A brace from Will Miller, coupled with an own goal and a Cameron Carter-Vickers effort, saw the lads claim a deserved victory at the Training Centre – at the same time putting an end to a four-match winless run.
Prior to kick-off, Academy Manager John McDermott had called for the players to put aside any pre-match hype surrounding the North London derby and to focus on playing their game – and it was evident from the first whistle that the lads heeded that command.
Emmanuel Sonupe caused problems for the Gunners down the right in the opening stages, and it was the wide attacker who had our first glimpse of goal in the fourth minute. He latched onto Harry Winks’ pass and surged forward, but he lashed his effort over the top.
Two minutes later, Josh Onomah fed Sonupe again and he exchanged passes with Daniel Akindayini along the edge of the 18-yard box before whipping a dangerous low ball across the box from close to the byline. Gunners goalkeeper Matt Macey fumbled the ball but we were unable to take advantage and Arsenal got it clear.
Continuing our early pressure, we launched a route one attack in the eighth minute as Connor Ogilvie headed on Luke McGee’s goal kick into the path of Nathan Oduwa. He ferried the ball out to Sonupe on the right, with Miller testing keeper Macey with a rising shot after getting on the end of the resulting cross.
We were unlucky not to break the deadlock with a quarter of an hour gone, as Akindayini scooped the ball just over the bar as he surged into the box to meet Sonupe’s cross.
The visitors’ first real effort at goal arrived a minute later. After Daniel Crowley found himself crowded out on the edge of the box, he rolled the ball to Alex Iwobi. He found a gap in the congested penalty box and tried a shot, but McGee was equal to it.
Arsenal defender Arinse Uade made a fine covering tackle to deny Sonupe at the other end, while McGee saved at the feet of Renny Smith, before seeing Crowley’s long-range shot clear the bar by some distance.
Five minutes after Winks found the roof of the net with a 30-yard free-kick, we took the lead. Sonupe shrugged off the attentions of Gunners defender Alfred Mugabo and surged forward before rolling a through ball into the path of Akindayini, the presence of the attacker forcing an Arsenal defender to steer the ball into his own net with half an hour gone.
Five minutes later we doubled our lead as a quickly taken free-kick allowed Oduwa to roam forward and pick out Miller on the overlap, the midfielder finishing low beyond Macey with time and space at his disposal.
Despite being two goals down, the Gunners dug in and pulled one back six minutes before the interval. Jack Jebb rose highest in the box to head home unchallenged following Chiori Johnson’s right-sided cross.
We were quickly back into our stride as the second half got underway, and in the 50th minute we restored our two-goal lead as Cameron Carter-Vickers bundled home from close range after Onomah’s cross from the right squirmed beyond the Arsenal defenders at the near post.
Macey made a fine stop at close range to prevent Akindayini from bagging another goal, denying the centre-forward as he tried to divert Oduwa’s cross inside the far post on 55 minutes.
A speculative long-range effort from Stephy Mavididi proved comfortable for McGee, before we further extended our lead. Oduwa scooped the ball into the box from a central position and with the visitors unable to deal with it, Miller stole in and slotted low into the bottom corner of the net with 63 minutes on the watch.
We continued to look threatening down the right following the introduction of Anthony Georgiou and with 20 minutes remaining, the substitute launched a shot from an acute angle after being fed by Onomah, but it sailed over the bar.
Georgiou was on the ball again a minute later as he got down the wing and crossed for Oduwa, but the attacker saw his delicate effort hit the post before being cleared.
Within 60 seconds we almost extended our lead further, as Oduwa’s ball in from the left just ran beyond Shayon Harrison with the goal gaping.
Harrison and fellow substitute Joe Pritchard both went close late on as we forced a couple of corners and, despite the visitors pulling a goal back a minute into stoppage time when Jamal Raage found space on the right and finished low into the bottom corner, our young stars can be happy with three well-earned points.
Spurs: McGee, Walker-Peters, Ogilvie, Winks (Pritchard 60), Carter-Vickers, Lesniak, Sonupe (Georgiou 70), Onomah, Akindayini (Harrison 70), Miller, Oduwa. Subs not used: Walkes, Priestley (GK).