Charlie Patino scored a fantastic long-range goal and Omari Hutchinson provided another assist as the Arsenal u18s won their FA Youth Cup tie on Tuesday.
Arsenal faced Rotherham United in the FA Youth Cup third round in midweek, their first appearance in this season’s competition.
There were a few key absences in the starting lineup. Striker Khayon Edwards missed out with injury, whilst Miguel Azeez and Catalin Cirjan didn’t feature despite both being young enough, training with the first team on Tuesday instead.
All the same, it was a strong side. Brooke Norton-Cuffy started at right-back after his recent appearances for the u23s, Ovie Ejeheri continued his run in goal, and there was no lack of talent in forward areas with Omari Hutchinson, Marcelo Flores, Kido Taylor-Hart, and Nathan Butler-Oyedeji.
Yet it was talented midfielder Charlie Patino who opened the scoring in the 75th minute. Having had a long-range sighter 10 minutes earlier, the 17-year-old unleashed another powerful effort, this time flying into the top corner.
— Arsenal Academy (@ArsenalAcademy) December 16, 2020
James Sweet provided the assist for Patino’s goal, and he’ll be happy with the appearances he’s made so far this season. Despite only starting three u18 games, he now has a goal and an assist from midfield. Arsenal won all three of those fixtures.
Rotherham equalised from the penalty spot, with Mazeez Ogungbo conceding the spot-kick. However, Ogungbo made amends by going up the other end and heading home from Hutchinson’s corner.
Arsenal dominated the clash overall, and the goals were always going to come for them eventually, despite the lack of a recognised centre-forward for much of the match.
The only concern is the defensive frailties that saw them concede one penalty and arguably could’ve led to another. They’ll face tougher tests than Rotherham in the later rounds.
One of their big rivals to eventually lift the trophy is Chelsea, and the Arsenal u18s have the chance to test themselves against the Blues in their next match, a league game at London Colney on Saturday at 11:00 GMT.