City’s Elite Development Squad fought back to draw 3-3 with Arsenal in an exciting encounter in north London.

Jaden Heskey opened the scoring with his first in the division this term in the first half, before Mahmadou Susoho doubled Brian Barry-Murphy‘s side’s lead with a wonderful free-kick after the interval. 

It was a well deserved lead for City, but a brace from Amario Cozier-Duberry and a Khayon Edwards’ strike flipped the match on its head at Meadow Park.

However, Jacob Wright levelled the scoreline on the cusp of full-time to earn a share of the spoils for our youngsters.


City captain at Meadow Park, Micah Hamilton, had impressed going into the meeting after being included in senior Men’s squads for trips to Newcastle (September) and Young Boys (October).

And the first chance of the evening fell to exciting attacker when he drove down the left and impressively cut inside the box, but saw his powerful effort well saved by Ovie Ejeheri.

Barry-Murphy’s side had enjoyed a large share of the possession inside the first 10 minutes with the hosts happy to soak up pressure and hit the visitors on the counter.

Arsenal’s approach almost paid dividends when Cozier-Duberry retrieved possession on the edge of the box and looked certain to score before Murray-Jones produced a fantastic save to his right to keep the game goalless.

The Gunner’s clear-cut chance sparked City back into life and we were certainly the team in the ascendency midway through the first half.

But against an Arsenal side who had scored 21 league goals this term, though, they were always going to be dangerous, and we had Murray-Jones to thank for keeping the score level when he wonderfully tipped Jimi Gower’s effort from 20-yards onto the crossbar.

In a match that ebbed and flowed in the first 45, the visitors should’ve taken then lead when a curling Susoho free-kick found Jahmai Simpson-Pusey at the back post, but his volley flew just wide of the target from close range.

Barry-Murphy’s side did make our continual pressure on Mehmet Ali’s team’s goal count 10 minutes from the interval when Jaden Heskey showed his poacher’s instinct to pounce on a palmed-out Ejeheri save to pass into an empty net. 

Buoyed by our goal before the break, we made a fast start after the break and spectacularly doubled our lead when Susoho whipped a venomous free-kick into the top corner from all of 25-yards.

The visitors didn’t take our foot off the gas despite our two-goal advantage and came inches from extending our advantage further when Emilio Laurence’s curling, low effort was tipped wide.

But, against the run of play, Arsenal were handed a lifeline when Khayon Edwards was tripped inside the box by Simpson-Pusey.

And after Cozier-Duberry saw his effort from the penalty spot well saved by Murray-Jones, he tapped home the rebound.

City responded well to the hosts halving the deficit with plenty of possession, but Cozier-Duberry doubled his tally for the night to equalise when slotting into the bottom corner. 

Following an eventful start to the second half, the two teams started to cancel each other out with chances few and far between. 

But the visitors had a golden chance to restore our lead when Michael Okeke retrieved the ball on the edge of the box and teed up Heskey who shot just wide.

Cruelly, though, it would be Arsenal who found the game’s fifth goal when Charles Sagore Jr drove to the touchline and his cross found the feet of Edwards who bundled home.

As the clock continued to tick down it appeared the hosts would collect three points.

However, City continued to push for an equaliser and it came on the cusp of full-time when substitute Jacob Wright collected the ball on the edge of the area and powerfully curled into the net to earn a well-deserved point for our young charges.


Arsenal XI: Ejeheri, Nichols (Kamara 46’), Walters, Foran, Monlouis, (C), Heaven, Rosiak (Kacurri 87’), Gower, Sagoe Jr, Cozier-Duberry, Edwards.

Unused substitutes: Hillson, Copley, Ferdinand. 

City XI: Murray-Jones, Carrington, Simpson-Pusey, Alleyne, Galvez, Susoho (Wright, 72’), Lawrence, Okeke, Heskey, Adam, Hamilton (C).

Unused substitutes: Smith, Grant, Thomas, Henderson-Hall.


The draw in north London means we now have six points after eight games at the start of the 2023/24 Premier League 2 season.


Next up for City’s youngsters is a UEFA Youth League meeting with Young Boys on Tuesday 7 November, with kick-off scheduled for 13:00 (UK) at the Joie Stadium.

Barry-Murphy’s team will be aiming to extend our unbeaten run in the competition so far and strengthen our chances of reaching the knockout stage.

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