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Academy Match Report: Manchester United u18s 1-1 Sunderland u18s

by Colm Murphy

Manchester United’s u18s were in midweek action again as they hosted visitors Sunderland amid a hectic schedule.

United struck early in the 4th minute as Ethan Ennis took the long ball from Sonny Aljofree in his stride and cut across the defender before curling a fabulous shot into the top right corner to claim his sixth goal in his last six appearances.

Omari Forson looked to get into the action with a quick give and go with Sam Mather to open the space for an effort from 20 yards that blazed just past the post.

Sunderland were causing trouble of their own and their big number nine trialist, Evan Cunningham, was teed up inside the box but side-footed over the bar.

After a few half chances for Sunderland, the best opening of the match fell to Ennis after Mather played him into acres of space behind the backline but the winger couldn’t keep his cool and slid the ball wide.

The whistle blew for halftime with United still up 1-0 in what was a fairly even half of football.

Much like the first half, the action was quick off the mark with Logan Pye testing the keeper with an early long-range effort that was destined for the bottom corner but a fingertip save.

This time it was Sunderland though, who would score within five minutes of the start. A high ball over the top left the makeshift right back Maxi Oyedele isolated and he couldn’t keep up with Tommy Watson as he knocked the ball past and slotted it into the bottom right corner.

A series of forced substitutions saw the introduction of Joe Hugill, Tyler Fredricson, and Kobbie Mainoo.

It was the midfield maestro, Mainoo, who would make the biggest impact with sensational dribbling through the midfield which ended with Oyedele being slipped through on the right but he couldn’t keep his shot down.

Aljofree came within inches of a late winner with a towering header at the back post to nod off the crossbar from Mather’s cross.

Despite the push, United couldn’t find the winner and would have to settle for a draw, taking them into 5th place.

United: Hanbury, Jurado, Kambwala (Hugill 46), Aljofree, Pye, Oyedele, Gore, Ennis (Mainoo 59), Mather, Forson (Fredricson 59), Norkett

Unused Subs: Murray, Vitek

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