Pre-Match Report

Match preview: Arsenal U-18s v Southampton

We’ll be looking to progress to the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup for the third consecutive season when we host Southampton on Thursday evening.

THE STORY SO FAR

We reached the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup by beating a strong Cheltenham Town side on penalties. 

Ben Cottrell had a great chance to take the lead early in the match but saw his effort from the edge of the box sail over the bar, while Hubert Graczyk was at his best to deny Callum Ebanks from close range. 

With the scores deadlocked at full-time and after extra time, penalties were needed to separate the two sides. 

Graczyk was then the hero in the shootout as he saved the decisive penalty, while Sam Greenwood, Alfie Matthews, Matthew Dennis and Charlie Patino scored from 12 yards, before our keeper’s heroics guaranteed our place in the next round.  

THE OPPOSITION

Southampton progressed into the fourth round after beating Bristol Rovers 3-1 away from home.

Alex Jankewitz opened the scoring for the Saints shortly after the half-time interval, before Sam Bellis scored a brace to give the visitors a commanding lead.

Zain Walker did pull a goal back for Rovers, but it wasn’t enough to spark a comeback as Southampton advanced.

ONE TO WATCH

Cottrell was named captain of our under-18s at the start of the season, and has played a key role for Ken Gillard’s side.

His impressive performances from last season and the start of this have seen him rewarded with seven appearances for our under-23s too.

On his first start for Steve Bould’s side, he scored in our 3-1 defeat to Chelsea and then provided a neat assist for our winning goal against Southampton in November.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

You can receive live updates by following our Twitter account @ArsenalAcademy

Stay close to Arsenal.com for our match report and post-match reaction from Gillard.

By Sam Cox

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