U18 Premier League
Arsenal 3 (Malen 34, J. Willock (pen) 54, Ballard 67) West Ham United 3 (Henry (pen) 42, Alese 73, Scully 90)
Arsenal U18s concluded their season with an enthralling 3-3 draw at home to West Ham United today.
Despite taking the lead on three separate occasions, Arsenal were unable to hold on for victory, with Anthony Scully striking late to secure a point for the visitors.
The young Gunners went into the game knowing that their title hopes were already over after Chelsea were crowned champions last night, but Kwame Ampadu’s team were still determined to finish the campaign strongly.
Ampadu made several alterations to his team, with Alex Crean, Daniel Ballard, Charlie Gilmour, Donyell Malen and Robbie Burton coming in for Joao Virginia, Joseph Olowu, Marcus McGuane, Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson.
Osei Tutu-Ballard-Medley-T. Bola
Subs: Benson (for Burton, 71), Thompson (for Dragomir, 82), Omole (for T. Bola, 86). Not used: Virginia, Beckford.
The game took a while to come into life but Arsenal managed to take the lead in the 34th minute when Joe Willock found Donyell Malen, who opened the scoring on his final appearance at this level.
The lead lasted for just eight minutes, however, as Korrey Henry pulled West Ham level from the penalty spot before half-time.
Willock, who has been in sensational form of late, proceeded to make it 2-1 early in the second half with a penalty of his own and then Arsenal looked in pole position to take all three points when Ballard scored his first goal for the U18s.
West Ham showed excellent resilience to bounce back, though, with Ajibola Alese and then Scully getting on the scoresheet in a frantic finale.
Arsenal finish second and will be frustrated to have missed out on winning the title, but they have still performed significantly better overall than they did last season.