U18 Premier League- Game 7
Arsenal 1 (Raage) Bolton 1
After suffering a late defeat at the hands of Middlesbrough last time out, Arsenal U18’s took a point from Saturday’s game with Bolton Wanderers, with Swedish winger Jamaal Raage again finding the net for the Gunners.
With the U21’s having played just two days previously and the U19’s in UEFA Youth League action this week, coach Carl Laraman again named a very young side, with schoolboys Jayden Thorbourne and Olufela Olomola coming into the starting line-up along with Tarum Dawkins, who made his first start of the season after recovering from injury.
subs: Robinson (for Dawkins, 55), Mavididi (for Olomola, 60), Bola (for Thorbourne, 83). Not used: Eyoma, Iliev.
Dawkins was heavily involved from the offset and the winger played a key role as Arsenal took the lead in the seventh minute, spreading the ball wide to Raage, who controlled the ball well before launching an unstoppable shot high into the Bolton goal.
Arsenal were certainly the dominant side in the opening twenty minutes, but Bolton began to assert themselves thereafter and the visitors equalised through Guillermo Torres’ header on the stroke of half-time.
Bolton continued to dominate after the break, with schoolboy right-back Chiori Johnson having to make a superb goalline clearance to prevent Arsenal from going behind. At the other end, substitute Tyrell Robinson did well to find Olomola, who in turn crossed for Hinds, but the attacking midfielder lost his footing at the crucial moment.
In the closing stages a Bolton free-kick deflected off Hinds and was heading towards goal, but Ryan Huddart was thankfully on hand to preserve a point for Arsenal.
The youngsters travel to face Aston Villa next weekend having registered just one win so far this season.
Hector Bellerin and Isaac Hayden joined the first-team in their final training session at London Colney this morning before tomorrow’s Champions League group stage game at home to Napoli.
Serge Gnabry, meanwhile, will be hoping to keep his place in the starting line-up against the Italian side having scored his first senior goal against Swansea City at the weekend.
Gnabry was ineligible to play in the previous Champions League fixture against Marseille, but, as he has now been an Arsenal player for two whole years, he has been added to the club’s list of eligible players for this competition, along with midfielder Kristoffer Olsson.
Former Arsenal player Robert Pires joined the session, but, at 39 years of age, is unlikely to make a return to the club in a playing capacity. Ju-Young Park was also present, but Emmanuel Frimpong was again absent.
Tomas Rosicky will come back into the squad for tomorrow’s fixture, but Abou Diaby, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Yaya Sanogo, Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski, Gedion Zelalem and Santi Cazorla are all still missing because of injury.
Players involved in training today: Wojciech Szczesny, Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Flamini, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Serge Gnabry, Olivier Giroud, Jack Wilshere, Lukasz Fabianski, Carl Jenkinson, Mikel Arteta, Thomas Vermaelen, Nacho Monreal, Nicklas Bendtner, Tomas Rosicky, Hector Bellerin, Ju-Young Park, Emiliano Viviano, Isaac Hayden, Robert Pires.