao Cup back in September.

Brad Lyons could return to the squad after recovering from injury and featuring in training over the last couple of weeks, but the game is likely to come too soon for Louie Annesley.

Jack Evans won't feature following his loan switch to Lancaster City earlier this week, and neither will Andy Fisher, with loan club Northampton Town having a trip to Exeter City to contend with this weekend.

Rovers will head to Boreham Wood's Meadow Park looking for revenge following the opening day defeat to The Gunners in the first fixture of the campaign.

A hat-trick of penalties was the story of the game on a night where visiting attacker Folarin Balogun hit a treble for his side after Stefan Mols had given the hosts the lead midway through the first half.

Although his first spot kick was saved by Joe Hilton, the forward followed up with a close range finish before adding two further finishes from 12 yards in the late stages of the encounter.

Overseen by Steve Bould so far this season, the Londoners have had an encouraging first half of the Premier League season, sitting third in the table and just two points off leaders Chelsea.

They've won the last three games in all competitions, two of which have come in Premier League 2.

Highly-rated pair Emile Smith-Rowe and Konstantinos Mavropanos are both likely to feature against Billy Barr's outfit tonight in Hertfordshire.

Kick-off this evening is at 7pm, with Rovers knowing that a win will move them into mid-table in the division.

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Match Reports

Report: Arsenal Under-23s 3-1 Rovers Under-23s

Harry Chapman's strike isn't enough as Rovers return north empty-handed against The Gunners

7 December 2019

Goals from Trae Coyle, Zech Medley and Tyreece John-Jules put Rovers Under-23s to the sword in a defeat to Arsenal's Under-23s on Friday night.

Richie Smallwood started and played the full 90 for Rovers, who also included Jacob Davenport and Harry Chapman in the XI in Hertfordshire.

There was also an appearance for Ben Gladwin, who got just over an hour in the tank in the second game of his comeback following over two years out of action.

The Gunners started the better at Boreham Wood's Meadow Park, with Robbie Burton seeing his volley fly wide of the target just five minutes into the encounter.

But with the next chance, midway through the half, Arsenal took the lead following a slick move involving Dinos Mavropanos and Emile Smith-Rowe.

The latter collected a header from the Greek before setting up Coyle with the perfect pass to simply tuck home beyond Joe Hilton.

The lead was doubled just three minutes later through Medley, who was in the right place at the right time to slot home after John-Jules crashed an effort against the post.

The excellent Smith-Rowe, who spent a part of last season at Bundesliga side Red Bull Leipzig, was the orchestrator again with less than 10 minutes to go until the break.

He set up John-Jules, who made no mistake by drilling a powerful strike beyond Hilton and into the roof of the net to put Steve Bould's high-flyers in command going into the break.

Smith-Rowe was influential for the hosts, and he saw an effort curl an inch or two wide of the post on the hour mark as Arsenal went in search of more goals.

Rovers kept going to their credit, and pulled a goal back with 11 minutes remaining when Jack Vale found Chapman, who skipped past a challenge before firing past Matt Macey.

That was only a consolation for Billy Barr's side, who will be looking to get back on track when Leicester City head to Ewood Park on Friday 13th December in Premier League 2, kick-off 7pm.

Arsenal Under-23s: Macey, Medley, Mavropanos, Smith, Omole (McGuinness, 62), Burton, Coyle, Tormey, Swanson (Olowu, 71), Smith-Rowe (Olayinka, 62), John-Jules.

Unused substitutes: Hein, McEneff.

Rovers Under-23s: Hilton, Carter, Thompson (Paton, 78), Whitehall, Smallwood, Gladwin (Mols, 62), Davenport (Lyons, 78), Rankin-Costello, Vale, Chapman, Butterworth.

Unused substitutes: Eastham, Boyomo.

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