Hinds impresses but Arsenal U18s suffer late defeat to Middlesbrough

U18 Premier League- Game 6 

Middlesbrough 3 Arsenal 2 (Raage, Hinds)

Logo copyright Premier League

Logo copyright Premier League


With first-year scholars such as Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Tafari Moore and Stefan O’Connor now part of the U21 set-up at the club despite having only just started their scholarships, Carl Laraman was again forced to call upon several schoolboys for Saturday’s trip to face Middlesbrough.

Arsenal’s inexperience could partly explain their last-gasp defeat, but, looking at the wider picture, Laraman’s side have won just one game from their first six fixtures so far this season, conceding eleven goals in the process.






subs: Dawkins, Thorbourne, Olomola. Not used: Iliev.

They squandered several presentable opportunities on this occasion, but did take the lead when Jamaal Raage latched onto Kaylen Hinds’ pass before finding the net to score his first goal for the club.

Middlesbrough were back on level terms soon enough, however, with a swift counter-attack culminating in a tap-in for the well-placed Tom McAloon.

As was the case during last week’s draw with Stoke, much of Arsenal’s good attacking play stemmed from Hinds, who made his UEFA Youth League debut against Marseille last week. The 15 year old found Austin Lipman in a good position, but the striker’s effort was deflected over the crossbar.

Raage then returned the favour for Hinds, with the Swedish winger delivering an accurate corner, which Hinds headed home emphatically to restore Arsenal’s lead.

It was a lead that would only last for four minutes, though, as the dangerous McAloon found Callum Cooke, whose effort got the better of Huddart. Middlesbrough continued to exert pressure on the Arsenal defence after the interval, with Jonathan Coleby striking the crossbar with a header from a corner before Huddart had to make an excellent save to deny Junior Mondal from close range.

Arsenal had chances of their own to win it, with Chris Willock doing well to cut the ball back for fellow schoolboy George Dobson, who lost his footing at the crucial moment, before substitute Olufela Olomola shot over.

That paved the way for Middlesbrough to mount one final attack of their own, and they duly obliged, with substitute Jordan Jowers scoring a dramatic winner in stoppage time.

Arsenal host Bolton Wanderers at London Colney next week as they look to return to winning ways.



  1. The Arsenal coverage is slightly wrong, Junior Mondal had already been subbed in the second half before the effort after Coleby hit the bar. It was Scott McCarthy who’s effort was saved by Hurrart.

    Overall this is one of the best U18 games ive seen, Middlesbrough (as seen from the first goal) are very happy when the ball is at their feet, moving forward in a flowing motion. Arsenal a lot more powerful and pacey breaking with precision.

    1. What is your assessment of Callum Cooke and his future prospects. I fully expect him to get to the forefront of the England u17 elite midfield choices.

      1. Cooke probably will go the same way as Bryn Morris at this level and be fast tracked. He is a superbly talented player who can move forward through his own ability not just those around him. He technically is a very good player. Hit a controlled right foot volley that Huddart saved well.

        I suspect he could be moved into the U21 set up post Christmas, one to watch for sure but anything can happen injury wise.

  2. Laraman has some real talent coming through (albeit young) and at his disposal for the U18’s, yet we lose against a Middlesbrough academy side. It just goes to prove that there really is good young players coming through and quality coaching happening at so many other academy set ups up and down the country – not just at the supposed ‘bigger’ clubs. Shame that so many of the U18’s squad have been drafted to the U21’s, but I suppose that it shows real progress for these particular players and also gives a healthy space for aspiring U16’splayers to move into. Good luck you young Gunners.

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