A second half Chuks Aneke strike gave an Arsenal Reserve XI a 1-0 over Stevenage this afternoon. In an end-to-end encounter, the returning Henri Lansbury and the in form Aneke combined for a superb winner.
The Gunners were forced to rotate with Benik Afobe and Conor Henderson joining the first-team in Germany, while James Shea was absent after beginning a trial at Dagenham and Redbridge. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Kyle Bartley were other notable omissions, with both players strongly linked with moves away from the club.
ARSENAL: Charles-Cook; Yennaris, Hajrovic, Boateng, Brislen-Hall; Aneke, Özyakup, Galindo; Lansbury, Freeman, Watt.
In a mixed first period, Arsenal struggled to get their passing football together and only carved out two real chances. Freeman had the first, but the former Gillingham striker blazed over the bar. Then, following some pressure from the hosts, Boateng could have opened the scoring, but he saw a powerful head go wide.
The Gunners found their way in the second half, and as Galindo and Lansbury began to find their range, Arsenal kicked on. With time running out, Lansbury fed Aneke on the edge of the box, and just as he did against Woking, the powerful midfielder turned and lashed home. 1-0.
Ansah and Meade came off the bench late on, but as Stevenage searched for an equaliser, they were on defensive duties. As time ticked down, rookie stopper Charles-Cook thwarted the hosts twice with stunning saves, including one in the 90th minute to preserve the win and Arsenal’s unbeaten pre-season run.