We leapt to the top of the Premier League 2 with a 1-0 win over title rivals Swansea City on Friday.
In the end it took Charlie Gilmour’s strike to secure the victory in a tense encounter at Emirates Stadium, as we went three points clear of Leicester City at the top of the table.
After a sluggish start by both sides, we managed to carve out the game’s first opportunity but, when Folarin Balogun picked out Vlad Dragomir, the Romanian’s shot was well blocked by the visitors’ defence.
The returning Emile Smith Rowe - who had been sidelined with an ankle injury since the start of last month - was next to threaten, seeing his powerful free-kick saved by Eriwn Mulder.
Josh Dasilva then went close on two occasions, forcing the Swansea keeper into another fine stop before being denied once more just moments before the break, as both sides headed into half-time level.
We looked much improved in the second half and our threat was rewarded just two minutes after the restart. A well-worked corner routine involving Xavier Amaechi and Dragomir released Gilmour, who smashed into the roof of the net from eight yards out.
It almost got even better for our youngsters. First Balogun saw his effort saved by Mulder, before Amaechi shot wide after good work by Zech Medley.
Swansea threw bodies forward to level, with George Byers and Jack Evans both going close, but we stood firm to secure a vital three points in the race for the title.
WHAT IT MEANS
We may now be leading the Premier League 2, but we still face stiff title competition from both Leicester and Liverpool.
The Foxes are just three points behind, with Liverpool in touching distance of them two, but both sides have a game in hand going into the final few weeks of the season. The title race is sure to go down to the wire.
Steve Gatting’s side now turn their attention to their Premier League 2 clash with West Ham United at London Stadium on Friday, April 20.
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