U18 Premier League
Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 1 (Da Silva 87)
Schoolboy striker Joshua Da Silva scored his first goal at U18 level to salvage a point for Arsenal’s youngsters away to Aston Villa yesterday.
The hosts had taken the lead against an inexperienced Arsenal side, but Da Silva struck in the 87th minute to earn a 1-1 draw.
With a host of players rested ahead of the crucial UEFA Youth League fixture away to Galatsaray next week, coach Frans De Kat gave starts to five schoolboys, including Nathan Tella, who featured from the offset for the first time at this level. Fellow schoolboys Charlie Gilmour and Edward Nketiah were named on the bench.
Subs: Huddart, Da Graca, Gilmour, Nketiah.
This was a second draw in succession for Arsenal U18s, who haven’t won a game since they beat Fulham 3-2 in September. They face the same opponents next weekend seeking to end their run of seven games without a victory.
Ahead of the game against Galatasaray, Chiori Johnson, Tyrell Robinson, Gedion Zelalem, Dan Crowley, Ben Sheaf, Chris Willock, George Dobson, Stephy Mavididi, Renny Smith and Elliot Wright were all rested. Kaylen Hinds, Marc Bola, Julio Pleguezuelo and Tafari Moore are all doubts for that fixture because of injury, whilst Ainsley Maitland-Niles may stay with the first-team squad next week.