Arsenal’s u18s managed to earn a draw in very difficult circumstances away to West Ham on Saturday, as the u16s won 3-1 against the same opposition.
Arsenal u18s already had a setback to deal with before the first whistle even blew, with their two-goal hero from last week Ben Cottrell out injured.
Dan Chesters gave West Ham the lead early on, before Arsenal’s star forward Sam Greenwood and defender Jason Sraha were both forced off with injuries in the opening 16 minutes.
Kido Taylor-Hart came on for Greenwood, whilst Henry Jeffcott made his competitive u18 debut in place of Sraha.
Despite all of those issues, Arsenal managed to stay in the game and create a number of chances of their own. In the end, second-half substitute Luke Plange made that pressure count with an equaliser, and the game ended 1-1.
Plange has been in strong form recently, impressing against Hitchin Town and scoring against Slovan Bratislava in pre-season, before netting against Chelsea off the bench in the opening game of the new season.
The 16-year-old first-year scholar will be very happy with a couple of goals in just 47 competitive minutes this season. If Greenwood’s injury keeps him out of the upcoming fixtures, Plange and Taylor-Hart will be ready to fill in.
The u16s won 3-1 against West Ham, thanks largely to more impressive performances from Malcolm Ebiowei and Khayon Edwards.
The duo both scored against Aston Villa last week, and they repeated the trick getting the scoresheet again on this occasion. Edwards also provided an assist.
Ebiowei has been in the youth football headlines this week over rumours of a call-up to the Nigeria u17s for the World Cup in October. It’s great to see the youngster’s form recognised and his continued positive goalscoring record at club level.
Marcelo Flores, Taylor Foran and Edu’s son Luigi Gaspar were among the other players to feature in the win.