Manchester United’s U18s defeated their Newcastle United counterparts under the floodlights at the J. Davidson Stadium in Altrincham.
Marcus Rashford opened the scoring for the Reds late in the first half and sealed the victory by completing his brace in the second, direct from a free-kick earning a valuable 3 points for the young Reds.
It was a close first half with both sides having to contend as much with the torrential rain as with each other. United were solid defensively and limited Newcastle to a few chances from range. The better chances fell United’s way with a decent strike for Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who was making his second appearance for the U18s.
Marcus Rashford was lively upfront, and had a few shots. He finally opened the scoring in the 39th minute with a wickedly curving strike from outside the box.
There were a couple of controversial moments in the first half, all centred around back passes. First, Axel Tuanzebe kicked a clearance into a Newcastle player. He recovered well to touch the ball towards his goalkeeper Dean Henderson, who picked the ball up. Despite claims from the opposition players, the referee decided not to award a free-kick. However at the other end, a free-kick went United’s way as the referee judged a back pass to have happened even though the Newcastle player hadn’t touched the ball.
Newcastle grew into the game in the second half, as the poor weather conditions continued. Fosu-Mensah and Rashford had a couple more efforts on goal, although unfortunately couldn’t convert. Newcastle had a chance cleared off the line by Tyler Reid when Henderson failed to secure the ball. Henderson was on hand to make a number of saves. Riley and Redmond came close at the other end with shots on target.
Rashford sealed the win with his second goal direct from a freekick. Fosu-Mensah was brought down just outside the penalty area after a strong run from midfield. Rashford stepped up to take the set piece and fired into the far left corner leaving Woolston no chance.
That win sees United leapfrog Liverpool into 7th place in the Barclays’ Under-18 Premier League Northern Division table, just behind Derby County on goal difference. The Reds next fixture will be away to Bolton next Saturday.
Manchester United: Henderson, Reid, Tuanzebe (c), Williams, Borthwick-Jackson, Riley, Fosu-Mensah, Redmond, Dearnley (Scott 69′), Gribbin, Rashford.
Unused Substitutes: Byrne, Warren, Scott, Rathbone, Johnson.
Goals: Rashford (39′, 84′).
Man of the Match: Marcus Rashford.