U21 Premier League
Newcastle United 1 Arsenal 2
Austin Lipman has endured a frustrating season so far, with the striker’s loan spell with Boreham Wood not working out as expected.
However, the youngster, who was re-called from his stint with the Conference South side just last week, marked his first appearance in an Arsenal shirt this season by scoring a dramatic late winning goal for the U21s away to league leaders Newcastle United at St James’ Park this evening.
Alex Iwobi had earlier given the lead but Newcastle levelled through Daniel Barlaser. However, it was the diligent Lipman, on for the returning Serge Gnabry, who proved to be the match-winner.
Gnabry completed 68 minutes on his first appearance of 2015, although there was no place in the side for Krystian Bielik, who instead remained in London to train with the first-team squad.
Deyan Iliev made his first appearance since August in goal, whilst Renny Smith, George Dobson and Marc Bola were drafted into an unfamiliar back four. Iwobi operated as a central striker, whilst there were first call-ups at this level for Aaron Eyoma and Ilias Chatzitheodoridis, who made the bench.
subs: Huddart, Wright, Chatzitheodoridis (for Kamara, 90), Eyoma (for Zelalem, 81), Lipman (for Gnabry, 68).
Arsenal started in the ascendancy, with Dan Crowley shooting just wide following an intricate passing move.
The Gunners continued with their patient build-up play. Renny Smith found Gedion Zelalem, with the midfielder cleverly playing the ball into the path of Iwobi, but the latter’s effort was saved by Freddie Woodman.
Zelalem then went for goal himself, but still Woodman wouldn’t be beaten as he gathered the effort comfortably.
Arsenal eventually made the breakthrough just before half-time when Iwobi drifted in from the right flank and beat Woodman with a well-struck effort. It was Iwobi’s third goal of the season, with the Hale End product playing with increased confidence of late.
Newcastle fought their way back into the game after the interval, however, and equalised when Barlaser, who signed his first professional contract prior to kick-off, sent a volley beyond the reach of Iliev.
Arsenal attempted to regain their lead, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who featured against Newcastle in the Premier League in December, and Iwobi both coming close.
Newcastle had an effort of their own courtesy of Tom Heardman.
Eyoma was introduced for his debut at this level and it was the winger’s cross that found Lipman, who directed his header past Woodman to give Arsenal the most dramatic of victories.
The result moves Arsenal level on points with Newcastle at the top of the table, albeit with an inferior goal difference.