We registered our first points in Group C in the Premier League Cup with a 1-0 win over Aston Villa at London Colney on Saturday afternoon.
Jack Wilshere's men got off to a flying start inside the opening 15 minutes, Luis Brown's forceful challenge winning possession back in the visitors' half, before Seb Ferdinand cut inside and wrong-footed Sam Lewis with a clever strike at the near post.
Osman Kamara almost doubled our advantage moments later, latching onto a searching pass from Alexei Rojas, but saw his effort denied by the legs of Lewis from close range.
Ethan Nwaneri, picked out by Brown, had the ball in the back of the net as our first-half dominance continued, but the goal was disallowed for offside.
Nwaneri seemed determined to get himself on the scoresheet and almost added to our tally on the stroke of half-time, beating several defenders on a solo run, before firing just wide of Lewis' goal from the edge of the box.
The second half started much like the first with Wilshere's side in the ascendancy, this time Harrison Dudziak forcing Lewis into a smart stop from close range after a jinxing run into the box.
The visitors almost restored parity against the run of play, but for Maldini Kacurri's goal-line clearance after a mix-up between Rojas and Brown in our box.
Substitute Omari Benjamin marked his return from injury with a driving run into the box to earn us a penalty in the closing stages.
Ferdinand stepped up hoping to secure his brace, but fired against the post as we held out to secure all three points at London Colney.
WHAT IT MEANS
We sit third in Group C in the Premier League Cup after two matches played, only behind Aston Villa on goal difference.
We're back in Under-18 Premier League action when we host Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, October 22.
Kick-off at London Colney is at 11.30am (UK time).
Starting XI: Rojas, Robinson, Kacurri, Brown, Nichols, Lewis-Skelly, Ismail Oulad M’Hand, Ferdinand, Dudziak, Kamara, Nwaneri
Substitutes: Kovacevic, Small, Roberts, Green, Benjamin
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