The Development team beat Bristol by five goals to one in what was a postponed game from December and are quickly climbing up the table.
The team was boosted by the addition of two first team players who are still eligible to play in the Development league which is a u20 League in Devlin and Williamson.
The starting 11 was Rogers, Patten Cooke Ritchie-Williams Williamson, Brunton-Wilde Peart Hooper, Filbey Dean Devlin. All subs were used with Alexander coming on for Williamson and substitute goalie Houghton-Boyle coming on for Rogers. As usual there were no other subs available as other players are currently injured.
This clearly shows that the Development team squad is too thin as without the two first teamers, we would have had 11 players including two goalies, so one of them would have had to play in an outfield position and no subs available at all.
There was also another good news as the result from the first game of the season was wiped out by the FA. Originally, it had been giving as an away walkover. Arsenal at home to London Bees could not field a team on the day as 30% of the squad was on international duty in Jordan for the FIFA u17 WWC.
It was a very strange and controversial decision from the FA to award an away walkover as it meant club would be reticent to release players for youth tournaments if they ended up being penalised because of those call-ups. Arsenal have in the past refused call-up for final tournaments at u19 level and you can see why with problems like these.
The Development league Southern Division table now looks a lot healthier for the team.
Brighton are top with 18 points from eight games. Chelsea are second with 15 points from six games. London Bees are third with ten points from six games and now the Arsenal are fourth with nine points from three games.
The remaining games are as follows:
29/01 H Millwall
05/02 H Reading Cup
12/02 H Brighton
19/02 A Oxford
26/02 H Chelsea
12/03 H Yeovil
19/03 A Bristol
26/03 A London Bees
16/04 H Watford
23/04 A Chelsea
30/04 A Reading
07/05 A Brighton
The home game to London Bees and away games to Millwall and Watford are not scheduled yet. They might end up being played in midweek.
Let’s hope the Development Team can do another League and Cup double emulating the success from last season.