In their penultimate Premier League 2 fixture of the campaign, our under-21s recovered from a goal down to convincingly beat the Toffees in Southport, with Ben Cottrell bagging a brace.
Our young Gunners went into the game looking to secure three points needed to overtake the Toffees and jump into seventh place, and a quiet opening to the first half for both teams soon picked up pace when Stanley Mills put the Toffees ahead at 27 minutes.
Mehmet Ali’s side quickly turned the one-goal deficit around, however, when Charles Sagoe Jr was brought down in the penalty area, pathing the way for Cottrell to step up to the spot and confidently fire home at the 32-minute mark.
The second half was contested fiercely by both teams from the outset, with our young Gunners doing everything they could to push for the lead. With 54 minutes played, a brilliantly placed cross from James Sweet found itself controlled at the feet of Cottrell who converted, securing his second of the evening. Just under 10 minutes later, Cottrell found his hat-trick cruelly denied when his attempt to nod home was cleared off the line.
A double substitution saw Zach Awe and Matt Smith replace Sweet and Catalin Cirjan respectively, as both teams continued to contest for possession. Some magic on the right wing from Amario Cozier-Duberry offered his left-wing counterpart, Sagoe Jr the opportunity to convert from close range to give us a 3-1 lead after 73 minutes.
Five minutes of added time offered Mauro Bandeira a chance to add a little more spice as he intercepted possession to run through on goal and slot the ball neatly into the back of the net with 92 minutes on the clock, securing a 4-1 victory over the hosts.
WHAT IT MEANS
The result sees us leapfrog Everton into seventh place.
Our next game sees us play our final fixture of the season as we host Manchester City at Meadow Park on Saturday May 6.
Kick-off is at 1pm (UK).
Arsenal: Cooper, Sweet (Awe, 65), Walters, Monlouis (c), Sousa, Henry-Francis (Bandeira, 70), Cirjan (Smith, 65), Cottrell, Cozier-Duberry, Sagoe Jr (Kamara, 86), Edwards
Sub not used: Rojas
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