Albion shared four goals with Arsenal in an entertaining Premier League 2 game at the American Express Elite Performance Centre on Friday.
The match was played at a good tempo throughout with the hosts going in front through Teddy Jenks’ penalty. Two goals either side of half-time put the Gunners in front before Danny Cashman headed in the equaliser.
Simon Rusk’s side finished the stronger and might have scored a late winner but it’s two points from two games so far after their opening-day 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur.
Arsenal began on the front foot and Carl Rushworth was called into an early save when he smothered Ryan Allebiosu’s effort in the second minute. The Gunners went even closer eight minutes later when Folarin Balogun cleverly flicked the ball over a defender to create space for a shot which rattled the base of the left-hand post.
Rushworth blocked George Lewis’s shot and then deflected another effort from the Arsenal midfielder before Balogun was played in after 23 minutes and Rushworth again came to the rescue with a superb block.
Albion finally began to get on top and after Alex Cochrane had fired a free-kick from the left-hand corner of the box just wide they broke the deadlock in the 34th minute.
Ben Wilson found Jensen Weir in the box and his diagonal run across the box was halted by goalkeeper James Hillson’s mis-timed challenge. A penalty was rightly awarded and Jenks stroked it down the middle to make it 1-0.
Albion were having a lot of joy down their right through Peter Gwargis and Romaric Yapi and Gwargis nearly surprised Hillson in the 42nd minute with a free kick which hit the side netting.
But Arsenal hit back to draw level in first-half stoppage time when Ben Cottrell tucked home a close-range finish and, on the balance of play, it was no more than they deserved.
Yapi fired wide from 25 yards during a lively start to the second half by the hosts then Wilson’s curling effort was turned over by Hillson, but it was Arsenal who went in front on 56 minutes when James Olayinka found space on the right-hand side of the box to beat Rushworth.
Albion kept plugging away though and they drew level in the 73rd minute Danny Cashman cleverly guided a header back across goal which beat Hillson to make it 2-2.
As both sides looked for a winner Lars Dendoncker headed wide from a great position after Jensen Weir’s corner picked him out before Cashman cut inside but shot straight at Hillson.
Albion: Rushworth, Yapi, Dendoncker, Tsoungui, Cochrane, Gwargis (Vukoje 64), Crofts, Weir, Jenks, Cashman, Wilson (Spong 72).