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U18 Premier League: Top performers from 13th and 14th January 2023


Five fixtures took place in the U18 Premier League North this weekend with a whopping 18 goals being scored. Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the table while Wolves and Nottingham Forest both climbed up into the playoff places. Here are the three standout stars from a thrilling week of academy football in the north.

Detlef Esapa Osong, Nottingham Forest

[Photo by Meta 2022]

Detlef Esapa Osong scored his second hat-trick of the season as Nottingham Forest thrashed Middlesbrough 4-0 to move up to fourth. The forward grabbed his three goals in just 22 minutes as Forest ran riot in Teeside. Jack Nadin opened the scoring before Esapa Osong took over as Forest grabbed all four of their goals in the opening 37 minutes. The hat-trick takes the 18-year-old up to eight goals in all competitions this season to continue his brilliant form from last season.

Shea Lacey, Manchester United

[Photo by Meta 2022]

Shea Lacey marked his first league start at U18 level with two assists to help Manchester United come from behind to beat Blackburn Rovers 3-2. The 15-year-old was the star player for United in the Rewe Junior Cup last weekend and his great performances earned him a place in the team. Lacey set up second half goals for Dan Gore and Jack Kingdon to turn the game around for United. If he continues his rich vein of form then more appearances at U18 level should follow soon.

Martin Sherif, Everton

[Photo by Emma Simpson]

Martin Sherif bagged a brace as Everton earned a 2-2 draw with Liverpool in the mini Merseyside derby. The forward twice equalised for Everton including a dramatic 90th- minute strike to grab a point. The brace takes Sherif up to six goals for the season. The 16-year-old is in incredible form scoring five goals in his last four league games for the Toffees. Sherif’s late goal extended Everton’s unbeaten run to four games in the league.


by Lloyd Boating-Bailey

Match-day 13 of the U18 Premier League South occurred the week commencing Friday, 13th January. Only three fixtures took place as two other fixtures were postponed, and another game was rescheduled. However, the weekend matches produced plenty of goals and the top performers for game week 13 were:

Gideon Kodua – West Ham United

[Photo by West Ham FC Media]

West Ham United’s 100% winning record continued as they defeated Aston Villa 5 – 2 away from home. Gideon Kodua got on the scoresheet twice as he took his tally to 9 league goals in 10 appearances this season. He is only two goals away from equaling his 11 goals from last season. His contribution for Kevin Keen’s side has been phenomenal as West Ham United sit top of the U18 Premier League South League with 36 points. 

Basilio Socoliche – Crystal Palace

[Photo by CPFC Media]

Basilio Socoliche may have made ten appearances in the league this season; however, the game against Fulham was only his sixth league start. Nevertheless, he repaid his manager’s faith with two well-taken goals as Crystal Palace defeated London rivals Fulham 4 – 0. His brace contributed to Crystal Palace’s first win of the new year, as they currently sit second in the league with 20 points.

Leo Cardoso – Chelsea

[Photo by Meta 2023]

The main talking point will likely be Chelsea’s 7 – 1 demolition of Norwich City. However, 16-year-old midfielder Leo Cardoso made his U18 league debut and scored a brace for his side. He took both goals well inside the box in the first and second halves of the match. In addition, he accumulated 70 minutes under his belt, a proud moment he should cherish for a long time. Cardoso will be looking to gain more appearances for Chelsea U18s between now and the end of the season to continue his development.

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