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Academy Match Report: Manchester United u18s 4-2 Everton u18s

by Colm Murphy

In their first league match since early December, Manchester United’s u18s hosted Everton at Carrington after losing 1-3 last time out at Finch Farm.

United took the early lead in the seventh minute when Sam Murray’s cross from the right bounced through the congested area and found Sonny Aljofree lurking at the back post, who was able to poke it home underneath the sprawling keeper.

The early stages of the match saw United deploying an energetic high press which Everton struggled to deal with when playing out from the back.

Despite being on top, a mistake almost opened the scoring for Everton in the 14th minute.

Aljofree was too complacent as he let the ball roll past him unaware of the creeping Everton striker who ran in behind and snuck the ball away before rounding Tom Wooster in goal. Fortunately for United, the Everton man slipped before being able to finish his chance.

United responded immediately with a big chance of their own. Some quick flowing football ended with Alejandro Garnacho crossing to an open Ethan Ennis who couldn’t get over the ball and volleyed into the sky.

Garnacho doubled the lead in the 20th minute when he was allowed to run unchallenged from the halfway line before finishing in the bottom left corner from with a well placed shot from the edge of the box.

Joe Hugill’s pressing almost created a goal when he was able to capitalise on a loose touch from the Everton defender and was free in on goal but uncharacteristically got his finish all wrong and toe poked it wide.

The chances were mounting up for United with another coming for the former Liverpool player, Ethan Ennis. The winger was slipped in down the right by Hugill but his low driven shot flashed across the goal and wide.

Against the run of play, Everton pulled one back minutes before the half time break. Emilio Lawrence was found open in the box and controlled with a clever back heel touch to wrong foot the defenders before smashing low past Wooster.

The half time break went in with United 2-1 up and very much on top of the match. It could have been a lot more if the boys in red had their finishing boots on.

The second half kicked off much the same with United taking control but it was another sucker punch from Everton which would equalise five minutes after the restart.

Everton’s Francis Okoronkko burst down the left wing taking on Willy Kambwala and nutmegged the French defender before finishing low and hard.

It was an immediate response from United though, as Hugill finally got his deserved goal to restore the lead. A poor clearance from the Everton keeper rushing out to sweep dropped to Hugill who slid and looped the ball from 30 yards to bounce into the open net.

Another keeper mistake came in the 66th minute as he spilled the long free kick from Marc Jurado and Hugill’s poaching instincts were on hand to tap in for his second.

Hugill had an opportunity for his hat trick late in the game after Logan Pye’s cross was poorly cleared and fell to him in the box. The striker quickly latched at the effort though and scuffed it wide.

United held onto the 4-2 lead and the victory brings them into 5th place.

United: Wooster, Kambwala, Aljofree, Bennett, Jurado, Mainoo, Gore, Murray (Pye 63), Garnacho (Mather 73), Hugill, Ennis (Norkett 63)

Unused subs: Hanbury, Fredricson

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