The Arsenal u18s were without a few of their star players against Brighton this weekend, with Myles Lewis-Skelly, Ethan Nwaneri, and Maldini Kacurri all held back after featuring in the u21 squad on Tuesday.
All three could probably have played both games, given they only featured as substitutes for the u21s in midweek. So their absences suggest they may be involved with the u21s again on Monday.
On the positive side, Matty Roberts and Seb Ferdinand were both available to start after their goals in the u18 friendly against FC Koln last weekend.
Ferdinand had been particularly impressive on the wing against Koln, and he was involved in Arsenal’s opening goal, setting up Omari Benjamin to score after Brighton failed to clear a set piece.
Brighton pulled that lead back before half-time, with Joe Knight scoring from the penalty spot for 1-1.
Arsenal then won a penalty of their own, with goalscorer Benjamin earning the spot-kick. Returning the favour for his goal, Benjamin handed over the penalty to Ferdinand, who sent the goalkeeper the wrong way for 2-1.
Just as it looked like Arsenal might have secured victory, Brighton’s Bailey Smith scored a 92nd-minute equaliser to end the game at 2-2.
Jack Wilshere’s side had to settle for a draw, which was probably a fair reflection of a game where possession was shared 50-50 and shots were split 10-10.
The result leaves Arsenal fourth in the u18 Premier League South with nine points in six games, but Chelsea and Norwich City could overtake with wins in their games in hand.
Arsenal u18 lineup vs Brighton
Fedorushchenko, Nichols, Small, Brown, Quesada-Thorn, Ibrahim, I. Oulad M’hand, Dudziak, Ferdinand, Benjamin, Roberts
Kamara (for Dudziak, 58), Kovacevic, Ryan, Green
The Arsenal u18s are next in action against Aston Villa away at Bodymoor Heath Training Ground on Saturday, October 29th at 12:00 BST.