Arsenal Game 2 2006
Thursday 8th June, Highbury, Att 211
Arsenal (Home) 3 Arsenal (Away) 3
Two goals from a determined Home side in the final two minutes of the match denied Arsenal Away victory in a thrilling finale to the Arsenal FC leg of the Football Aid Championships.
The first half was a fantastic battle with play raging from one end to the other. After a tentative first ten minutes, the game flared into life with Away enjoying the first real chance of the match when a Morgan-Blake effort skimmed past the left hand post.
Home immediately replied with an attack of their own, O’Hea’s chip impressively blocked by keeper Tubbs to keep the score nil-nil.
On the 20-minute mark, the game picked up pace with both teams pressing hard for goal. Away enjoyed a long spell of possession cumulating in two good chances. A superb solo effort from substitute Brady screamed past the post and soon after Hough hit a vicious shot that Shove could only watch as it skimmed the bar.
Then, it was Arsenal Home’s turn. Minutes before the interval, great interplay from Connor and Matthews saw the centre half running onto a great through ball into the area. Immediately swarmed upon by the Away defence, Matthews chipped the ball towards goal. A perfectly placed Richards was onside by the left post and at full stretch pushed the ball over the line - 1-0 to the Home side at half time.
The Away side started the second half at a furious pace with captain Dave Wheatley leading by example and equalising after only two minutes of the restart. At this stage it was flying winger Morgan-Blake who was causing most of the problems for the Home side and after playing a significant part in the equaliser he handed the Away team the lead five minutes later with a thumping effort which flew past a diving Shove.
For the next 20 minutes, Arsenal Away looked like a new team, taking commanding control of the half with long spells of possession and aggressive forward play. The game looked all but over when Morgan-Blake charged once again towards goal in the 81st minute. Flying down the left wing, the young midfielder took the ball all the way, letting rip with a scorching strike that steamed past a shell-shocked Shove.
But the Home team weren’t out of the game yet… With two minutes to play, substitute Dermot pounced on a rebound and slammed the ball home to make it 2-3.
And one minute later much to Away’s despair and Home’s delight, the referee called for a spot kick after an over zealous tackle in the penalty area. Substitute Alan Alger stepped up for the biggest moment of his life and didn’t disappoint his team mates. Tubbs could only watch the ball whiz past him into the net making the final score 3-3.
As Hero for the Home team, Alger commented after the match, “Many thanks to you and your colleagues for an amazing evening! It still hasn't sunk in that I scored a penalty in the last few minutes to level the game - at the Clock End where I have stood/sat and watched my heroes for years. THE LAST EVER GOAL SCORED IN AN ARSENAL SHIRT AT HIGHBURY! The whole event was superbly organised and was played in a great spirit. Thanks again and see you next year at the Emirates!”