West Ham United U18s pegged back late on at Arsenal

Arsenal U18s 2-2 West Ham United U18sU18 Premier League South

Despite seeing West Ham United U18s concede in harm time to attract on Saturday morning, lead coach Kevin Keen praised “a very sturdy efficiency in opposition to Arsenal facet” in U18 Premier League South.

The West Ham youth group stretched their unbeaten run within the league to 4 video games, and remained within the high half of the desk, with a 2-2 draw in opposition to their title-chasing hosts at Arsenal Training Centre.

Unlucky to lose a two-goal lead late on, West Ham as soon as once more demonstrated their undoubted high quality in competing with certainly one of youth soccer’s high outfits, with their current run together with video games in opposition to final season’s league champions and runners-up, Fulham (a 0-0 house draw) and Chelsea (a 2-1 away win), and final season’s FA Youth Cup winners Aston Villa (a 5-0 house win).

Arsenal acquired off to a vivid begin on Saturday morning, seeing an early effort from Khayon Edwards cleared off the road by a West Ham shirt.

Divin Mubama – recent from scoring his first England U18s purpose earlier this month – then fired a warning shot for West Ham as he raced by on purpose, solely to strike the publish.

But the 17-year-old hardly ever passes up a chance twice, and took full benefit of Arsenal conceding possession close to their very own purpose, robbing Taylor Foran of the ball earlier than slotting it previous goalkeeper Remy Mitchell.

Five minutes later, the Hammers doubled their lead, Ollie Scarles – recent from his exploits with England schoolboys – curling in a cross-cum-shot for his first West Ham purpose at U18s degree.

The second half noticed Arsenal pile on loads of strain, dominating the ball however struggling to interrupt down the well-organised West Ham shirts which lay earlier than them.

It took a second of top quality for West Ham’s stern defending to be crushed with 20 minutes to go. After George Earthy gave the impression to be barged off the ball, Charles Sagoe picked up possession and curled in a excessive end from 20 yards.

And with the clock ticking into harm time, Arsenal snatched an equaliser on their house turf, late substitute Billy Vigar looping a header which dropped agonisingly previous the despairing dive of Jacob Knightbridge into the highest nook. 

They labored so onerous and went two targets in entrance in opposition to an skilled Arsenal facet, so I used to be actually happy with the way in which the lads performed

Kevin Keen

Nevertheless, as with current performances, Keen was happy with the usual of West Ham’s play in North London.

“It was a wierd one, as a result of we performed rather well with a vibrant younger group,” the lead coach mirrored.

“When you lose a purpose to attract away in harm time, you may come away just a little bit deflated, however I believe, in youth group soccer, you shouldn’t overlook the way in which the lads performed as a group.

“They labored so onerous and went two targets in entrance in opposition to an skilled Arsenal facet, so I used to be actually happy with the way in which the lads performed. There have been some distinctive shows, simply tinged with that sense we must always have gained it.”

West Ham’s U18s facet was as soon as once more filled with younger gamers together with U16s starlets Scarles and Lewis Orford, in addition to debutant Ryan Battrum.

Keen defined: “Ryan performed the final 15 or 20 minutes for his U18s debut. He’s a lad who’s coming into the group subsequent yr, so it was good for him to get on, particularly at a spot like Arsenal. 

“There have been so many positives. That last-minute purpose simply tinged it just a little bit, but it surely shouldn’t take away from a powerful efficiency. 

“It was good to see Divin on the scoresheet once more with end. We created some actually good probabilities, labored so onerous defensively and regarded good on the ball. 

“We’re on an unbeaten run of 4 video games within the league in opposition to good groups together with Chelsea, Aston Villa and Fulham, so it’s a pleasant little run, despite the fact that we maybe really feel we must always have a pair extra factors on the board from it.”

Keen additionally mirrored on the information earlier this week that West Ham will face Newcastle United – quarter-finalists final season – within the FA Youth Cup third spherical subsequent month.

He famous: “This season we’ve develop into a very strong, hard-working group that reveals plenty of character and performs some good soccer. 

“It’s trying like hopefully we’ve acquired a vivid future within the competitors. It’s a tricky draw in opposition to one other Category One Academy, Newcastle, so it’s not going to be straightforward for certain. We’ve acquired just a few video games earlier than that, however the Academy is in place at the second.

“You’ve acquired U18s gamers all enjoying within the U23s – Sonny Perkins, Freddie Potts, Jamal Baptiste – so there are many positives with what we’re doing at the Academy.”

West Ham United: Knightbridge; Robinson (Falase 46), Casey, Tarima, Clayton, Scarles, Earthy (Evans 90), Woods, Orford (Battrum 81), Kodua, MubamaSubs: Terry

Goals: Mubama 28, Scarles 33

Booked: Robinson, Casey, Orford 


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