Arsenal U18s 1-3 Spurs - report from London Colney
Wed 02 April 2014, 15:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Shayon Harrison, Daniel Akindayini and Nathan Oduwa were on target as our Under-18s turned on the style to secure a comfortable win at Arsenal on Wednesday.
Harrison and Akindayini had us two goals to the good at half-time, with Oduwa adding a third after the restart as we triumphed 3-1 at the Gunners’ training facility, strengthening our position at the top of the Barclays Under-18 Premier League southern section standings.
In truth, we could have further increased the scoreline, but for some spurned chances. We were irresistible going forward at times, with the Gunners only afforded a goal from a corner towards the end of the contest.
It was Arsenal, though, who might have taken an early lead when Stephy Mavididi got forward three minutes in. Luckily for us, his fierce drive took a deflection and looped up onto the bar.
Harrison pulled an effort inches wide of the post on seven minutes after being played in by Cy Goddard for our first chance – and from that moment on we never looked back.
Kyle Walker-Peters scurried free behind Arsenal’s high defensive line to latch onto a long kick upfield from goalkeeper Liam Priestley but, after being forced wide by Priestley’s opposite number Ryan Huddart, his lay-off to Harrison saw the latter’s eventual shot nudged onto the bar and away.
The industrious Harry Winks curled a free kick wide of the target a minute later before Harrison finally broke the deadlock with 11 minutes gone. He intercepted a miscued goal kick from Huddart, passed sideways to Winks before controlling the return ball inside the area and sweeping low into the net from 12 yards out.
Oduwa shot straight at Huddart while Akindayini, an early substitute after Joe Pritchard was forced off, just couldn’t reach Winks’ cross-field ball as we continued on the front foot. Meanwhile, Kaylen Hinds’ effort at the other end was easy for Priestley.
The Gunners had their best spell of the game in the moments leading up to the half-time break. They had the ball in the net on 41 minutes when George Dobson latched onto Dan Crowley’s cross but a raised linesman’s flag saw the effort ruled out, while Walker-Peters was forced to make a goal-line clearance to deny Austin Lipman.
Full-back Channing Campbell-Young went close twice in quick succession for us with a header and then a shot, before we doubled our lead a minute into first half stoppage time. Roaming through the middle, Walker-Peters despatched an incisive pass which cut open the Arsenal defence and allowed Akindayini to surge in from wide on the right and guide the ball into the far corner with one perfectly-weighted touch.
We began the second half intent on adding to our lead, Akindayini seeing a rising shot blocked by a combination of two Arsenal defenders before Filip Lesniak lashed an effort just wide from the edge of the area.
It was 3-0 on 57 minutes when Harrison played the ball out to the left and found Oduwa, who cut inside and curled a shot inside the far post.
Three minutes later Oduwa pulled the ball back for Akindayini after we broke away down the wing, but it ran just behind the forward and he could only scoop it over the top with his trailing leg.
Anton Walkes got in on the act with a long-range effort which produced a fine save from Huddart, but the hosts sounded a warning when Hinds sent a glancing header just wide after Jack Jebb’s corner found him running in at the near post.
And it was from a similar aerial raid that the Gunners pulled a goal back on 79 minutes. This time it was Renny Smith who addressed the corner kick, with Dobson firmly heading home at the back post.
Our lads took it in their stride, with Harrison forcing a low save from Huddart three minutes from time as we moved the ball about with confidence in the closing stages.
Harrison’s cross from the right was diverted off target by Oduwa in the game’s last chance, but we’d already done enough to claim the North London derby spoils.
Spurs: Priestley, Campbell-Young, Pritchard (Akindayini 18), Lesniak, Carter-Vickers, Walkes, Walker-Peters (Miller 73), Winks, Harrison, Goddard (Ross 64), Oduwa. Sub (not used): Voss (GK).