Our under-18s returned from the international break with an eventful and fiercely contested draw on the road to Reading.
Jack Wilshere’s side started the brighter and took a deserved lead early on - Louis Zecevic-John, on his first start for the under-18s, made a bursting run down the right-hand side and dutifully picked out Omari Benjamin who finished confidently.
Benjamin, who was our top scorer last season for the under-18s, marked his first start of the season in style.
Our young Gunners were in complete control of the game with our front three of Zecevic-John, Seb Ferdinand and Benjamin all looking very bright in various spells during the first half as we went into the break a goal up.
We scored again shortly after the restart from the penalty spot. Zecevic-John, who continuously caused havoc the whole game, was brought down in the box and Seb Ferdinand subsequently sent Harrison Rhone the wrong way from 12 yards to double our lead.
Taylan Harris scored two quick-fire penalties to drag the hosts back into the game when he and Kiyan Smith were brought down on two separate occasions.
The last ten minutes were eventful, to say the least with both teams looking for a winner. However, both sides would finish the game with reduced players after three late red cards were dished out.
Firstly, William Guiterrez Ramirez was sent off for the hosts for a dangerous tackle on Josh Nichols. Then in added time, Ferdinand and Smith were both given their marching orders after a coming together between the pair.
Despite pressing hard in the final few moments, we were unable to find a winner and had to settle for a point.
WHAT IT MEANS
The draw sees us remain in eighth place with five points after four league games.
We’re returning to league action next week when we host Southampton.
Kick-off at London Colney is at 11am.
Arsenal XI: Rojas, Nichols, Kacurri, Heaven, Sweet (Ismail, 79), Rosiak (Shuaib, 50), Akolbire, Dudziak, Ferdinand (Ryan, 79), Zecevic-John, Benjamin (Oyetunde, 60)
Subs not used: Cooper
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