U18 Premier League
West Ham United 1 (Rusa 14) Arsenal 5 (Balogun 25, 45, Clarke 38, 68, Okoflex 82)
Folarin Balogun and Harry Clarke both scored braces as Arsenal U18s thrashed their West Ham United counterparts with a 5-1 away victory in a rearranged league game today.
Arsenal were without several regulars with Friday’s FA Youth Cup tie against Middlesbrough in mind but still managed to produce an impressive display, with schoolboy Armstrong Okoflex also getting on the scoresheet.
Coach Kwame Ampadu made six changes to the side that prevailed past Norwich City on penalties in a dramatic Premier League Cup tie. Goalkeeper Daniel Barden made his first start of the season, as did Okoflex, while Zak Swanson, Tobi Omole, Bayli Spencer-Adams and Robbie Burton were also involved from the outset.
Subs: McEneff (for Burton, 48), Azeez (for Benson, 65), Dennis (for Omole, 76). Not used: Virginia.
It was West Ham who started in the ascendancy, with the hosts opening the scoring in the 14th minute through Bernardo Rusa.
Arsenal soon responded, however, with the ever-impressive Balogun equalising in the 25th minute after he was found by James Olayinka.
Clarke put the young Gunners ahead before the break and then Balogun got his second of the game on the stroke of half time.
Arsenal dominated proceedings in the second half and increased their lead further still when substitute Jordan McEneff teed up Clarke, who scored again.
There was still time for Okoflex to score his first goal at this level following good work from Balogun as Arsenal extended their unbeaten run across all competitions to eleven games.
Another positive saw schoolboys Miguel Azeez and Matthew Dennis receive runouts as they gained valuable experience of U18 football.