Enfield Town 2-1 Arsenal U21 

Town Gun Down Arsenal
Report by Andrew Warshaw

In front of magnificent gate of over 1,500, our second pre-season outing could not have gone much better as we overcame an Arsenal development squad that was a mixture of under-21 and under-18 players though all of them full time.

Gavin Macpherson switched the teams round from Saturday’s narrow 3-2 defeat against Spurs, starting with a familiar line-up of regulars and using the second half to further assess a number of trialists, supplemented by the likes of Sam Youngs, Taylor McKenzie and Joe Payne.

It was good to see Sam back as well as Ollie  Knight, who appears to have shaken off his injury though Lewis Taaffe is still recovering.

Not surprisingly, our visitors had more of the ball in each half, their wingers particularly eye-catching, but this was another opportunity to see how we performed out of possession given the Step 2 tests ahead and it was all the more pleasing that we ended up winning the game.

After a series of corners and half-chances from the Gunners – either off target or blocked – we took the lead on the half hour through Marcus Wyllie.

Marcus had got little change out of Maldini Kacurri until then but pounced on a sloppy piece of play in the Arsenal defensive third and ran through to superbly bury the ball in the corner in trademark style (pictured).

Arsenal almost responded straight away as a corner found Khayon Edwards unmarked at the back post but he shot over. Rhys Forster then produced an excellent save to thwart Osman Kamara.

Five trialists were introduced for the second period as was Adi Connolly who got lucky once or twice with his handling but more than redeemed himself with a couple of terrific stops.

Town had a let-off when Josh Robinson’s 25-yarder cannoned off the post but on 65 minutes we doubled our lead. A Joe Payne long throw was only half cleared and a trialist wearing 11 smashed the ball home.

Within a minute Arsenal had reduced the arrears through a Dan Casey wonder strike but we still posed a threat on the counter as Reece Beckles Richards wriggled past two defenders.

The last 15 minutes saw Arsenal really step it up  as they drove into the danger zone but a series of chances came and went and we hung on for a highly creditable win that may mean little in the scheme of things but, once again given the quality of the opposition, augured extremely well in terms of our preparations.

All our five new signings were again given a run-out and this time it was the returning Alex Solomon who looked especially assured.

Now it’s all about how we perform with the ball in our remaining pre-season fixtures, all against either Step 3 or 4 opposition.

“We wanted once again to see how we spend time out of possession and work on our shape,” said Gavin. “It was hard for the ones we were trying to look at in terms of trying to showcase themselves but I’m trying to prepare for the season.”

“All in all we’ve beaten a full-time team with a Premiership side so overall we’ve got to be really pleased with the progression so far. The two games against Spurs and Arsenal more than served their purpose. Now I need to see a different side of us at Welwyn Garden City on Saturday in terms of posing a threat. The aim ultimately is to be potent with the football and difficult to break down.”


First half XI: Forster; Parcell, Nembhard, Tanner; Thomas; Adjei-Hersey, Leonard, Smith, Knight; Alves, Wyllie

Second half XI: Connolly; Trialist A, McKenzie, Solomon, Payne; Trialist B, Youngs; Trialist C, Owusu, Beckles-Richards; Trialist D



Date Time League Season
16/07/2024 7:45 pm Pre-Season Friendly 2024-25


Queen Elizabeth II Stadium
Queen Elizabeth II Stadium, Donkey Lane, Enfield EN1 3PL


Club1st Half2nd HalfGoals
Enfield Town112
Arsenal U21011