Bishop’s Stortford 1-3 Arsenal U21 Match Report

Bishop’s Stortford 1-3 Arsenal U21 Match Report 8/8/23

Hamish Arnold


Bishop’s Stortford’s final friendly match ended in a 1-3 defeat at home to Arsenal U21. Steve Smith made several changes to the XI that beat Chester on the opening day of the Vanarama National League North campaign and was happy with the performance and what the Blues got from the match despite the result.

Jimi Gower scored for the visitors from the first shot of the match, sweeping home a low cross from the right wing into the bottom left corner on four minutes. Jack Giddens was on hand to punch away a powerful dipping strike from Gower from the edge of the box and the defence cleared. Tyreece John-Jules tried a backheel flick at the near post from a right wing cut back but the ball dribbled wide of the left post. Gower bagged his brace when he curled hom right footed from the left side of the box, beating the tight angle to find the opposite side-netting. Blues Trialist dribbled from midfield and shot powerfully with a dipping effort, but Alexei Rojas was equal to it and pushed it away for a corner. Giddens came out to clear the ball on the edge of his box but Ismail Oulad-M’Hand nicked it away from the keeper, Mark Haines recovered well and was fouled by the Gunners’ man in the process. The best chance for Stortford to get on the scoresheet came from Haines, when he narrowly missed getting his head on an Archie Jones corner from the left wing on the stroke of half-time.

HT 0-2

Billy Cracknell’s sliding block denied a low cross from the right by Osman Kamara, before Rob Howard intercepted the ball high up the pitch, passed to Trialist but his shot was blocked for a corner. Haines could only meet it with a glancing header and Jones’ half-volley from the edge of the box was always rising and went over the bar.Giddens denied Gower his hat-trick with a fine stop from a powerful long range strike tipped round the woodwork. Substitute George Sykes scored a superb flick at the near post from a low corner to reduce the arrears, but Daniel Oyetunde responded almost immediately to side-foot into the bottom right corner from a right wing cut back. Ola Ogunwamide’s powerful strike went wide of the left post, and Trialist’s header from a free kick was saved by Rojas. Substitute goalkeeper Adam Messaoudin made a great double save from close range efforts after Myles Lewis-Skelly’s low cross from the left.

FT 1-3


Bishop’s Stortford XI

1 Jack Giddens (Messaoudin 86’)

7 Ola Ogunwamide

9 Trialist (Peters 46’)

16 Zain Walker (Olufemi 60’)

19 Billy Cracknell (Henshaw 60’)

20 Morgan Mahoney

21 Fraser Alexander (Morrell 60’)

23 Archie Jones (Sykes 60’)

24 Rob Howard (Thomas 60’)

26 Trialist

27 Mark Haines (c) (Shogbeni 60’)


3 Jack Morrell

4 Jack Thomas

6 Ryan Henshaw

10 Darren Foxley

11 Tosin Olufemi

12 George Sykes (Goal 70’)

13 Adam Messaoudin

18 Ollie Peters

22 Ayo Shogbeni

Arsenal U21 XI

1 Alexei Rojas

2 Michal Rosiak (Ferdinand 61’)

3 Elian Quesada-Thorn (Akolbire 79’)

4 Taylor Foran

5 Henry Jeffcott

6 Myles Lewis-Skelly

7 Osman Kamara (Ismail 61’)

8 Ismail Oulad-M’Hand

9 Tyreece John-Jules (c) (Henry-Davis 46’)

10 Jimi Gower (Goal 4’ 29’) (Heaven 79’)

11 Khayon Edwards (Oyetunde 61’)


12 Bless Akolbire

13 Brian Okonkwo

14 Timi Henry-Davis

15 Seb Ferdinand

16 Ayden Heaven

17 Cam’ron Ismail

18 Daniel Oyetunde (Goal 73’)

Attendance 1047