In an action-packed match, Jack Wilshere's youthful Gunners extended their unbeaten streak to four games following a thrilling 3-3 draw against Crystal Palace in a captivating encounter on Saturday morning.
The hosts began the match with a surge of energy, crafting the game's initial opportunities. Noah Cooper delivered an outstanding save, deftly tipping Jesse Derry's attempt over the crossbar. Cooper remained resolute moments later, thwarting Zach Marsh in a one-on-one situation.
Our first venture towards goal materialized when Michael Rosiak successfully seized possession in an advanced position, but William Eastwood comfortably saved his shot in the Palace goal.
Another promising moment transpired when we capitalised on a counterattack. Louie Copley orchestrated a graceful through pass to Daniel Oyetunde; however, the striker's shot was denied.
Jack Wilshere's squad nearly broke the deadlock when the ball found its way to Oyetunde following a corner kick. His shot was deflected, and as the ball inched toward the net, Cormac Austin cleared the ball off the line.
Ultimately, just before the halftime whistle, we seized the lead. Mason Cotcher exhibited lightning-quick reflexes within the six-yard box to score.
Nonetheless, the home side swiftly notched two goals within the opening five minutes of the second half. Initially, Marsh capitalised on our inability to clear our defensive lines, confidently slotting the ball into the back of the net. A mere minute later, Hindolo Mustapha unleashed a long-range effort that found its way into the bottom corner to give Palace the lead.
Despite this temporary setback, we managed to level the score just past the hour mark. Louie Copley and Bless Akolbire orchestrated a seamless combination, culminating in Akolbire calmly slotting the ball into the net. However, almost immediately after the restart, another defensive mix-up saw Marsh secure his second goal of the match, subsequently restoring the host's lead.
In the dying moments of normal time, Ferdinand's well-placed cross found its mark as substitute Benjamin rose to head the ball into the net.
Benjamin has consistently proven his knack for making a significant impact when coming off the bench. He showcased this ability previously in our victory over Leicester City, and once again, his contribution earned us a commendable point on the road.
WHAT IT MEANS
The result means we move on to nine points in the Under-18s Premier League after eight games.
We travel down to the seaside to face Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, November 4.
Kick-off at the AMEX Performance Centre is at 12pm (UK).
Starting XI: Cooper, Ferdinand, Kacurri, Brown, Ismail (Sweet, 62), Rosiak, Akolbire, Copley (Ryan, 75), Oyetunde, Kamara (Benjamin, 62), Cotcher
Subst not used: Rojas, Shuaib
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