Gwargis goal helps Albion outgun Arsenal

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Peter Gwargis scored for the second successive game as Albion’s under-23s ended a good week with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Arsenal in a lively Premier League 2 encounter at the American Express Elite Performance Centre on Friday night.

By Bruce Talbot • 13 December 2019

By Paul Hazlewood
Peter Gwargis found the back of the net with his second in as many matches.

Gwargis had rescued a point for Simon Rusk’s men against Wolves on Monday and he produced another fine finish early in the second half to earn the Seagulls a deserved victory.

Arsenal’s plight wasn’t helped when captain Robbie Burton was sent off on the hour, but the visitors nearly equalised in stoppage time when Tyreece John-Jules hit the bar with a looping header.

Albion were the more threatening side in the first half but were occasionally guilty of failing to match some good approach work with an effort on target. 

Gwargis curled an early effort wide from a position while Teddy Jenks and Danny Cashman also failed to test Gunners’ goalkeeper Matt Macey as the hosts had put together some good passing sequences.

By Paul Hazlewood
Danny Cashman keeps Albion moving forward.

At the other end, Tom McGill had to be alert to push out Nathan Tormey’s shot from the left which nearly crept in but it was a rare moment of concern for Albion who finished the first half strongly and were inches away from opening the scoring in the 41st minute. Jordan Davies’s pass released Gwargis in space and although his shot beat Macey it crashed back off the post. 

Arsenal went close at the start of the second half when defender Mark McGuinness’s header was cleared off the line, but Albion deservedly made the breakthrough in the 53rd minute when Gwargis cut inside from the right and found the top left-hand corner. It was another special strike by the Swede.

By Paul Hazlewood
Peter Gwargis in action against Arsenal.

Arsenal’s problems increased on the hour when Burton, who had been booked in the second half, picked up a second yellow and was sent off for a mis-timed challenge on Teddy Jenks. 

Tormey curled a free kick over from the edge of the box over and John-Jules forced two saves out of McGill as Arsenal looked for a way back into the game, but Gwargis nearly had a second when he got on the end of Alex Cochrane’s deep cross and forced Macey into a low save at his near post. 

Zech Medley headed over as the visitors stepped up their efforts in the closing third of the contest but Gwargis was denied a second with ten minutes to go by a fine double save from Macey. 

Arsenal pushed more men forward in the closing stages and thought they had secured a point when John-Jules’ deflected header hit the bar before Albion cleared their lines. There were four minutes of stoppage time, but the hosts negotiated them to secure an excellent three points. 

Albion line-up: McGill, Yapi, Cochrane ©, Crofts (sub: Spong 60), O’Hora, Freestone, Gwargis (Tolaj 88), Jenks (Radulovic 74), Cashman, Davies, Richards.

Subs not used: Desbois, Tsoungui.