U18 Premier League – Merit Group
Arsenal 2 (J. Willock, Smith-Rowe) Reading 2
Vlad Dragomir provided two assists as Arsenal U18s came from behind to draw 2-2 at home to Reading today in their first Merit Group fixture, with Joe Willock and Emile Smith-Rowe both on the scoresheet.
Coach Kwame Ampadu made three changes to his team, with Hugo Keto, Tolaji Bola and Dragomir coming in for Joao Virginia, Kostas Pileas and Tyreece John-Jules.
Osei Tutu-Olowu-Medley-T. Bola
Smith Rowe-Dragomir-J. Willock
Subs: Benson (for Dasilva, 62). Not used: Crean, Omole, Ballard, Thompson.
Arsenal got off to a disappointing start, with Danny Loader putting Reading in front after just four minutes, but the young Gunners managed to equalise through Willock, who was teed up by Dragomir.
Although he has mainly been playing for the U23s in recent weeks, Dragomir still appeared determined to make an impact upon his return to the U18s and the Romanian certainly did just that.
Reading, though, posed a threat of their own and the Royals restored their advantage courtesy of Ramarni Medford-Smith before the break.
Arsenal refused to give up, however, and managed to secure a point when Dragomir found Smith-Rowe, who has been excellent of late, with the winger making it 2-2 in the closing stages.