A wonderfully entertaining match took place at The Emirates Stadium, the home of Arsenal FC where the pitch was immaculate and the weather was bright, fitting for such a spectacle. The game finished honours even as both sides scored 4 goals apiece with some truly outstanding play shown by the 22 players out on the pitch. All in all it was a great occasion for all the Gooners involved and the game was played in great spirits throughout, perfectly in keeping with the charitable ethos of our events.
Date: Wednesday 24th May 2017
Venue: The Emirates
Arsenal (Home) vs Arsenal (Away)
Kick Off: 10:00 am
Match Officials: Phil Draper, Tom Cullen, Gordon Manning and Stuart Kenworthy
The first chance of the game fell to the Home side, playing in the traditional Red shirts and White Shorts, as they looked to seek an early advantage in the game. It was lovely one touch play befitting the shirt they were wearing and the ball was teed up to No 8 Sam Self, who took a shot from the edge of the area but it was straight at the keeper.
The Home side had another great chance mere minutes later this time through a set piece. No 8 Sam Self floated the ball in from the corner into a dangerous area and No 9 Jason Shaw rose highest to power a header that was destined for the goal but the Away GK pulled off a great save, tipping the ball over the bar.
The Home side's pressure and perseverance paid off in the 11th min when they finally took the lead through No 11 Shahin Chamanzar. The Arsenal captain leading by example made it 1-0 after the ball was clipped to the right hand side and a low drilled cross from No 2 Bradley Keats found Chamanzar who picked his spot and buried the ball into the top right corner with a stunning 1st time strike (1-0).
Some pressure was mounted from the Away side soon after and they nearly equalised. The ball was played into acres of space to No 11 Gary Jones who played it into No 9 Douglas Beswick who raced clear on goal but his effort from long range just whistled over the bar after it had the Home GK scrambling across goal.
Both teams at this point were restricted to half chances without creating anything concrete. More importantly both defences were playing a very high line so more often than not, the attacking players were getting caught offside.
However the Away side did create a noteworthy chance soon after from a set piece play as they looked to force their way back into the game. The corner came in from the right and was chipped in from the right side into the near post for No 9 Douglas Beswick who directed his header on target but the ball fell firmly into the hands of the Home goalkeeper Mustapha Pour Dara.
More pressure from the Away side saw them carve out their best chance of the half so far. The ball was worked through the middle of the park and a lovely chipped ball from midfield found No 8 Francisco Centeno who chested it down but his half volley was straight at Home GK Pour Dara as the Away side started to find more space.
The Home side almost doubled their advantage towards the midway point of the first half. Attacking down the right hand side, Chamanzar was fed the ball and then squared it to No 9 Jason Shaw but his shot did not trouble the keeper.
Moments after the previous chance the Home Captain was at it again to bag his 2nd of the game. The ball was chipped forward into No 11 Shahin Chamanzar and before he could take a proper touch and compose himself he saw the Away GK off his line and he delicately chipped the ball past the onrushing Keeper to put the Home side 2 up (2-0).
The Home side decided to press on for a 3rd and were almost rewarded a few minutes before half time. No 10 Graeme Hawkins charged through the Away defence and was only denied by some great last ditch defending from the impressive centre back No 4 Sean McCann.
The half-time whistle sounded soon afterwards, with the Home team taking advantage of the missed opportunities from the Away side to full effect. Shahin Chamanzar in particular had a very fine half bagging himself two goals. The Away side were not out of it though having created the best opportunities of the half as they went in two goals behind.
Half Time: Arsenal (Home) 2 - 0 Arsenal (Away)
Whatever the Away Captain said at half-time it certainly worked and the team in Yellow shirts were back in the game 5 mins after the interval through their No 10 Gonzalo Rioja. Rioja is no stranger to Football Aid having made a goal scoring appearance in our Norwich City game earlier in the season! A free-kick was given for handball in which Rioja stepped up and hit a superb dipping free-kick which cannoned back off the underside of the bar and the referee and his officials ruled that the ball had indeed crossed the line (2-1).
However the Home team weren't rattled like the cross bar and their 2 goal advantage was restored a mere 2 mins later after they themselves profited from a set piece opportunity. A free-kick was given away on the edge of the box by No 15 Arber Dardani and No 9 Jason Shaw stepped up and his free-kick forced a great save off the Away GK, but the ball fell into the path of No 14 Terry Rickeard who instinctively nodded the ball into the bottom left corner (3-1).
The 3rd goal didn't derail the Away side though and they almost got another goal back soon afterwards. After a scramble inside the box No 11 Gary Jones collected the ball on the right hand side, cut in on his left foot and his teasing cross was just a whisker away from No 9 Douglas Beswick at the back post.
There was another chance for the Away team as the 2nd half progressed but again it came to no avail. The play was building through midfield and a neat through ball from No 10 Gonzalo Rioja found No 7 Senan Stewart but his shot failed to test the keeper.
The Away team kept the pressure on and soon after they won themselves a penalty after a foul from Shahin Chamanzar on No 11 Gary Jones at the front post. Gary Jones stepped up from the spot and sent the Home GK the wrong way with a comfortably dispatched penalty to get his team back into the game (3-2).
Gary Jones was causing the Home side problems throughout the game and he almost grabbed his 2nd of the match midway through the 2nd half. Jones beat the offside trap after a chipped ball over from the defence and raced through on goal but his shot cannoned back off the bar.
Jones was instrumental again in the Away team's equaliser. He picked up the ball in midfield and crafted a wonderful through ball to No 9 Douglas Beswick who broke clear of the defence to smash the ball past the oncoming keeper to complete an amazing comeback from the team in Yellow (3-3).
The Home team seized their advantage back in the 86th minute with arguably the goal of the game. Great build up play between No 10 Graeme Hawkins and No 11 Shahin Chamanzar led to Hawkins arriving on the edge of the box, he cut the ball back to No 14 Terry Rickeard who proceeded to sweep a left foot curler into the top right hand corner of the net (4-3)!
The Home team were jubilant and were ready to celebrate a fine victory, however the Away team weren't giving up without a fight and they were awarded a penalty in the final moments of the game after No 16 of the Home team Matthew Weiner was judged to have shoved No 7 of the Away team Senan Stewart to the ground. Senan Stewart took responsibly himself and managed to expertly squeeze his penalty into the bottom left hand corner of the goal to make sure that the spoils were shared between the sides (4-4).
The game was an end to end affair and befitting of a great occasion for all the Arsenal fans involved. The Home team playing in the famous Arsenal Red showed great composure at the start getting themselves the halftime lead but credit must go to the Away side for producing a valiant comeback and the result was a fair reflection of the game.
Huge thanks again to Arsenal FC and the Arsenal Foundation for their fantastic support in allowing us the opportunity to host our game at the magnificent Emirates Stadium. Massive thanks also to all our players for their excellent efforts and for providing their fans in the stands with such a great game to enjoy!
Full Time: Arsenal (Home) 4 - 4 Arsenal (Away)
Man of the Match Home: No 11 Shahin Chamanzar
Man of the Match Away: No 4 Sean McCann
Moment of the Match: No 14 Terry Rickeard
Home Team: Mustapha Pour Dara, Bradley Keats, Nick Wiley, Matt Potter, Robert Fullam, Paul Evans, Sam Self, Jason Shaw, Graeme Hawkins, Shahin Chamanzar (C), Terry Rickeard, Daniel Borzestowski, Matthew Weiner, Abe Taylor
Home Mascot: Ali Yahya Bader
Away Team: (GK Name tbc), Eddie Preci, Sean McCann (C), David Akula-Borjesson, Jack Roper, Senan Stewart, Francisco Centeno, Douglas Beswick, Gonzalo Rioja, Gary Jones, John Boatman, Arber Dardani, Nick Campbell, Jason Quick
Away Mascot: Bethany Beswick
Match Report written by Nathan Best (@BestyBlogs)
The photographs in this report were taken on staff mobile phones on the day. A full selection of official photographs are available to order from Matt Nuttall’s website here >> www.footballaidphotos.com. You can also contact Matt on Tel: 07793 818021 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
AFTER MATCH FEEDBACK
"Great game @Arsenal perfect day thanks again @FootballAid"
Mustapha Pour Dara - Home Team No.1
"Thank you for hosting us guys. Great game. We scored last minute for a 4-4 draw at The Emirates Stadium."
Arber Dardani - Away Team No.15
"Top bunch of lads on the @FootballAid home team @Arsenal."
Terry Rickeard - Home team No.14
"I wanted to thank you again for an amazing day and experience, I am looking forward to next year already."
Shahin Chamanzar - Home Team Captain & No.11
"Still can't believe I played at the Emirates. Unbelievable day @FootballAid"
Graeme Hawkins - Home Team No.10