Wednesday 9 March 2016, 7:00pm at Motspur Park, Surrey
Fulham FC
Fulham U21s
Arsenal U21s
Hinds 19'; Bola 28'; Mavididi 39'

57' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Josh Walker
Off:Cauley Woodrow

57' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Dennis Adeniran
Off:Emerson Hyndman

57' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Mikolaj Kwietniewski
Off:Zakaria Labyad

19' Goal

Kaylen Hinds

28' Goal

Marc Bola

39' Goal

Stephy Mavididi

62' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Marcus McGuane
Off:Christopher Willock

Three first-half goals saw Fulham beaten by an impressive Arsenal side at Motspur Park on Wednesday night.

It was a testing night for Fulham Under-21s at Motspur Park on Wednesday as they went down to an impressive Arsenal side.

First-half goals for Kaylen Hinds, Marc Bola and Stephy Mavididi secured the victory for the visitors, who extended their unbeaten run to seven games and moved to within two points of top spot.

Cauley Woodrow made a welcome return to action with just an hour under his belt - the first game time for the striker since his foot injury in January. Marcus Bettinelli also continued his recovery with his third successive Under-21 appearance and there were appearances, too, for Shaun Hutchinson, Sakari Mattila, Emerson Hyndman and Zakaria Labyad.

Bettinelli was first called into action in the 15th minute. Some neat passing in midfield allowed Reiss Nelson a shot from 25 yards. His powerful effort forced an impressive diving save from Bettinelli, tipping over the bar at full-stretch.

Fulham were behind in the 19th minute. Arsenal were awarded a free-kick on the right. Initially, Hutchinson did well to clear a dangerous deep cross but Hinds was well placed to tuck away his follow-up shot from just inside the box.

The lead was doubled nine minutes later. Seemingly in a safe position, Bola collected the ball in his left-back position 35 yards from goal. He then produced a vicious strike with swerve and dip that flew in to give the visitors their second.

Peter Grant’s side almost found a response in the 32nd minute. Hyndman’s testing free-kick was spilt by goalkeeper Ryan Huddart but Luca de la Torre couldn’t find his way past him from the follow-up.

The Gunners grabbed their third in the 39th minute. A neat one-two between Hinds and Bola allowed the latter to reach the byline, before whipping a ball across goal that left Mavididi with a tap-in at the back post.

Hyndman had a chance to claw a goal back five minutes after the restart. A Fulham corner wasn’t properly cleared and dropped to the American 18 yards out. His effort, though, was comfortably dealt with.

Two minutes later Woodrow went even closer. Chasing down a ball over the top, the forward showed excellent control to bring it down and turn his man. He found room for himself as he approached the box and looked to curl one into the far corner. The ball looked destined to rustle into the net but fell narrowly wide.

Another couple of minutes passed and Woodrow had another good chance. Some slick build-up play on the right and a good ball across goal found the hitman just eight yards out but he couldn’t find the net, in what would prove to be his last involvement.

Fulham were a lot more positive after the break and had a flurry of chances as the game was stretched. Dennis Adeniran made a particularly good impact when he came on and almost notched an impressive solo goal in the 73rd minute. He demonstrated his pace and power to skip past four Arsenal defenders but couldn’t apply the finishing touch from close range as Huddart spread himself well to make the save.

Bettinelli showed his ability in the 85th minute with an acrobatic and inventive double save. First he sprawled to his left to deny a long-range effort then had the presence of mind to react and punch away his own save as it looked to be spinning back into the goal.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays U21 Premier League Division 2

Date: Wednesday 9 March 2016
Kick-off: 7:00pm

Venue: Motspur Park, Surrey
Attendance: 134

Referee: S Oldham

Fulham U21s

Line-up: Bettinelli; Fossey, Hutchinson, Pino Soler, Donnelly; Mattila, Smile; de la Torre, Hyndman (Adeniran 57'), Labyad (Kwietniewski 57'); Woodrow (Walker 57')

Unused substitutes: Norman, Davies

Manager: Peter Grant

Arsenal U21s

Line-up: Huddart; Da Graca, Bielik, Pleguezuelo, Bola; Sheaf, Bennacer; Nelson, Hinds, Willock (McGuane 62'); Mavididi

Unused substitutes: Keto, Malen, Dasilva, Robinson

Fulham U21s (4-2-3-1)
  • 1Marcus Bettinelli
  • 2Marlon Fossey
  • 5Shaun Hutchinson
  • 6Ian Pino Soler
  • 3Liam Donnelly
  • 8Sakari Mattila
  • 4Josh Smile
  • 7Luca de la Torre
  • 10Emerson Hyndman
  • 11Zakaria Labyad
  • 9Cauley Woodrow
  • 12Magnus Norman
  • 14Aron Davies
  • 15Dennis Adeniran
  • 16Mikolaj Kwietniewski
  • 17Josh Walker
  • Peter Grant
Arsenal U21s (4-2-3-1)
  • 1Ryan Huddart
  • 2Kris Da Graca
  • 5Krystian Bielik
  • 6Julio Pleguezuelo
  • 3Marc Bola
  • 8Ben Sheaf
  • 4Ismael Bennacer
  • 7Reiss Nelson
  • 10Kaylen Hinds
  • 11Christopher Willock
  • 9Stephy Mavididi
  • 12Marcus McGuane
  • 13Hugo Keto
  • 14Donyell Malen
  • 15Josh Dasilva
  • 16Tyrell Robinson