U18 Premier League
Arsenal 3 (Donovan, Mourgos, Eyoma) Brighton 3
Considering that they hadn’t scored since late September, few people would have predicted that Arsenal U18s would manage to find the net three times today, but they did just that in a pulsating draw at home to Brighton & Hove Albion.
Arsenal trounced the same opponents 4-0 on the opening day of the season, but only Elliot Wright and Renny Smith remained in the starting line-up from that fixture. The two second-years partnered eachother at the heart of the defence, with coach Frans De Kat changing his entire starting eleven from the team that lost disappointingly to Chelsea last time out.
There were starts for schoolboys Josh Da Silva and Marcus Tabi, whilst Kristopher Da Graca made the bench for the first time after recovering from injury. Schoolboy Nathan Tella received his first call-up at this level.
subs: Huddart, Da Graca, Dobson, T. Bola, Tella.
The sheer number of changes appeared to unsettle Arsenal early on and they found themselves 2-1 down at the break despite Harry Donovan’s strike.
Savvas Mourgos scored his first goal for the club just after the interval to make it 2-2, providing Arsenal with some much needed confidence. They looked to have won it when Aaron Eyoma found the net, but Brighton struck again to salvage a point.
De Kat may have had some concerns about his side’s defending, but he will have been pleased with some of their attacking play and especially with the fact that they managed to halt their alarming run of defeats.
Arsenal travel to face Aston Villa next Saturday.
Meanwhile, Arsenal U21s goalkeeper Matt Macey was on the bench for the first-team’s victory away to West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League today.
With Wojciech Szczesny and David Ospina out injured, Emiliano Martinez has started the past two games. Macey is currently ineligible for the Champions League, so Ryan Huddart was amongst the substitutes instead for the game against Anderlecht in midweek. Macey, though, could remain with the squad for the Southampton game if Szczesny doesn’t recover in time.