By Connor Armstrong
Donyell Malen’s 20th-minute strike was enough to carry our under-18s to victory at Southampton.
Yasmin Fortune then went close to adding a second, only to see his header saved by Adam Parkes after Javen Siu’s initial goalline clearance.
Parkes was called upon again to deny Eddie Nketiah soon after, as we continued to threaten to score a second.
Ultimately none was needed, with Malen’s strike and a clean sheet ensuring all three points returned to N5.
SETTING THE SCENE
Alex Crean started in goal, with Jordi Osei-Tutu, Joseph Olowu, Kostas Pileas and Tolaji Bola lining up in defence.
Charlie Gilmour partnered Joe Willock in the centre of the park.
Nketiah led the attack, supported by Fortune, Trae Coyle and Malen.
An Arsenal corner forced Siu to hack the ball away from goal early on, with Fortune’s effort on the follow-up turned away by Parkes
Malen opened the scoring with a sweet curling effort that found the top corner, before dragging a low effort wide of the far post soon after.
Coyle then slid in Malen to tee up Nketiah, but Parkes was quick to rush out and block the forward’s attempt.
The Gunners stayed in the ascendancy after the interval, with a strong run from Malen ending with Fortune’s low ball across the face of goal just needing a touch to find the net.
Crean had to be alert to a rare Southampton threat soon after, with Harlem Hale’s effort flying wide of goal after Jonathan Afolabi’s shot.
Nketiah tried his luck once more before the final whistle, but his shot on the turn was always rising and meant that Kwame Ampadu’s side were forced to settle for just the one goal on the south coast.
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