A relatively inexperienced Manchester United defeated local rivals Bury in the FA Youth Cup Third Round tie at Old Trafford tonight.
Zach Dearnley opened the scoring for the Reds with a sweet curling right-footed strike and that goal proved sufficient to send United into the 4th round of the FA Youth Cup.
United were dominant in the first half. Rashford was lively and proved a threat to the Bury goal. He had a couple of shots, hitting the side netting and forcing saves from Jack Ruddy. He also had two goals ruled out, one for offside and another when the whistle had blown before the ball was in the back of the net. Dearnley opened the scoring for the Under-18s after being picked out by a lovely pass from Timothy Fosu-Mensah. Dearnley curled the effort by Ruddy at the near post with the inside of his right foot.
United’s attempts to extend their lead were foiled by Ruddy who pulled off saves inspired by David de Gea, saving efforts from Riley and Dearnley with his feet.
Rashford continued to look for a goal in the second half and saw a headed effort sail over the crossbar in the opening minutes. Then, Callum Gribbin had an effort which hit the top of the crossbar.
Bury, who had grown into the game as the first half was drawing to a close, continued to expand their foothold in the match. They pressed United and at times troubled Henderson but didn’t manage to convert. Gribbin and Riley blocked efforts from the opposition.
The increase in possession for Bury meant that United were limited to a more counter-attacking style of play. Tyler Reid saw a powerful shot go over the crossbar. Reid had another chance later after a neat one-two with Riley, however he couldn’t convert.
An inability to convert chances summed up the latter stages of the game with both teams contriving to miss clear-cut chances and many times failing to force the respective goalkeepers to make the save. Rathbone injected a bit of purpose into the United attack. It looked as though Riley would seal the win with moments remaining but after a great run he, like so many others, failed to find the back of the net.
Manchester United will face Hull City in the Fourth Round of the FA Youth Cup in a tie which must be played before 17 January.
Manchester United: Henderson, Reid, Tuanzebe (c), Williams, Borthwick-Jackson, Riley, Redmond, Fosu-Mensah, Dearnley (Rathbone 83′), Gribbin (Scott 83′), Rashford.
Unused Substitutes: Dorrington, Hamilton, Warren.
Goals: Dearnley (13′).
Man of the Match: Joe Riley.