FA YOUTH CUP THIRD ROUND
Wednesday December 12th 2018, kick off 7.00pm
38' Folarin Balogun
78' Zak Swanson
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 0
Arsenal: Karl Hein, Vontae Daley-Campbell, Zak Swanson (Joel Lopez 84), Matthew Smith, Mark McGuiness, Bayli Spencer-Adams (Mazeed Ogbuno 63), Trae Coyle, James Olayinka, Folarin Balogun, Sam Greenwood (Yunus Musah 72), Ben Cottrell.
Subs not used: Arthur Okonkwo, Miguel Azeez.
Cobblers: Bradley Lashley, Jordan Caswell (Jack Daldy 45), Matty Slinn, Jay Williams, Ryan Hughes, Jacob Ballinger, Jack Newell, Scott Pollock, Morgan Roberts (Joe Jarvis 84), Michael Harding, Camron McWilliams.
Subs not used: Lewis Patching, Urijah Gordan-Douglas, Ryan Smith.
Arsenal: Sam Greenwood (26), Vontae Daley-Campbell (33), Mark McGuiness (44).
The Cobblers under 18s reward for overcoming King’s Lynn and Swindon Town in the first two rounds of the FA Youth Cup was a third round tie away at Premier League giants Arsenal. The match took place at Boreham Wood’s Meadow Park ground where Arsenal’s under 21s play their home fixtures.
Michael Harding had a shot blocked and Karl Hein saved from Ryan Hughes in an encouraging opening ten minutes for the Cobblers while Mark McGuiness headed wide for Arsenal.
Sam Greenwood tested Bradley Lashley from 20-yards with the Cobblers keeper also making a good save to deny Folarin Balogun from inside the area as the home side enjoyed a spell of pressure.
The Cobblers were more than holding their own though, Camron McWilliams winning possession on half way and delivering a dangerous ball into Morgan Roberts that Arsenal had to put behind for a corner.
The deadlock was broken on 38 minutes, Folarin Balogun finding the bottom corner to give Arsenal the lead. The goal didn’t knock the Cobblers confidence and they nearly conjured up an equaliser in first half stoppage time, Harding firing a shot into the side netting after being played in by McWilliams. And there was still time for Roberts to line-up a free-kick from 30-yards that had to be tipped behind by Hein as Jon Brady’s side ended the half in strong fashion.
Balogun clipped the top of the cross bar with a shot from 15-yards at the start of the second half while a tantalising cross from Roberts just eluded an on-rushing Harding at the back post. The Cobblers were creating chances and Roberts went close with a free-kick from a tight angle that curled agonisingly wide.
Roberts combined well with Scott Pollock to create an opening for substitute Jack Daldy but Hein made the save to preserve the Gunners lead.
With just over ten minutes to go Zak Swanson’s looping cross crept in to make it 2-0, the goal somewhat fortunate for Arsenal and extremely harsh on the Cobblers youngsters who had more than matched their lofty opponents on the night. Pollock almost pulled a goal back in stoppage time but couldn’t keep his shot down as the Cobblers cup run came to an end.