U18 Premier League- Game 20
Arsenal 2 (Dawkins 2, 89) Southampton 1 (Demkiv 67)
Tarum Dawkins scored very early on and very late in this match to earn Arsenal U18’s a 2-1 victory over Southampton on Saturday, with Carl Laraman’s side recording back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
Laraman made three alterations to the side that defeated Aston Villa last week, with Ryan Huddart, Elliot Wright and Austin Lipman all coming into the side.
subs: Mavididi (for Lipman, 73). Not used: Johnson, Smith, Robinson, Vickers.
Dawkins opened the scoring with just two minutes on the clock after he applied the finishing touch to a multi-pass move that stemmed from a well-timed challenge from Leander Siemann. Siemann found Jack Jebb, who did well to control the ball before finding Alex Iwobi, who in turn threaded the ball through to Dawkins, who continued his excellent recent form by finding the back of the net with a well-timed finish.
Southampton responded with the lively Ryan Seager sending a shot just wide of Huddart’s far post, before Isaac Neyemie almost made Arsenal pay for some hesitant defending early in the second-half, but the winger could only shoot straight at Huddart.
The visitors then equalised in rather bizarre circumstances. Jebb played the ball back towards Huddart and the Arsenal goalkeeper, confident that the pass had taken a deflection off an opponent, picked the ball up only for the referee to award a free-kick to Southampton inside the area for handball.
Seager snatched the ball out of Huddart’s hands, enabling Dan Demkiv to score before Arsenal had time to assemble a wall, but the goal still stood, despite the protestations of the Gunners’ players.
Huddart then redeemed himself somewhat by making a good block from another effort from Seager, but Arsenal responded to the visiting pressure with some style when Jebb, a renowned free-kick specialist, struck the crossbar from a set-piece after his defensive-midfield partner Glen Kamara was fouled just outside the area.
With time running out it seemed as if Arsenal were going to have to settle for a point, but they eventually secured their second win in successive games when Iwobi found Dawkins, who scored with a stupendous strike from distance with just two minutes remaining.
Arsenal’s FA Youth Cup tie against Charlton Athletic, which was scheduled for tomorrow night, has been postponed with a new date yet to be arranged. The winners of that game will host Sheffield United or Everton in the Quarter-Finals.