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Under-18s outgunned in eight-goal thriller

Seagulls led 2-0 after six minutes but went down 5-3 to Arsenal on Tuesday.

By Bruce Talbot • 09 April 2024

By Paul Hazlewood
Harry Mills celebrates after putting Albion 2-0 ahead.

Albion’s men’s under-18s went down 5-3 to Arsenal in Tuesday's Premier League game but could consider themselves unlucky not to get something from an entertaining tussle.

Arsenal keeper Khari Ranson made some superb saves, particularly in the second half when Albion had the gale-force wind at their backs.

By Paul Hazlewood
Delight for Joe Belmont after he scored Albion's opening goal.

The damage was done in the first half which ended with Albion trailing 4-2 despite taking a 2-0 lead inside the first six minutes. Joe Belmont tapped in the opener from Remiero Moulton’s cross before Nehemiah Moulton made a great break from midfield and teed up left back Harry Mills on the overlap and Mills drilled a low shot inside the far post.

But Arsenal turned the game on its head with three goals in five minutes. Louie Copley’s right-foot volley from close range made it 2-1 on 20 minutes before Michal Rosiak equalised with a brilliant free-kick which caught the wind and flew past the helpless Lorenz Ferdinand. The comeback was completed when Charlie Tasker misjudged a back pass and Chido Obi-Martin nipped in to round Ferdinand and make it 3-2.

By Paul Hazlewood
Harry Mills scores our second goal against Arsenal.

The Arsenal striker broke through and beat Ferdinand with a shot into the far corner five minutes before the break to give Arsenal a two-goal cushion which they spent large periods of the second half defending.

With the elements behind them Albion pushed Arsenal back. They pulled a goal back in the 55th minute when Ronnie Gorman curled a free kick from the edge of the box past Ranson and although Obi-Martin was denied his hat-trick when his shot hit the crossbar it looked to be only a matter of time before Albion made their territorial dominance count with a fourth goal.

By Paul Hazlewood
Nehemiah Oriola runs at the Arsenal defence.

Ranson, though, had other ideas. A save at point-blank range kept out Charlie Penman’s close-range header before substitute Sahil Bashir saw his free-kick tipped over by Ranson. When the resultant corner fell to him eight yards out Bashir fired against the post.

Ranson made another save to deny Bashir late on but by then Arsenal had made the points safe on the break when the impressive Obi-Martin teed up Andre Annous for a close-range finish.

Albion: Ferdinand, Hayden, Mills, Tasker, Penman, Owusu, Moulton, Nti, Belmont (Brett 19), Gorman (Silsby 66), Oriola (Bashir 77).