By Connor Armstrong

SUMMARY

 
Our under-18s suffered a late defeat to Brighton in cruel fashion, with David Ajiboye’s deflected effort finding its way past Alex Crean.
 
The visitors had gone close in the opening 45 minutes, with Charlie Ferguson curling a powerful effort against the outside of the post.
 
However, it was Joe Willock who put us in front with a cool finish from the penalty spot after Nathan Tella had been scythed down by Luis Garcia.
 
Two Brighton substitutes combined when Stephan Ljubicic crossed for Danny Cashman to steer the ball past Crean, before Ajiboye’s late winner.
 
 

SETTING THE SCENE

 
Kwame Ampadu handed a start to Crean, with Daniel Ballard and Zech Medley in the heart of the defence.
 
Jordi Osei-Tutu and Kostas Pileas started at right-back and left-back respectively, with Charlie Gilmour partnering Willock in midfield.
 
Donyell Malen led the attack, supported by Yassin Fortune, Trae Coyle and Tella.
 

FIRST HALF

 
It was the Gunners who came out victorious in the meeting between these two sides earlier this season, with a 3-0 win in East Sussex.
 
On this occasion however, the Seagulls asserted themselves from the off and Crean was called into action to turn Ajiboye’s shot around the foot of the post.
 
Soon after the visitors threatened to break the deadlock once again, but Ferguson’s whipped effort cannoned behind off the post.
 

SECOND HALF

 
We made an ideal start to the second half, taking the lead when Willock sent Tom McGill the wrong way from the penalty spot.
 
But it wasn’t to be for Ampadu’s side, with Cashman levelling from close range before Ajiboye’s low strike deflected off Daniel Ballard and beyond the grasp of Crean.
 
Malen went close in the closing stages, but his strike flicked up off a Brighton defender and over.

Arsenal U18

1
Crean
2
Osei-Tutu
3
Pileas
4
Gilmour 63
5
Ballard
6
Medley
7
Tella
8
Willock Goal!
9
Malen
10
Coyle
11
Fortune 46

Substitutes

12
Virginia
13
Omole 63
14
Tormey 77 46
15
Beckford 77
16
Thompson

Brighton U18

1
Tom McGill
2
Moore 69
3
Alex Cochrane
4
Tyrese Fornah
5
Danny Barker
6
Ryan O'Sullivan
7
David Ajiboye Goal!
8
Charlie Ferguson
9
Aaron Connolly 69
10
Luis Garcia 80
11
Isaac Hutchinson

Substitutes

12
Hamish Morrison 69
13
Rocco Rees
14
Danny Cashman 80 Goal!
15
Stephan Ljuibicic 69 Yellow Card
16
Sam Rolph
Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source
9 Jan 2017