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Kick off 13:00 (UK)

09 February 2019 Venue Meadow Park Attendance

Kick off 13:00 (UK)

Arsenal U18
1 - 2
West Bromwich Albion U18

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Match Previews

Scott challenges youngsters to make history

8 February 2019

Ahead of Albion Under-18's FA Youth Cup fifth-round tie with Arsenal, boss Mike Scott has tasked his team to surpass the recent achievements of the Club's Academy and reach the quarter-final of the competition.

The last time a young Baggies side progressed to this stage of the competition was in 2012, but Scott's side have been impressive in the cup so far, beating both Leyton Orient and Queens Park Rangers 5-1 to set up the clash with the Gunners.

If Albion were to beat Arsenal, then they would face a home game against Everton or Brighton, and Mike is looking forward to seeing how his side deal with the challenge of the Gunners.

"I'm pleased," said Scott of his side's cup campaign so far.

"There's an opportunity for them to make a bit of history and get to the quarter-final, which would tee up a really, really good opportunity to play at home either against Everton or Brighton, who also are progressing in the competition.

"In terms of progressing as a group it's been a good cup run for them and they are a squad that is capable of going further if they get the opportunity to perform tomorrow.

"This will be probably one of the most challenging games of the competition. Arsenal are doing quite well in their league, they are one of the top teams up there in the southern section.

"They are very similar to us because they have got quite a few players that play up in their under-23s age group. In terms of opposition, they are going to be quite a challenge for our lads but I'd like to think we'll be a challenge for them as well."

The fixture will see highly-rated youngsters Morgan Rogers and Rayhaan Tulloch return to Albion's youth level following their valuable first-team experience in the week against Brighton & Hove Albion, and Scott says that the players will have benefitted from the opportunity.

"They are in a good place at the moment," he added.

"Darren Moore has been excellent, he's been absolutely fantastic in terms of giving Academy lads an opportunity. It's been an excellent week for the Academy, for the staff and the players - it shows that there is a pathway there.

"They will be going into the game very confident having had that experience on Wednesday."

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Match Reports

Arsenal U18s 1 Albion U18s 2

9 February 2019

Albion Under-18s secured their spot in the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals after an impressive 2-1 win against Arsenal Under-18s in a tight encounter.

Goals from Jamie Soule and Finn Azaz saw the young Baggies progress to the last eight of the competition, setting up a tie with either Everton or Brighton.

Albion took the lead early on, as an Azaz pass slipped through Soule on goal, who hit a low right-footed shot into the bottom corner.

 The Gunners retaliated, and it wasn't long until they had a promising chance themselves. Ben Cottrell played through Bukayo Saka, who hit a left-footed volley goalwards - only for Josh Griffiths to tip his effort onto the bar.

However, just after the half-hour mark, Arsenal were level. The ball dropped loose in the Albion penalty area following a free-kick, and Saka was the quickest to react, firing home from close-range.

Both teams searched for a way through the other, but each side were denied time after time.

But then, heading towards the last 20 minutes, the Baggies smelt blood.

16-year-old Morgan Rogers emerged in the Arsenal half with the ball and ran at the heart of the Gunners' defence, before passing to Soule. Albion's goalscorer played the ball to his left, where the oncoming Azaz rifled a strike past Arthur Okonkwo in the Arsenal net.

With the game drawing to a close, Arsenal forced Albion back into their own half.

The Baggies had to live life dangerously; Griffiths was forced into action, making a collection of excellent saves to stop the tie from going to extra-time.

Academy manager Mark Harrison watch another positive statement from the Club's youngsters and applauded a "mature" performance.

He said: "It was the kind of display that had a bit of everything and was very mature. They did themselves and the Club proud."

ALBION: Griffiths, White (Gardner-Hickman 62), Martinez, Ferguson, Harmon; Brown, Solanke; Tulloch (Asomugha 82), Azaz, Rogers, Soule.

Substitutes: Cann, Delaney, Taylor.

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