Dawkins hits impressive double as Arsenal U18s overcome Southampton

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.




Dawkins-Maitland Niles-Iwobi


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.



  1. This run of form for Dawkins is not only great for him but as a reminder that those who are quiet for a while in the youth ranks can make big improvements. Superb second goal.

    As for Jebb, we’ve a lot of excellent technicians in the first team but none of them can be classed a free-kick expert in the way he is. In fact we don’t get many from long range shots full stop- Cazorla and Podolski (free-kick) last year and Ramsey this are the only ones I can think of. That must be at least 4 from Jebb that have either gone in or hit the bar this year alone. Good stuff.

    As for the Youth Cup game, Damn! Was looking forward to it as a way of easing back in after the horrors of Sat before the massive tension of Wed. This round and the next need to be completed before early March I believe so that could leave things crammed with the European tie as well.

    Why would they call it off?

  2. If it is clear that Siemann is leaving at the end of the season, why not give his chance to somebody younger or who will still be at the club next year?
    It looks like the coach is prioritising victories and saving his own job over improving young players.

    1. I doubt that appalling run of form for u18s was much good for anyone’s confidence; a bit of adversity and early toughening up is welcome, I’d think, too much and development will probably be negatively affected, overall.

      The club seem very willing to fast-track those they feel will benefit- Moore, Maitland-Niles and O’Connor being three from this year- and they’ve already had one 15/16 year old, Dobson, in last couple of fixtures, two would be a big ask. Finally, getting a reputation for totally shutting out any players as soon as it’s certain, or nearly, that they won’t be here long-term, could negatively affect future recruitment, as well as being unfair on the lads themselves.

      Bit unfair on Siemann and the coach I reckon, particularly as the latter has received such dogs abuse for the poor form and may well be fighting for his job.

    2. If this kind of form continues during next season I will start questioning the quality and the coaching but it will be down to individual mistakes for most of the times. The number of mistakes I have seen this team do this season is chocking! The team lost a very good player in O’connor for the U21. Uade and sieman was to blame for numerous of goals this season. Hopefully next year scholars will improve our defense. I am looking towards to see Willock, Dobson kaylen hinds, and a couple more players.

      1. The removal of Liam Brady following the threat of downgrade by the FA (don’t let be fool by talk of retirement, it is pure and simple a removal with a face saving exercise) should follow by the removal of some coaches that are not up to the task.
        Defending is the easiest part of coaching. Good organisation, discipline from the players. If Crystal Palace under Tony Pulis can suddenly look an outfit that know what they are supposed to be doing, then we should be able to coach top U21 players.
        I can see a lot of time is spend with the attacking players, so they can repeat the same pattern of play than the seniors. However, I don’t think that a lot of time is spend with the back four and the two defensive midfield players of the 4-2-3-1 formation that AFC plays.
        Quite often the fullbacks are too far away from the central defenders, who then compensate by going wide which then leaves a gap in the middle. Also the defensive midfield players forget to track their opponents or try to compensate for our absent fullbacks, leaving the CB in 1v1 situation. As their tackling is quite often poor to shockingly poor, unless the goalkeeper pull an outstanding save, we concede goals that could and should have been prevented.
        The solution is not to play CBs at fullback and give them instruction to stay well behind. It is to improve the fullbacks and the interaction between CB, defensive midfielders.

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