Home » Academy Round Up: U21s finish goalless while U18s slump to home defeat

Academy Round Up: U21s finish goalless while U18s slump to home defeat

by Tracey Germaine

Under-21s: Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea

The Under-21s looked to bounce back from their disappointing exit from the Lancashire Senior Cup with a tie against Chelsea on Friday evening. A win would have seen United leapfrog Chelsea into fourth spot. Tom Thorpe and James Wilson were ruled out through illness while Ben Pearson had picked up an injury in training during the week.

Wilson’s absence meant that United were without a recognised centre forward and Andreas Pereira was given the task of playing up front. Louis Rowley had his first game at left back at this level while Charni Ekangamene was drafted into central defence from his loan club Carlisle United and Davide Petrucci, who wasn’t included in the two previous squads, went straight back into the starting XI.

United didn’t really work the Chelsea keeper during the match. However, Ben Amos was probably United’s Man of the Match after making a host of world class saves to leave Chelsea frustrated.

Chelsea created the majority of the chances but thanks to Amos, United did enough to contain Chelsea.

Manchester United: Amos, Varela, McNair (Willock 76′), Ekangamene, Rowley, Janko, Rothwell, Petrucci (Harrop 49′), R. James, Weir, A. Pereira. Unused Substitutes: J. Pereira, Goss, Rudge.

Under-18s: Manchester United 2-3 Bolton Wanderers 

United opened the scoring in the fourth minute through Ruairí Croskery when the Northern Irishman slotted home after Ashley Fletcher laid off a Ben Barber cross to his strike partner.

The Under-18s grew in confidence after that. Following the goal, Barber put a great ball into the box which Ashley Fletcher got on the end of but the Bolton keeper was on hand to deny him. Fletcher and Croskery also linked up well again following intricate play from Marcus Rashford but Croskery’s curling effort went over the crossbar.

However things turned around in the second half and Bolton took a foothold in the game. Henderson made a terrific save, managing to adjust himself as Elliot Newby’s effort deflected off Evans, Goss saw a long range effort go wide at the start of the second half and Barber put in another good ball but when it came to Goss, he wasn’t able to get a shot off.

United were made to pay for their missed chances. Jamie Thomas received the ball on the left and cut inside into the box, running past McConnell before nutmegging Evans with his shot into the bottom corner to equalise. Bolton had a few more chances that went wide before Borthwick-Jackson came close with a bullet header at the other end.

However, Jamie Thomas then gave Bolton the lead with his second goal with a free-kick. The game ended as a contest 12 minutes later when Nathan Burke scored Bolton’s third goal but United did score a late consolation in the 91st first minute, a Greenhough own goal after great work from Ashley Fletcher.

Manchester United: Henderson, C. Evans, McConnell, Ioannou (Borthwick-Jackson 21′), Barber, Rashford, Willock, Goss, Thompson (Riley 70′), Croskery (Tuanzebe 70′), A. Fletcher. Unused Substitutes: Dorrington.

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