Home » Academy Match report: Wolverhampton Wanderers u18s 3-3 Manchester United u18s

Academy Match report: Wolverhampton Wanderers u18s 3-3 Manchester United u18s

by Colm Murphy

Manchester United u18s travelled to Wolverhampton on Saturday morning with a young squad that featured six players still eligible for u16s football in the starting XI.

One of those youngsters was Shea Lacey, who looked to start with a bang in the opening minutes as he dribbled through a number of defenders before being dragged down outside the box. Lacey took the free kick, curling a placed effort toward the bottom left corner that was pushed round the post by the keeper.

Lacey then swung in a deep corner that was headed back across by Jack Kingdon for Manni Norkett, who miscued his header and the ball bounced off his shoulder for an easy save.

It was all United early on and Norkett drove into box on the right side only to be taken down to win United a penalty. Norkett stepped up to take it himself and smashed it into bottom left for his tenth goal of the season.

Just past the half hour mark, a brilliant breakaway goal doubled United’s lead. A long ball from James Nolan was taken down by Norkett for Amir Ibragimov to slide through to Victor Musa running in behind and the winger slotted it into the near post left open by the keeper.

Wolves’ biggest threats of the half came from a few corners but ultimately they couldn’t test Elyh Harrison with any of them.

In the dying seconds of the half, Lacey jinked his way into the box and went outside on his right foot to shoot near side, forcing the keeper to tip round the post and keep the score at 0-2 into the break.

Wolves came out fired up from the half-time team talk and pulled one back in just 20 seconds. Fraser Harper charged through the middle and laid off to the right to be smashed past Harrison by the overlapping fullback.

United restored the two goal lead shortly after through an incredible goal of the season contender by Lacey. Cutting in from the touchline, Lacey unleashed a swerving and dipping strike from 25 yards that found the top left corner, giving the keeper no chance.

A minute after the goal, the impressive 15 year old Ibragimov was forced off due to a clash of heads in the middle of the park and was replaced by Adam Berry.

In the 58th minute Wolves scored again. After some possession on the left, Harper whipped in a cross flicked on by Connor McLeod just in front of Louis Jackson to direct the ball over Harrison and into the top right corner.

The match was going back and forth with Nolan standing up a cross to the back post for Norkett to head off the shoulder of the defender and out for a corner.

Wolves started to control the midfield in the latter stages with their superior physicality and the big Ackeme Francis-Burrell provided the catalyst for Wolves to equalise in the 88th minute, playing through the midfield before finding Josh Essen centrally, who shifted onto his right foot and struck it into the bottom left corner from 20 yards out.

United had a huge chance to take all three points in injury time when Ethan Williams collected off Norkett in the box and hit low from close range but he was denied by a great save.

The score would run out level at 3-3, leaving United in third place in the league, level on points with Sunderland in second.

United: Harrison, Kingdon, Munro, Jackson, Nolan, Fitzgerald, Ibragimov (Berry 54), Lacey, Scanlon (Kamason 87), Musa (Williams 71), Norkett

Unused subs: Wooster

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