U18 Premier League
West Bromwich Albion 6 Arsenal 2 (Brown, Maitland-Niles)
Perhaps it was to be expected given the very young nature of the side, but Arsenal U18s coach Steve Gatting will still have been disappointed to have seen his team concede six goals at the hands of their West Bromwich Albion counterparts in the Midlands today.
Arsenal did find the net twice, with Jordan Brown, who received a start up front, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles scoring their first goals at this level, but poor defending from an unfamiliar side continued the Gunners’ extremely poor run of form in the opening half of this season.
The bare facts are these. Arsenal are without a win at this level since September, have lost their last three games and have conceded 27 goals in their 12 matches so far this season.
With the majority of the regular side being rested ahead of Tuesday’s FA Youth Cup tie with Newcastle United, Gatting saw fit to hand starts to several members of the U16 squad with which he is so familiar. Ryan Huddart, Tafari Moore, Elliott Wright, Chris Regis, Denzeil Boadu and Maitland-Niles all made their full debuts, with four further untried schoolboys on the bench.
subs: Barnes, Longalonga, Barnes-Hewitt, Regan Charles-Cook.