Fulham midfielder Luke Harris’ exceptional start to the new season continued as he scored on his debut for Wales’ under 18 side this afternoon.
The all-action sixteen year-old made a real impression with Steve Wigley’s under 18s as the young Whites won the Premier League south title and was fast-tracked into the under-23 set-up. He scored on his debut for the under 23s at Sunderland in the first game of this season – and drove home the opener for Wales against the England U18s in Newport after making a trademark late run in the penalty area.
Harris’ Fulham team-mate Michael Olakigbe made his England under 18s debut as a substitute in the same fixture and went close to scoring as well – denied by an excellent stop from the Welsh goalkeeper.
Fulham winger Michael Olakigbe has earned a first England U18s for the forthcoming fixture against Wales.
The teenager, who has scored twice in two fixtures for Steve Wigley’s under 18s side this season, has been named in Paul Williams’ 22-man squad for the training camp that precedes the match against Wales in Newport next Friday.
The versatile Olakgibe, who can play on either wing, as a number ten or up front, has previously been capped at under-17 level by England.
Two second half strikes from winger Michael Olakigbe secured a convincing win over Tottenham for Fulham’s under 18s as Steve Wigley’s side started the season in fine style at Motspur Park.
A new-look home side made the perfect start, having survived an early spell of Spurs possession, when Ollie Sanderson curled home a fine opening goal in the top corner with just six minutes played. A beautiful ball from Stefan Parkes freed Devan Tanton down the right flank but the marauding full back’s cross had a little too much pace for Jaylan Wildbore in the centre.
American goalkeeper Alex Borto made two smart saves to preserve Fulham’s advantage – pushing a low drive from Rio Kyerematen around the post and then denying the Tottenham midfielder brilliantly in an one-on-one situation. Olakigbe’s pace was causing serious problems for the visitors and the winger could count himself unfortunate not to have doubled the lead when he shot straight at Adam Hayton after stealing possession from Max McKnight.
There was a touch of fortune about Fulham’s second, which arrived just after the half hour mark. Delano McCcoy-Splatt located Imani Lanquedoc with a precise pass and the attacking midfielder’s deflected finish ended up into the far corner – with Hayton having no chance.
Spurs came roaring back in a lively second period that saw sixteen year-old Jamie Donley drill home a penalty to reduce their arrears eight minutes after the interval. The dangerous Williams had been pushed to the ground for a clear spot-kick. Olakigbe quickly re-established Fulham’s two goal lead with a thumping finish off the underside of the crossbar after excellent approach play from Lanquedoc, but the away side set up a nervy finale when Jaden Williams tucked in from close range to finish off a flowing move down the left flank.
Fulham survived a strong penalty appeal for handball with a quarter of an hour to play and Donley drove a follow-up over the bar as the ball dropped his way in the area. The young Whites eventually made sure of the points with six minutes to play, courtesy of another impressive Olakigbe strike. The lively left winger found the far corner from an acute angle to cap another eye-catching individual performance.
FULHAM U18s (4-2-3-1): Borto; Tanton (Antonsson 45), Araujo, C. Robinson, Parkes; Okkas (Caton 80), McCoy-Splatt; Wildbore, Lanquedoc, Olakigbe; Sanderson (Works 60). Subs (not used): de Fougerolles, Trialist.
GOALS: Sanderson (8), Lanquedoc (33), Olakigbe (56, 84).
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR U18s (5-3-2): Hayton; McKnight (Bryan-Waugh 58), Linton, Hackett, Dorrington, Cassanova; Kyerematen, Owen (Bloxham 74), Torraj (Mathurin 53); Donley; Williams. Subs (not used): Krasniqi, Haysman, Bloxham.
GOAL: Donley (pen 53), Williams (60).