By Connor Armstrong
Tobi Omole came off the bench to score a dramatic late winner as our under-18s overcame Swansea.
Yassin Fortune repeatedly went close, twice being denied by Swansea goalkeeper Alex Long as well as rattling the crossbar.
The Swans could have taken the lead when they seized on an underhit backpass, only for Brandon Cooper to hammer wide.
Omole eventually scored the game’s only goal just one minute from the final whistle when he poked home after Emile Smith-Rowe had spotted his overlapping run.
SETTING THE SCENE
Joao Virginia started in goal for Kwame Ampadu’s side.
Jordi Osei-Tutu, Daniel Ballard, Zech Medley and Kostas Pileas made up the back four.
Josh Benson and Joe Willock paired up in central midfield, with Smith-Rowe and Dominic Thompson on the flanks.
Fortune started in behind striker Eddie Nketiah.
The Gunners were on the front foot from the first minute and went close when Nketiah and Fortune swapped passes before the latter saw an effort hit the legs of Long.
Smith-Rowe then had a strike of his own saved by the Swans stopper after Willock’s lofted ball had enabled Nketiah to get in behind the back line.
Fortune then thumped a header against the crossbar from a Smith-Rowe corner as the pressure continued to mount for the visitors.
Ampadu’s side were given a scare just before the interval when Pileas’ underhit backpass enabled Cooper to race in on goal - but he was unable to convert.
While the pattern of play remained the same, the second half did not carry so many chances for the Gunners.
Smith-Rowe’s cross from the left found the head of Fortune, but Long once again produced a save to deny the French forward.
But with time running out, a winning goal arrived courtesy of an unlikely source. Substitute defender Omole overlapped on the left and prodded home after being spotted by Smith-Rowe.
The victory means Ampadu’s side have secured a second-placed finish with one game of the regular season to go, and the play-offs yet to come.
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