Match Reports

Albion and Arsenal share spoils after Friday night thriller

Shannon Ruth's team drew 3-3 in Premier League 2 classic.

By Matt Bishop • 14 April 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Cam Peupion scored again against Arsenal after his hat-trick v Manchester City.

Albion made it five unbeaten in Premier League 2 but were denied all three points after Arsenal fought back in a thrilling 3-3 draw on Friday night.

In torrential rain, goals either side of half-time from Jamie Mullins and Luca Barrington put Shannon Ruth’s team in control, but a crazy six-minute spell at the end of the second half forced Albion to settle for a point.

Ben Cottrell and Amario Cozier-Duberry cancelled out our lead with two goals in three minutes, before Cam Peupion scored 90 seconds later, only for Catalin Cirjan to equalise again a minute after the Aussie’s fourth goal in five days.

It was a topsy-turvy encounter that began with the dangerous Cozier-Duberry racing clear and firing over Killian Cahill’s bar in the seventh minute, before Barrington saw a low penalty well saved by Hubert Graczyk after Mullins was fouled.

Despite that setback from the spot, Albion weren’t derailed and Arsenal did find themselves behind when Mullins scored our opener in the 29th minute.

The Irishman, who was a menace throughout, cut in from the right and drilled a powerful low effort into the bottom corner from 18 yards to score his first Albion goal since joining from Bohemians in January.

By Paul Hazlewood
Jamie Mullins scored his first goal for Albion since joining in January.

Jack Hinshelwood, fresh from signing a new contract with the club, nearly made it two moments after Mullins scored, but the midfielder headed Samy Chouchane’s corner over, before Arsenal’s Myles Lewis-Skelly crashed a shot against the bar after neat footwork in the 44th minute.

Seconds after the restart, Cozier-Duberry went close again but Cahill pulled off a super save to keep the winger’s low strike out, and Rauri McConville then reacted quickest to clear with Khayon Edwards lurking.

It was end-to-end at the start of the second half and after Cozier-Duberry was denied, Barrington was inches away from tapping in Hinshelwood’s low cross before Cahill was called into action again when he tipped Charles Sagoe-Jr’s shot past the post.

Those chances all occurred in the opening seven minutes of the half, but in the eighth, Albion made it count and doubled their lead.

Barrington, having put his penalty disappointment behind him, was the goalscorer but he had Peupion to thank for his goal of the season, after the Aussie did brilliantly to pull the back into the six-yard box for the former Manchester City man to scramble home.

By Paul Hazlewood
Luca Barrington now has six goals this season.

Jack Hinchy then hit the post as Albion looked to put the game beyond Arsenal’s reach, but instead they were pegged back when Sagoe Jr went down in the box and Cottrell scored from 12 yards in the 73rd minute.

That goal sparked a scintillating spell which saw Cozier-Duberry, who was dangerous all night, equalise two minutes later, waltzing past a couple of challenges before curling into the bottom corner.

That goal only hauled the hosts level for 90 seconds as Peupion, after scoring a hat-trick against Manchester City on Sunday, was on target once more with a lovely left-footed shot into the bottom corner after exchanging passes with Barrington.

But Arsenal still weren’t done and 60 seconds after our third of night, the Gunners were level again as Cirjan pounced on a short back pass and tapped home in the 80th minute.

There was still time for Barrington to curl a free-kick inches over the crossbar, while at the other end Cahill, who was superb all night, denied Cozier-Duberry with a low save from point-blank range, but a PL2 classic ended all square.

Albion: Cahill, Nilsson, Packham, McConville, Samuels, Hinchy, Chouchane, Peupion, Mullins (Duffus, 68), Hinshelwood, Barrington.

Subs not used: Bull, Everitt, Baker-Boaitey, Kavanagh.