Fulham U21s 0-0 Arsenal

Thursday 26 September 2013 21:27

Fulham Under-21s were denied a breakthrough goal as their Arsenal counterparts clung on to take a share of the spoils away from Motspur Park.

The Whites sensed a winner was within their sights during a sustained period of late pressure with Moussa Dembele and Muamer Tankovic both going close in the final stages.

But Gunners goalkeeper Damian Martinez had the last word, hanging on to his clean sheet despite the Whites controlling long spells of possession and working the Argentine shot-stopper regularly.

Making his first appearance for the U21s, French youngster Dembele soon made his presence felt when Martinez adjusted well to stop his third-minute effort. The visitors responded when Semi Ajayi's shot was scrambled off the Whites' goal-line, and Alex Iwobi was denied by Jesse Joronen's smart reflexes on 22 minutes.

With the half drawing to a close, Dembele's deft header narrowly evaded Arsenal's far post and Tom Richards rifled a shot just over the crossbar.

Chris David brought the second half to life, bringing two more saves from Martinez, before Buomesca Tue Na Bangna and Dembele again worked the Gunners keeper. Tankovic replaced Ronny Minkwitz with Kit Symons' men chasing the breakthrough and the Swedish attacker spurned a good chance soon after his arrival, driving his effort over after Dembele's throughball.

Martinez's finest stop came from Dembele's well-placed volley from Josh Passley's cross on 66 minutes but, in reply, Iwobi stabbed a chance wide and Ainsley Maitland-Niles' attempt cannoned off Joronen's upright.

Lasse Vigen Christensen and Passley rained shots on the Arsenal goal but Martinez was proving unbeatable, as Dembele headed over from a corner with five minutes left on the clock.

Tankovic found the goalkeeper with a spectacular effort and it was clearly not Fulham's day as Dembele's header from substitute Ange-Freddy Plumain's delivery dropped wide of goal in the dying seconds.

Attendance: 186


Fulham team: 1.  Joronen, 2.  Passley, 3.  Kavanagh, 4.  Minkwitz (Tankovic 61), 5.  Arthurworrey, 6.  O'Reilly, 7. Na Bangna, 8.  Vigen Christensen, 9.  Dembele, 10. David, 11. Richards (Plumain 77).

Substitutes not used: 12. Norman, 16. Buatu, 17. Islamovic.

Arsenal team: 1. Martinez, 2. Boateng, 3. Ormonde-Ottewill, 4. Kamara, 5. Ajayi, 6. O'Connor, 7. Maitland-Niles, 8. Jebb, 9. Lipman, 10. Iwobi, 11. Jeffrey (Smith 82).

Substitutes not used: 13. Iliev, 14. Raage, 15. Wright.