Player was substituted due to an injury
Fulham hosted Arsenal this morning in their 11am fixture in the Under-18 Premier League. Fulham went on to win the match 3-2, conceding their two goals late on making it a nervy finish.
The Whites gained the lead through an own goal, followed by a superb strike from substitute Michael Elstone, and the third was added by Joe Felix from the 12-yard spot.
Arsenal bit back with two of their own goals in the last half hour of the game with strikes by Yassin Fortune and Trae Coyle.
The Gunners came into this game two places above Fulham and on a good run of form having won their previous three consecutive matches. Fulham were able to improve on their draw last time these two teams met in North London in the reverse fixture.
Fulham started with a high intensity and were able to maintain their pressing for most of the 90 minutes. The Whites were able to settle into the match quickly and played good football from the start.
Just under ten minutes into the match and Mikolaj Kwietniewski managed a sublime piece of skill and gained possession of the ball in midfield, unfortunately though he injured himself as he landed. Kwietniewski stayed on the pitch for a minute before he couldn’t continue with his ankle and made way for Michael Elstone.
Elstone made a real impact on the match with his introduction, within minutes of being on the pitch he broke down the right and attempted to get the ball into the box with Isaac Pearce waiting in the middle. Elstone caused the Arsenal defenders problems throughout the game, both through holding the ball up and also going forward, as they struggled to deal with his physicality.
Fulham occupied Arsenals territory with continued pressure from Peace and Nicolas Santos Classe on either side, with Jayden Harris doing a job breaking up the play in midfield.
The first 20 minutes had been comfortable and the breakthrough came in the 20th minute as Joe Felix broke down the right and drove a low ball into the box. A dangling Arsenal leg directed the ball into their own net to give the Whites the advantage.
Arsenal started to find their feet in the game and had a few good attacks, with Jay Beckford cutting balls into the box but Jerome Opoku managed to meet them each time.
In the 43rd minute Michael Elstone ran straight at Arsenal defender Danny Ballard, pulled right slightly and shot across goal, beating their keeper as the ball bounced in off the left post to double the Whites’ lead.
Five minutes after the second half kicked off Isaac Pearce ran into the right side of the box, and Joey Felix found his feet with a low ball. Pearce went to the ground under a challenge and the linesman raised his flag to give the Whites a penalty.
Felix had the honours from the penalty spot, and struck the ball well beating the keeper to his right to give Fulham a 3-0 advantage.
Arsenal’s Fortune managed a response with a great run down the left side of the pitch beating several defenders, he shot hard and low and beat Taye Ashby-Hammond to his right.
After Arsenal scored they changed gear and chances started to break at both ends, entering the last ten minutes there was a siege on goal from the Gunners as they turned up the pressure andmanaged to pull one more back as Coyle cut in from the right and his shot found the top corner of the net.
It was a tight end to competitive match but Fulham managed to pull through with all 3 points.
Next week Fulham take on Southampton at Motspur Park.
Competition: Barclays U18 Premier League
Date: Saturday 4 February 2017
Venue: Motspur Park, Surrey
Line-up: ASHBY-HAMMOND; FELIX, SESSEGNON, OPOKU, MUNDLE-SMITH; HARRIS, O'RILEY; KWIETNIEWSKI (ELSTONE 10'), ANDRASON, SANTOS CLASE; PEARCE
Unused substitutes: GARRIDO, MOURINHO, THOMAS, YORK
Line-up: CREAN; OSEI-TUTU, BALLARD, MEDLEY, PILEAS; WILLOCK, GILMOUR; BECKFORD, BURTON, COYLE; FORTUNE
Unused substitutes: JOHN-JULES, BARDEN, OMOLE, THOMPSON