- Albion secure a point against Arsenal
- Xavier Amaechi opens the scoring for the Gunners
- Anders Dreyer bags a brace to put Albion ahead
- Trae Coyle levels for the visitors in the closing stages
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s came from behind to lead against Arsenal but conceded late on to take a share of the spoils from a 2-2 draw at The People’s Pension Stadium.
Anders Dreyer struck twice after the break to overturn Xavier Amaechi’s first-half opener, but Trae Coyle found the back of the net in the closing stages to level the game in the Premier League 2 Division 1.
Simon Rusk made five changes to the starting line-up that beat West Ham United before the turn of the year, but Aaron Connolly retained his place in the team and led the line for the Seagulls.
After Dreyer had a shot blocked inside the opening ten minutes of the game, Hugo Keto was on hand to make a comfortable stop to deny Bukayo Saka’s powerful angled drive.
Arsenal forward Tyreece John-Jules had two efforts to put the visitors in front, but his looping header was comfortably gathered by Keto before Leo Ostigard bravely blocked his second attempt.
The Seagulls were dealt a blow in the 24th minute as Connolly limped off with an injury, and that paved the way for Stefan Ljubicic to come off the bench and replace the Irishman in attack.
The visitors continued to create more clear-cut chances than Rusk’s side, but Keto was again in the right place at the right time to save Robbie Burton’s low-driven effort at the back post.
Two minutes before the break and Albion found themselves behind, and it was a clinical effort from Amaechi that went in off the far post to break the deadlock.
Ostigard headed inches wide from a corner on the stroke of half-time, and Albion’s persistent search for an equaliser continued after the break, as James Tilley and Dreyer were both denied early on.
But the Seagulls got the reward for their efforts and it was Dreyer who cut inside to fire back across goal into the bottom corner, bringing his team level shortly before the hour mark.
The turnaround was almost complete two minutes later when Max Sanders drilled a low effort towards goal from the edge of the box, but Gunners goalkeeper Deyan Iliev saved with his feet.
Albion pressed for a second goal and Dreyer produced a moment of magic to deliver exactly that in the 74th minute — the Danish winger shrugged off numerous challenges to run from the halfway line and finish into the bottom corner to make it 2-1.
Dreyer almost added to his fine individual goal moments later, but the winger’s powerful effort clipped the outside of the post and went behind for a goal kick, which proved his final touch of the evening.
Charlie Gilmour almost broke Albion hearts in the dying stages, but the Arsenal midfielder’s effort sailed just wide of the target and the match ended all square to keep the Seagulls in third position.
ALBION: Keto; A.Davies, Ostigard, O’Hora, Cochrane; Dreyer (Jenks 78), Sanders, Roberts, Tilley; Gwargis (Longman 75), Connolly (Ljubicic 24).
Subs not used: Keto (GK), Tanimowo.