Arsenal Reserves drew what has been a largely positive season to a somewhat negative end with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of their Everton counterparts at Underhill on Wednesday night.
Neil Banfield’s side struggled to cope with a Toffees side which contained striker Apostolos Vellios, who has featured for the Everton first-team this season, and England youth internationals Jose Baxter and Ross Barkley, who, between them, grabbed the goals that ensured the visitors travelled back to Merseyside with all three points.
In truth, Arsenal’s side, in comparison, was a very young one in terms of the usual standard at this level, with many members of Steve Bould’s under-18 side receiving run outs. Midfielder Jordan Wynter and striker Philip Roberts were handed their first starts, although neither was able to impose themselves fully as Everton tended to control the game for large periods.
Wynter and Roberts are amongst those players who are still yet to receive assurances regarding the awarding of a professional contract this summer. However, the expectation is that they, along with promising goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook, will see their stays at the club extended whilst right back Ben Glasgow, who has struggled with injury problems in the past couple of seasons, will receive an extension to his scholarship.
Goalkeeper Damian Martinez, meanwhile, who made several impressive saves against Everton, is likely to be promoted to Arsene Wenger’s first-team squad ahead of next season, but not before he completes a brief loan spell at League Two side Oxford United, whom he has joined on an emergency basis as Chris Wilde’s side attempt to earn a place in the play-offs.