Khayon Edwards scored his 20th Arsenal academy goal of the season on Saturday, but the u18s slipped to defeat to Stoke City.
The Arsenal u18s took on Stoke City in the u18 Premier League Cup quarter-finals on Saturday, after topping their group with a win and two draws.
Stoke got the home draw, and the hosts opened the scoring from the penalty spot as Emre Tezgel converted. Arsenal went close to equalising through Billy Vigar early in the second half, but Stoke doubled their lead through Tezgel again.
Head coach Dan Micciche introduced Amario Cozier-Duberry for the final 30 minutes, subbing off Lino Sousa.
Cozier-Duberry may well have started the game if he wasn’t only recently back from England duty, starting for the England u17s against Scotland on Thursday.
Arsenal did pull a goal back after that, with Khayon Edwards scoring from the penalty spot. But it was too late for a comeback, and Stoke will progress through to the semis.
Edwards goal was a milestone, his 20th of the season for the academy, broken down as follows:
- 2 goals for the Arsenal u23s (one in the Premier League 2 and one in the u23 Premier League Cup)
- 18 for the u18s (15 in the u18 Premier League and three in the u18 Premier League Cup)
The total puts him four ahead of Folarin Balogun as the top academy scorer this season, and he also has five assists.
Of course, Balogun scored all his goals for the u21s and u23s before going on loan, so his total of 16 is still the more impressive.
All the same, it’s getting more and more important that Arsenal convince Edwards to sign new terms, amid plenty of outside interest.
Arsenal u18 lineup vs Stoke City
Mitchell, Walters, Foran, Quamina, Ibrahim, Sweet, Henry-Francis, Sousa, Edwards, Sagoe Jr, Vigar
Kovacevic, Roberts, Cozier-Duberry (for Sousa, 60), Robinson, Bandeira
Arsenal’s full focus at u18 level will now be on the league campaign, and they’re next in action in a week against Crystal Palace on Saturday, February 19th at 11:00 GMT.