The Arsenal u18s progressed to the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup with a dramatic late win over Newcastle United on Tuesday.

Jack Wilshere coaching the Arsenal u18s (Photo via
Jack Wilshere coaching the Arsenal u18s (Photo via

As usual in the FA Youth Cup, a number of players with more senior experience dropped back down to the u18s away to Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Tuesday night.

Amario Cozier-Duberry, Myles Lewis-Skelly, Reuell Walters, and Lino Sousa have all been around the first team in training and friendly matches, as well as playing for the u21s this season, but they all started for the u18s in midweek.

Arsenal always take this competition seriously, and this was no exception. Ethan Nwaneri was absent, but this was rumoured to be related to his school exams. Otherwise, it was a very strong side.

First half

Seb Ferdinand scores for the Arsenal u18s against Newcastle (Photo via
Seb Ferdinand scores for the Arsenal u18s against Newcastle (Photo via

Jack Wilshere’s side started brightly, particularly Cozier-Duberry, who shot narrowly wide of either post with a couple of very early chances.

With less than 15 minutes on the clock, Cozier-Duberry then helped Arsenal take the lead.

Racing down the right once again, the winger cut the ball back towards Omari Benjamin and Jimi Gower, who took a swing at it before it fell to Seb Ferdinand on the rebound.

Ferdinand’s initial effort was blocked, but eventually, he managed to turn the ball home with a nice finish on the turn.

The lead didn’t last, with Lewis Miley quickly equalising, capitalising on Newcastle’s first attack of the game.

But Arsenal continued to find chances, with Benjamin forcing a save after being found by Gower.

Newcastle threatened on the counter-attack, and Arsenal goalkeeper Noah Cooper had to make a couple of good saves to keep things level.

The young Gunners took full advantage just before the half-time break, with Cozier-Duberry finally getting his goal.

Lewis-Skelly had impressed with his passing and dribbling all half, and after a strong run and pass, he helped to get Cozier-Duberry in down the right-hand side. The winger cut in and found the net with the aid of a deflection for 2-1.

Second half

Osman Kamara scores for the Arsenal u18s vs Newcastle (Photo via
Osman Kamara scores for the Arsenal u18s vs Newcastle (Photo via

Arsenal started the second half on top, trying to kill off the game. But Newcastle continued to threaten on the counter, and once again, they scored with their first real chance of the half.

Ben Parkinson turned a low cross home from close range in the 57th minute to make it 2-2, and Arsenal had to start from scratch again.

Ferdinand had Arsenal’s best chances to retake the lead in the following 20 minutes, but he saw one shot tipped over the bar and another rising over it.

Lewis-Skelly tried to take matters into his own hands, beating two or three players on his own before getting clattered by the Newcastle goalkeeper. But the goalkeeper got to the ball first and fairly.

Arsenal continued to push, with Benjamin and Gower seeing shots blocked and saved wide for corners. Then Osman Kamara came on for the final minutes of normal time.

With three minutes remaining, Ferdinand beat his man on the right and cut the ball back into the centre of the box, where Kamara was waiting to fire it home with one of his first touches.

Newcastle tried to find yet another equaliser, but they had left it too late, and Cozier-Duberry went closest to another goal after beating multiple players and passing a shot just wide of the post.

The match finished 3-2, and Arsenal will now progress to the next round.

Final thoughts

Amario Cozier-Duberry celebrates a goal for the Arsenal u18s (Photo via
Amario Cozier-Duberry celebrates a goal for the Arsenal u18s (Photo via

Amario Cozier-Duberry, Seb Ferdinand, and Myles Lewis-Skelly were the stars of the show at St. James’ Park, all capable of beating their man and then finding a pass or a shot afterwards.

With individual quality like that and unselfish play in the right moments, the u18s should score plenty of goals in this competition.

Ethan Nwaneri also adds a lot of quality when he’s involved, and Omari Benjamin at centre-forward put in a hard-working performance that probably deserved a goal.

The Gunners will fancy their chances in the next round, and they’ll be looking to make a deep cup run this year.

Arsenal u18 lineup vs Newcastle United

Cooper, Rosiak, Walters, Quamina, Sousa, Lewis-Skelly, Ibrahim, Gower, Cozier-Duberry, Ferdinand, Benjamin


Kamara (for Benjamin, 83), Robinson (for Gower, 89), B. Okonkwo, Dudziak, I. Oulad M’hand, Nichols, Brown

What’s next?

In the FA Youth Cup, Arsenal will make the short trip away to Watford for the Round of 16, with ties to be played before Saturday, 11th February.

In the league, the u18s are next in action at home to Fulham on Saturday, 28th January at 11:00 GMT.