U18 Premier League
Leicester City 1 (Russ 83 (pen.) Arsenal 1 (Richards 55)
Amani Richards was on the scoresheet as Arsenal U18 side containing ten changes drew 1-1 away to Leicester City.
Zach Awe was the only player that started against Chelsea that was involved today, with some players kept back for the U23s ahead of next week’s game against Leicester, while others were rested for the FA Youth Cup clash with Liverpool.
Taylor Foran captained the side, while Luigi Gaspar received his first start at this level and Nathan Butler-Oyedeji made his return from injury.
Remy Mitchell was given an opportunity in goal and there were three schoolboys in the starting lineup, with Richards, Reuell Walters and Bradley Ibrahim all starting.
The bench was also comprised entirely of schoolboys, including defender Kristopher Elian Quesada-Thorn, who received his first call up to the U18 squad.
Subs: Robinson (for Gaspar, 46), Quesada-Thorn (for Sagoe, 71), Green (for Ideho, 79). Not used: Kovacevic.
It was a quiet first half, and Arsenal made a change at the start of the second period, with another schoolboy, Josh Robinson, entering the fray in place of Gaspar.
Arsenal took the lead in the 55th minute, with the highly-regarded Richards scoring his first goal since joining from Chelsea, having been set up by Ibrahim.
Leicester goalkeeper Chituru Odunze had to go off injured, prompting a long delay, and Arsenal then brought on Quesada-Thorn for his debut as he replaced Charles Sagoe Junior.
Kaleel Green, a forward who signed from Southampton, also made his debut as he came on for Joel Ideho.
Arsenal couldn’t hold on for the victory, however, with Mitchell penalised for a mistake and Will Russ stepping up to score a penalty.
Overall, however, this was still a rather positive result considering the amount of players Arsenal had out, while it was also a major boost for Butler-Oyedeji to complete 90 minutes on his comeback.
Players not involved:
Miguel Azeez, Catalin Cirjan*, Hubert Graczyk, Alex Kirk, Salah-Eddine*, Marcelo Flores, Omari Hutchinson, Zane Monlouis, Brooke Norton-Cuffy*, Charlie Patino*, Ovie Ejeheri, Mazeed Ogungbo, Daniel Oyegoke*, Jason Sraha, Kido Taylor-Hart, Mauro Bandeira*, Khayon Edwards, Jack Henry-Francis, James Sweet*, Billy Vigar*, Amario Cozier-Duberry, Jamie Telfer, Tino Quamina
( * = injured)