Guidetti 12 mins
Thomas 63 mins
- Match reports
- 14 September 2010 20:58
- Posted by David Clayton
City's Elite Development Squad rued their luck after the woodwork twice denied them building on John Guidetti's early goal, allowing Arsenal to claw their way back into the game and ultimately earn a 1-1 draw.
It was a cracking game and a terrific advert for football at this level with the Blues maintaining their unbeaten start to the league campaign against one of the best reserve teams in the country.
Despite the match being live on the mcfc.co.uk and several Champions League matches being televised, there was a healthy crowd of 801 at a rain and wind battered Ewen Fields to see the Blues take on Arsenal.
The Gunners included Gavin Hoyte, Craig Eastmond, Johan Djorou, Jay Thomas and Benik Afobe in a strong starting line-up, while the hosts welcomed back John Guidetti.
In a lively opening between two sides with strong traditions of bringing through young talent to the senior team, it was City who controlled the early passages of play and when Guidetti fired home the first goal on 12 minutes with a powerful drive from 18 yards out, it was no more than Andy Welsh's men deserved.
With James Poole and Donal McDermott in particular causing the Gunners numerous problems, the only disappointment in an entertaining first 45 minutes was that the Blues only led 1-0 at the break.
Arsenal should have been dead and buried by the hour-mark after Abdi Ibrahim and Poole both saw efforts cannon back off the post and Guidetti's last contribution before being repplaced by Harry Bunn was to curl a delightful shot inches over the bar from 20 yards out.
Then, on 63 minutes, Jay Thomas produced a moment of sublime skill as he struck home a sumptuous equaliser from 30 yards for the visitors. It was harsh on the Blues who had looked solid at the back all evening and they lost Kelvin Etuhu shortly after following a nasty tackle from Evina on 71 minutes.
Both teams carved out chances towards the end with the impressive McDermott twice going close and Bunn firing at the keeper when clean through, but City keeper David Gonzalez had the last word with a fantastic save down to his left in the final minute of normal time to earn his side a point.