Manchester United’s Under-18s emphatically beat Middlesborough 5-1 at the AON Training Complex to put an end to their five match losing streak in all competitions at this level.
Boro almost responded immediately but Nicholas Ioannou made a crucial last ditch challenge to take the ball off the onrushing McCarthy’s foot to prevent an equaliser. The visitors then tested Dean Henderson but the United keeper did well to save the well struck volley.
However, the Reds soon doubled their advantage through Croskery as Redmond turned provider and not long after, Redmond claimed his second assist. This time he set up Harrop who took control of the ball while on the run and did well to hold off the attentions of a Boro defender before neatly finishing into the bottom corner.
Henderson was called into action just on the stroke of half-time as Junior Mondal ran in on goal only for Henderson to thwart him. That save was crucial and United consolidated their lead soon after the restart.
Croskery was again involved, threading a reverse ball into the path of Demetri Mitchell who was brought down in the penalty area. Mitchell stepped up to take the spot-kick. The keeper saved with his feet but Mitchell kept his composure and made sure with the rebound.
United now had an unassailable lead but they kept pressing forwards. A great run from the full-back Joe Riley down the right hand side put him in a good crossing position and Redmond got on the end of his cross to make it 5 – 0. Redmond, however, didn’t have a chance to look for his hat-trick as he was replaced by Axel Tuanzebe.
United were clinical in front of goal but the scoreline certainly flattered the Reds. Henderson was made good saves throughout the match and there was plenty of good defensive play from the back four, in particular Ioannou who made several top quality clearances.
It was unfortunate that they weren’t able to keep the clean sheet as Middlesbrough’s captain Robbie Tinkler grabbed a consolation, with an unmarked header from a freekick.
Manchester United: Henderson, Riley, Borthwick-Jackson, Ioannou, Barber (Thompson 58′), Harrop, Goss, Willock (Rashford 45′), Redmond (Tuanzebe 75′), Mitchell, Croskery. Unused substitutes: J. Pereira.