Post-Match Report

Youth Cup final report: Arsenal 1-5 West Ham

Ethan Nwaneri in action against West Ham United U18s

West Ham United U18 -

Emirates Stadium
FA Youth Cup
FA Youth Cup
  Arsenal U18
Arsenal U18
1 5
  West Ham United U18
West Ham United U18

Our dreams of lifting our first FA Youth Cup since 2009 ended as West Ham United recovered from a goal down to beat us 5-1 in the final at Emirates Stadium.

Things began well for Jack Wilshere’s side when Omari Benjamin handed us an early lead, but two goals in three minutes from George Earthy and Callum Marshall turned the tie around, before Gideon Kodua added a brilliant third before half-time.

After the break, further goals Kaelen Casey and Josh Briggs sealed the win for the Hammers, who added the Youth Cup to add to their already-won U18 Premier League South title.

Bright beginning overturned

Just five minutes in Michal Rosiak nearly repeated his semi-final exploits when he sent a free-kick towards the top corner but Hammers keeper Mason Terry did well to tip it over, but two minutes later the shot-stopper was picking the ball out of his net.

The move began thanks to some wonderful play by Reuell Walters, who dispossessed Earthly 30 yards from our goal, and carved his way past three defenders as he charged through midfield. He slipped the ball off to Amario Cozier-Duberry who saw his shot parried by Terry, but Benjamin was on hand to coolly guide the rebound home and hand us a dream start.

However that only lasted until the 17th minute when the visitors struck back. Earthy won the ball off Myles Lewis-Skelly in midfield and pushed forward, and saw an attempted through-ball to Kodua cut out by Bradley Ibrahim. The ball returned to Earthy’s path and he fired past Noah Cooper from the edge of the area to equalise.

And the game swung right around two minutes after that when Kevin Keen’s team took the lead. Kodua was found on the right and swung an inviting cross into the six-yard box, and Marshall jumped at the opportunity to fire it into the net first-time.

Hammers nail down the trophy

After that roaring start, chances began to dry up but six minutes before the interval Rosiak whipped a teasing cross to the back post towards Benjamin who couldn’t divert goalwards, and that miss proved crucial as three minutes before the break, the Hammers extended their lead in fine fashion.

After Josh Robinson mis-controlled the ball, Kodua pounced on the last defender and after spotting Cooper off his line, he produced an excellent chip from 35 yards to find the net and put his side in firm control at the interval.

We needed a swift response after the restart and nearly got it when Robinson forced his way upfield and fed Cozier-Duberry who seemed destined to score but fired into the side-netting, but 60 seconds later Cooper had to be at his best to dive full-stretch to deny Earthy adding his second of the night.

Having enjoyed plenty of great comebacks during this cup run, Wilshere’s side knew that pulling a goal back could be the start of another, and they began to take the game to their opponents. A half-cleared corner dropped at the feet of Ethan Nwaneri who hooked wide before a Rosiak blast forced Terry into a good save.

But 13 minutes from time our cup dreams were finally dashed as West Ham grabbed their fourth. Oliver Scarles sent in a deep corner and Casey got free at the back post, and headed it home to secure the silverware.

Then in the final minute, Briggs scored just seconds after entering the field as a substitute when he latched onto Patrick Kelly’s corner to add salt into the wound.


Arsenal: Cooper, Rosiak, Robinson, Walters, Sousa, Ibrahim, Lewis-Skelly, Gower (Kamara 46), Cozier-Duberry, Benjamin (Ferdinand 85), Nwaneri.
Subs not used: Rojas, Nichols, Kacurri, Brown, Oulad M’Hand.

West Ham: Terry, Scarles, Clayton, Casey (Tarima 79), Battrum (Briggs 90), Orford, Kelly, Earthy (Rigge 85), Kodua, Mubama, Marshall.
Subs not used: Herrick, Fawunmi, Jones, Mukasa.

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