We maintained our place at the top of the U-18 Premier League table thanks to a convincing 3-1 away win at Southampton.
With a wealth of attacking options on the field, the opening exchanges belonged to us – and following a well-worked team move around the area, Trae Coyle opened the scoring.
Folarin Balogun’s touch allowed the ball to drop nicely inside the area, and Coyle made no mistake in finding the bottom corner with a curling finish. The 18-year-old has now scored in back-to-back fixtures for the first time this season.
Shortly after Tom Smith made a fine reaction save to deny Kornelius Hansen from inside the area, before Balogun received the ball on a turnover, beat his marker and fired narrowly wide from a promising position.
Southampton continually tried to play out from the back – and they had some moments of success – but after overplaying deep in their own half, Balogun regained possession high up the pitch and finished past Jack Bycroft for his 15th goal of the season in all competitions.
However, the Saints went on to make the best possible start to the second half when a quick throw-in caught our defence off guard, allowing Caleb Watts to finish without pressure.
It was a frustrating error after a dominant performance, but in the 83rd minute we were able to restore our two-goal advantage once more.
Stan Flaherty’s corner deliver was knocked down by Harry Clarke at the far post, leaving Mark McGuinness the simple task of firing home from inside the six-yard box. It was the 18-year-old’s first goal of the season.
WHAT IT MEANS
Ken Gillard’s side are next in action with a U-18 Premier League clash against Norwich on Saturday.
The game will take place at London Colney with kick-off at 11am (UK time).
Copyright 2023 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.